The Blue Code of Silence: Not All Good Cops are Good Cops 

Friends-In the last few weeks we have had two high publicity cases where police officers were gunned down. One case happened here in Houston, the other in Illinois. By all accounts Both officers were good family men. It’s natural to feel great sorrow for their families. 

Nationally, the police officer’s deaths have been politicized. There are wild claims by some that the police are under attack. The statistics show otherwise. The “Black Lives Matter” Movement has been wrongly blamed for the officer’s deaths. There are calls for greater demonstrations of community support for police officers. The public has dutifully responded as requested. 

Let us not in this emotionally charged moment forget two things:

First, We live in a Pro-cop society. Cops are already lionized on every network every night. The public has been fed Pro-police dramas night after night since the advent of television. The networks are not alone in their Police Worship Fest. Local News “reporters” nightly fawn over the cops. So the current assertions that cops don’t get enough love are false. In this country the cops are idolized & loved and always have been. 

Second, the bad cops only get away with murder because of the so-called good cops. The code of silence between cops is ” exponentially greater” than the Mobs own “omertà”, or code of silence. Bad cops get away with bad things because good cops remain silent. The good cop’s silence is complicity that allows the bad cop’s bad conduct to thrive. 

Consider what occurred when North Charleston, Officer Michael Slager, shot Walter Scott in the back 8 times. Shortly after Officer Slager murdered Mr. Scott, a second cop arrived. While the presumptively good second cop stood over the body, Officer Slager dropped a ” throw down” near the body of Mr. Scott. Officer Slager did that in the presence of the good cop, apparently confident that the good cop would remain silent. 

But for the video Slager’s murder of Mr. Scott would very likely have gone unreported. Why?

Because the good cops honor the Blue Code of Silence. Under their Blue Code of Silence, good cops remain silent. Good cops don’t report the misconduct and crimes committed by bad cops.  Under the Blue Code of Silence bad cops get away with assaults, beatings and even murder because good cops remain silent.

What kind of cop remains silent in the face of assaults, beatings and murder? 

In remaining silent, the good cops dishonor the very badge they wear,they enable the bad cops and they forfeit the title “good cop.” 

No doubt many cops are good and honorable men and women. But not all good cops are good cops.

It is our right and our duty to make certain that public servants serve the public. It’s our right and our duty to make certain that cops serve and protect. A society that encourages blind faith in police officers, is a society that is choosing not to protect its own liberty. 

Keep videotaping. 

Robb Fickman, Houston, Texas

About Robert Fickman

Robert Fickman is a criminal defense attorney with 33 years experience in defending the citizen accused in both state and federal court. He is a past president of HCCLA and remains active in its mission.

    3 comments on “The Blue Code of Silence: Not All Good Cops are Good Cops 

    1. Larry McDougal

      September 7, 2015 at 1:38 pm

      You are pretty much correct. I do disagree with you on one point. The news media has waged war on law enforcement officers in the aftermath of several highly publicized killings. Groups like Black Lives Matter has publicly called for the death of just not Police Officers but also White Americans. This is a terrorist group.

      What you did not mention that this media coverage does not focus on the dishonesty in law enforcement. There is a blue code of silence which was quickly coming unraveled. That is until recently. The news media and social media has created a them against us mentality in law enforcement. That was always an underlying current in law enforcement but now it is to the forefront. Law Enforcement Officers are now more prone to cover for the bad officers because of what they view as the unjust media coverage and in some cases political prosecutions of officers in this war on law enforcement. They have the view that they must do this because one day, false allegations may be made against them and they expect and demand that other officers have their back. This media attention along with the ambush murders and injuries of officers which is being seen around the country has only served to reignite the fires of the Blue Brotherhood, and to cause them to close their ranks.
      The real crime in this is not in the murders or beatings of people but in the prosecution of people for everyday crimes. This Blue Brotherhood, causes them to say what is needed to back up their fellow officers. Innocent people will be convicted of crimes because of this. The focus should not be on the police shootings. While there are many questionable shootings, most are justified. The real crime takes place in the drafting of offense reports and testimony in court. More people are harmed here than by any police bullet.
      Yes, there has been an attack on law enforcement. This attack has drastically dropped the number of people wanting to become police officers nationwide. They are now being forced to employ people that they would have rejected 10-20 years ago just to fill positions. This reduced standard in back ground investigations will place more criminals behind the badge. Result, more innocent people are getting arrested and convicted. Also more innocent will be injured or killed by the police. Police now have unions and associations who employ teams of lawyers who fight to keep those bad officers employed. Politicians have always been afraid to take on these police groups and address the issues of police misconduct. That will be needed more than ever in the coming years.
      The good hard working law enforcement officers out number the bad by 9 to 1, but I fear they will soon become lost in the crowd. The next issue and most important is incompetence in the administrations of law enforcement. they are unable to police their own. They always have been. The officers on the street consider them to be a bigger threat than the people they arrest. That is because most are political hacks who got their jobs by political butt kissing and not to their skills and morals.
      This current love affair with law enforcement will come to an end before long. The after effects will last for the next 2 – 3 decades. The bad cops who kill are few and far between. The bad cops who abuse their authority and arrest innocent people are out there in great numbers. Do not forget that the prosecutors know who these bad cops are but they do not report them either. They are just as guilty if not more for allowing these bad cops to remain on the job.

      Reply
      • Robert Fickman

        September 7, 2015 at 3:10 pm

        Larry- I don’t agree with much of your response but I hit publish. ” Black Lives Matter” is not a terrorist group. I will respond on more detail latter.
        Robb

        Reply
      • Robert Fickman

        September 7, 2015 at 7:37 pm

        I am gonna have to disagree with some of your points. Contrary to your assertion, the news media has not “waged war on law enforcement”. The media has for years had a love affair with the cops. Recently, the media has reported on the videotaped shootings of minorities. That’s not a media war, that’s reporting. We should be careful not to blame the messenger.

        Cops have shot and killed members of the minority community for years. Not all these shootings are justified. But what has happened to these cops?
        Generally Nothing. They get no-billed. Harris County is a safe haven for bad cops and they know it. The DAO is complicit in that it has allowed bad cops to walk away time after time without repercussions.

        The minority community is rightfully outraged. These protests have come only after years of Longstanding Unchecked police abuse.

        The immediate catalyst of the recent protests are the videos that civilians have taken capturing the extraordinary police abuse. A cop shoots a man in the back EIGHT TIMES and then puts a “throw down” on the man. How should the community react? The community should protest. The protest should go on until the police stop their abusive behavior.

        I disagree with your wildly inaccurate description of the Black Lives Matter Movement. I have seen many participants in the movement interviewed and not once have I heard one person call for violence. To the contrary, I have heard voices calling for non-violent protest and I support the non-violent protests.That some idiots made some crazy statements is irrelevant to the validity of the protests and movement.

        The Police Code of Silence may or may not be getting worse. But one cannot blame those who lawfully protest police abuse for an increase in cops lying. The Code of Silence is the cop’s creation and they alone are responsible for its societal repercussions.

        You say ” The real crime in this is not in the murders or beatings of people but in the prosecution of people for everyday crimes.” I am gonna disagree. Of course Police murders and beatings of people are “real crimes.”

        The cops willingness to lie in reports and on the witness stand reflects the cop’s ” ends justify the means” philosophy. A cops willingness to commit a crime to prosecute a crime reflects poorly on that cop and his lack of integrity.

        I Agree that bad cops find allies in bad prosecutors.
        That’s a whole different story.

        Robb

        Reply

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