BANG!BANG!BANG!…Now, I have a question
SAN DIEGO–Officer Tom Sanders has seen a lot of changes in his 32 years with the San Diego Police Department. These days, instead of writing tickets, he has a wireless tablet that sends citations directly to a person’s email address. Instead of morning roll call, his squad leader sends assignments by text message, or sometimes via Skype. But the biggest change Sanders has faced is the way he is expected to deal with the public.
“I’m an old school guy,” Sanders says, “When I came up, Lethal Weapon was still big. So was Dirty Harry. Those are the guys that showed my generation how to be cops. Now it’s all about peoples’ rights and hippie dippie bullshit.”
Sanders says the police officers from his generation were taught to shoot first and ask questions later, a policy that has landed him in hot water in recent years.
“Guys get into this profession with the intention of shooting perps,” Sanders says, “That’s what little boys dream of. When you were a kid and were playing cowboys and Indians, you always wanted to be the cowboy. The only ones who wanted to be the Indian are the guys who grew up to be thieves and rapists. The good kids wanted to shoot the Indians. And now the liberals are trying to take that away from us.”
Sanders’ critics have accused him of violating the civil rights of the suspects he has arrested over his career. SDPD records show that in nearly 98% of the arrests Sanders has made, the suspect has been shot at least one time. The majority of the suspects claim their gunshot wounds occurred before Sanders even questioned them.
“Nobody expects Officer Sanders to perform his duties unarmed,” says Jan Clayborn, a spokesman for the ACLU, “But when you have a policeman who shoots nearly everyone he encounters, it may be time to at least look into departmental policy. No one is suggesting we make shooting people a last resort-type measure, but I don’t see the harm in at least asking a couple of questions before opening fire.”
The old guard at the SDPD have been reluctant to address the issue, but Sanders seems resigned to the fact that more changes are coming. But that doesn’t mean he has to like it.
“I’m like an NFL defensive player,” he says, “I’ve been trained my whole life to take the head off the ball carrier. Now, out of fucking nowhere, the pansy-ass liberal media has manufactured stories about brain injuries to the point that the league has outlawed blows to the head. Are you fucking kidding me? My job is to take off your head. How am I supposed to take off your head if it’s illegal to hit you in the head? You see what I mean? It’s ridiculous. No wonder Junior Seau killed himself.”