Police, in the Real World

For years I worked as police reporter for the Washington Times, spending long hours in squad cars in various cities getting to know cops well. Now I listen to nice white people in the suburbs, and self-assured voices from NPR, talking about the police. They know nothing of the world where the police work. They do not know the bad sections at three a.m., the yawning dark alleys and lightless facades of buildings, the boredom, and the radio, the soul of a squad car, the laconic chat of the net. Slow night.

Not all are slow. I rode one night with the Arlington force, the Virginia countyjust outside of Washington. The call came, “Man down, gunshots reported.” Dark residential street, tree-lined, too late for the suburban houses to have lights. The guy, maybe Hispanic or Asian, was on his back, breathing but not moving. The bullet had cut a furrow in the top of his head, brains swelling out like pink vaginal lips. We listened to the stertorous breathing. There was nothing to do. The ambulance cane  and the parameds worked on the guy. There was no point in it, but it is what they are paid to do.

You see things you don’t want to see. On a foot beat , in the Shaw district of DC, late, streets empty, we found a blonde woman, maybe thirty, crawling on the sidewalk, drunk, bottle of whisky clutched in one hand. Late stage alcoholism. Seeing a cop, she crawled toward an alley, hugging her bottle. She had wet her pants.

We walked on. The cop wasn’t heartless, but it was Saturday night, the jails and shelters would be full, and there is nowhere that wants a terminal alky. What was her story? Bad marriage? Lost her job? Everybody has a story.

From the Virginia side of Key Bridge across the Potomac, a bike path runs through grass past the Pentagon to the Washington Sailing Marina.   Someone had reported a foul smell. I and three cops went to investigate. Following the smell, we found a dead guy in a clump of bushes. Judging by the pistol next to him, he had offed himself. A dead guy after several days in the August sun is not attractive, skull white where not covered by black gunch, remnants of face sliding off.

Cops see this stuff. You can’t let it get to you so you do the macho thing. So do female cops. This time someone  said, “Maybe mouth-to-mouth would save him.” There was grossed-out laughter. It wasn’t contempt. Nobody thought the dead guy was funny. But you can’t let it get to you. It turned out later that he had a hard breakup with his girl friend.

You probably don’t know what “immersion cuffs” are. If you hold a little girl’s hands in boiling water,  the submerged part puffs up pink, like cuffs. That there is a name for this suggests that it is not isolated. Cops know about these things. They see them. It is why they grind their teeth atnight and have a high divorce rate. One cop told me that he had turned down a job on the child-abuse unit because he would kill somebody. Abuse by police can have its appeal.

A Maryland cop once invited me to his home and was showing me photos of things he had seen on the job. One was of a human face that had been completely skinned with an Xacto knife. See? It’s not a job. It’s an adventure.

In the sprawling crazy nights in the big cities, a camaraderie  unites the three street trades, police, fire, and ambulance. If the crews do not know each other personally, which they often do, there is a unity that comes of sharing a world that nobody else knows. You likely have never tried to intubate a man copiously spewing blood from his mouth after going through a windshield, crushing his chest. You might think something wrong with people who can stand around such a scene talking about are you going to Jack’s barbecue Saturday. You can’t let it get to you.

Things can be amusing in a screwy way. Ages ago, when Reagan emptied the asylums onto the streets, one of these mandated escapees was a woman who entered office buildings and turned off lights, announcing herself as being with the Trash Police, who don’t exist. Finally, the police told me, she decided to help the telephone company by putting on a pair of pole-climbers in one of their trucks and began trying to climb a pole. This allowed the cops to invoke “danger to herself or others” and take her off the street.

The racial element is always there with police because almost all the crime is perpetrated by blacks. At NPR, saying this would elicit cries of racism.  NPR does not live in the real world. Cops do.  For them, the racial makeup of crime is a matter of daily observation. Blacks dislike cops and cops come not to like blacks. The black world deep in the big cities is another country, another civilization, and imiscible with the outlying white culture. Black cops know this as well as white cops know it.

Sometimes you can just about lose all belief in human decency. The small black girl found in a dumpster, wrapped in garbage bags, something like thirty pounds underweight for her age. She had rope burns on her wrists, some fresh and open wounds, other just scars. It turned out that she had been kept always in a closet and barely fed. She died, it was concluded, because to muffle her cries her parents had put her in a hooded jacket backwards and she had suffocated.

Think what you will of cops. They are not perfect. But they are out there, day and night, amid the blood and snot and cum, the screaming freshly raped girls and the desperate old women dying amid their vodka bottles and the insane and miserable.  Try it, and then judge.


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Comments 41

  • Combat…

  • Morning, Fred – I’m a Canadian who has been reading your columns for about 20 years, and when I started, I thought your were a far-right whacko. A couple of years after that, I started to subscribe to several American sources – NYT, Washington Post, Politico, and a few others that gave me a broader insight into the US, people, politics, society, etc. As I read them, I came to revise my judgment, and (for probably the last 10 years), you have moved somewhat into the moderate center (or, could it be me, passing you on my way to the right?).
    As it now stands, I find I am unable to argue with the vast majority of your newsletters. And, for your contribution to my understanding, I want to thank you. Today’s article on “Police in the
    Real World”, is NOT extreme – rather, it is honest, and should be required reading in all K-12 schools. I know, however, that that is politically “incorrect”, and impossible.
    Again, thanks. And my gratitude. Keep them coming.

    • Fred has never been an extremist. maybe a time or two in his stories about his Uncle Hant, but that would be about it. Reality, at times, is simply too much to handle. Alas, the chaos is going to increase. Fred has actually been quite moderate, and many are going to see that as time goes on.

  • What amazes me, and has for some time, is why it is, that given this stinking underseam of Hell that permeates all American cities, why does no one ask “why? what is causing this, what do we have to do to stop it”. there seems to be no more than a weary shrug, a sort of religious acceptance, along the lines of “God must have meant it”. I feel no interest in their God, nor do I just accept. There has to be an answer – the systems need changing, the Dominant Paradigm ditched for something else.
    But how to do that, darned if I know.

  • I’m a writer. I did the ride-alongs, saw some hard stuff you cite. Couple observations. “You can’t let it get to you.” But it does. And it hurts. Damages you inside, though you deny it. It can ruin you, make you psycho. Rabid, shoot-to-kill-in-case, or to get even, is never–repeat: NEVER–justified. If you’re Section 8, get out, get treated.

    Most street crime may be black, I don’t know. Wouldn’t be a surprise. Whitey has big time crime all locked up for himself and ghetto blacks know it so they go for what’s doable and leave the billions in theft for Citibank and General Dynamics.

  • Even if every American had a front-row seat to this chaos, Fred, most of them would still see no distinction between civilized people and murderers, thieves, degenerates, and perverts. Without the ability to see distinctions and without the ability to make inferences, it will only get worse.

    Long ago, grammar and composition were taught to children, to train them to perceive the essential distinctions between what they sense, think, and express. Without this language training, Americans perceive everything through a jumble of emotions, rages, dominant social mores, and a smattering of poor logic. The average American has descended into a poverty of the mind that is far worse than economic poverty. The chaos on the streets of Washington DC reflects this. What’s truly sad is the chaos in most American’s minds.

  • I, too, was in the news biz. Didn’t do ride alongs, but did the quick response in Atlanta in the early ’70’s. It will get to you. If it doesn’t, or if you get enured to it, it’s time to get out. Which I did. Typical NPR listeners are not just clueless, but proudly so. Their hubris denies the reality they refuse to acknowledge, much less accept.

    The tragedy is in the cops who for whatever reason can’t (or won’t) leave the marxist hellholes ruined by the “progressives” in blue cities. Let the “social workers” respond to the police calls. They can burn for all I care.

  • You hit it right on the nail but as a retired dep sheriff in la county I wish I hadn’t read it. A lot of us have a mental box where we stuff all the horrific things we have seen and had to deal with . Unfortunately articles like these force open the lid. Why do we read these? I guess to se if the writer is righteous and not just blowing smoke

  • […] Police, in the Real World, by Fred Reed […]

  • Thanks, Fred. Yet again, you have focused our attention on reality – like it or not, it’s the only game in town.

    In facts we trust.

  • Immersion cuffs. That hit me hard. Child abuse unit? No words I have.

    • All too often they turn the kids over to CPS, which also abuses kids. I rescued two of my grandkids from the criminal CPS in Georgia, and almost 20 years later, they still haven’t recovered.

  • Fred, been reading your stuff for many years. Very rarely do I find anything I disagree with. I do notice that you rarely, if ever, offer your own solution to the various problems you point out.
    I appreciate your personality and your thinking.

  • The one area that’s a bit related to this piece, is re Israel and the scum that surrounds Israel. Which way would the cops think ”better?” When the Iranians hang gays from cranes (supposedly a much worse way to die than ”regular” hanging), or the Palestinians throw gays into the concrete from the top of buildings? (No, I’m not gay.) When hamas decapitates babies or fries them in ovens, on October 7? When they mass-rape young women, then kill them? There are soooooo many scumbags in the world, and soooooooo many of them deserve to die.

    • You’re just buying it all, aren’t you? Don’t forget, Saddam’s boys dumped out all those Kuwaiti incubators, too.


    • You haven’t caught up that the Oct 7th “stories” you cite are pure BS? Or you know that already but BS commenting pays the bills?
      Full marks to Fred for writing it as it is. And may you cnt liars sucking of the side like parasites suffocate like you deserve.

    • Turn off your TV. It’s lying to you.

    • Wow! It is frightening to think you actually believe those lies about Hamas attack. I’m no particular friend of the Palestinians but will support them anytime over those Sons of Satan, the Zionists

    • Then you’re a sucker. They’re largely a bunch of white guys patrolling black neighborhoods. No reason at all to feel sorry for them. They’re there for the action.

  • Cops are a reflection of the society they exist in. Ours is terminally ill.

  • Like they told Super Chicken, you knew the job was dangerous when you took it.

  • Fred:

    Going on police rides is just like masturbation; they both can make you go blind. And both of them can be cured to some degree by finding a place where there are agreeable women. Now what sort of guy would test to see if you read the comments… maybe someone who just got out of Austin and arrived in Greenbelt?

  • I would say most police are not after people because they are black, but because they are not-blue.

  • Just as an aside – Proof the USA is not the only country electing clowns to office


  • Thank you, Fred. I think if Hemingway were alive, he’d be a regular reader.

  • Great piece, the greater point of which is “You don’t know what you don’t know.” During my last year in the military (long, long ago) I took a nighttime job driving a taxi near downtown San Diego (I was newly married and on military pay we were barely surviving.) That job exposed me to a side of humanity I never knew existed. I saw how very generous and also how very badly behaved people can be. I also learned that despite what most people think, the only guys making any money driving a taxi had a side hustle, like running illegals up to Riverside at $100 a load, hoping to get by the Border Patrol checkpoint. There were drivers that used to wait for those kinds of fares in the downtown area, and took no others.

  • Fred, go spend some time in Massachusetts. Especially Boston, but other elitist towns of which there are many. I was not a native but lived in a very elitist town for 20 years. ALL state and local government is based on nepotism. Primarily Irish nepotism with some spots of Italian nepotism which is slowly dying. The Massachusetts State Police are probably the most arrogant anywhere in America. And corrupt as Hell. My town had corrupt police. Everything depended on who you knew. If you were an outsider you were not on the “inside”. To give you all a more complete picture, law enforcement in Massachusetts is VERY selective and the outcome very determined ahead of time. Being Irish automatically buys you a lot. Cops are selfless angels everywhere. In some places they are evil. And the problem. Wake up Fred.

  • Opps: I mean: “Cops are NOT selfless angels everywhere.”

  • But, but, but, I thought manboons was the top of the foodchain?
    Why would glorious workers utopia comrades do these heinous things?
    Maybe one more law or regulation could make the Shangri-LA?

  • I did over 30 years as a Peace Officer in SoCal. The truest comment I have seen from above is that police agencies draw from society and Amerikan society is going to hell. No one held a gun at my back and told me I had to wear a badge. I made the choice, took the risks, the heartaches, the rewards for a job well done. And yes, I took a pension which I paid into including a medical trust fund which has kept me and my disabled wife with a roof over our heads.
    FWIW, we used to be called Peace Officers. I was instructed by the Sheriff of my agency when I started in 1972 that my mission was to prevent violations of law and preserve the public peace, not arrest people. California Penal Code section 4 backed up that policy. It all changed in the 1980’s with the contrived and mendacious “War on Drugs” and training philosophies which focused on “US vs. THEM” rather than being a public servant. The asset forfeiture scam allowed DA’s, Sheriffs, and city and county officials to line their pockets with drug-dealer money and fund their pet programs which insured their continued re-election. The rest is history.
    As far as these Red-diaper-doper babies who run city governments in their Blue Hives, you get what you pay for. In the current social and cultural environment of this corrupt, syphilitic-thinking country; what educated and motivated human would want to be a street cop or a jailer? And as the situation deteriorates further, O’Biden and his minions will offer citizenship and employment to the current crop of invaders surging over the southern border. Today’s beat cops, even here in North ID, are not held in very high esteem due to their contacts with a lot of the public. That has been documented. IMHO there is really no way out of the current situation. One must stay vigilant and avoid contact with LEOS, local political hacks, and other remoras of the body politic. Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst. Bleib ubrig.

    • The American Republic is over. People just don’t know it yet. 35%-40% of America is idiotic. They stopped thinking for themselves and believe what others tell them to believe. They are mentally ill. It started in the 60s when the left enabled black Marxism. Then the 70s with female Marxism. The more “disadvantaged” got the more they dug in to their ideology. America is hopelessly divided along numerous cultural fault lines. The Marxist brought in the Trans fault line under Biden. These 35% – 40% have intense hatred of the rest of the country. Can’t put Humpty Dumpty back together at this point. America is too far gone. I hope both sides will eventually peacefully to separate into their own governing country. The two sides will never come together or get along. The next few decades for America are going to be very dangerous.

  • About “when Reagan emptied the asylums”: Reagan was opposed, but “It had broad bi-partisan support, so Reagan signed it.” John Ringo describes it well:


  • Thanks Fred. Your periodic advice of the evil that abounds around us is well taken. Evil once again is becoming popular on the international front. After saving the world twice in the past hundred plus years, America is broke more ways than just dollars. Is there anyone to save the world this time? The future doesn’t look good for the good guys.


    • The level of scorn and hatred against everything white and male is the highest it’s ever been. Every government agency, every cultural institution including education, media, big tech, corporate culture, finance culture, sports, is openly hateful to all white males. It’s all going to get crazy worse.

  • Heya Fred, long time reader, I just looked you up on Twitter and it seems there is an account of yours there?
    However the website is listed as .net not .org so it goes to some travel site.

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