Friday, March 19, 2004

The blue wall of silence

The Police-rape allegations matter because of what they reveal about police culture at the time: an in-group / out-group mentality, a willingness to club together, even lie, to protect members of the group, and active persecution of those who investigate their fellows. Americans call this "the blue wall of silence".

Police spokespeople have stressed that that culture no longer exists in the police, and that "things have changed". Yes, and no. What has changed is the willingness of the police heirarchy to tolerate it; unfortunately some police officers don't seem to be getting the message.