from both sides. Since I've been called, in the past, a hater of cops for posting such, and too easy on cops by others, I'm going to throw this in:
As I've said before, I won't call all cops bad guys because I've known too many good ones to tolerate that. I will call a lot of otherwise good cops a problem because they won't generally do anything- other than trying not to work with them- about the bad ones, and that itself is a big problem.
US policing took a real wrong turn when it began emphasizing 'law enforcement officer' instead of 'peace officer', and that's where a lot of the crap began. Then, over time, throw in the 'street warrior' crap that some trainers use, and it gets worse. In large part because it seems a lot of it emphasizes "Shoot fast, because you may not get another chance", which winds up with innocent people dead(that incident in the Wal-Mart a couple of years ago is a fine example).
Then the department lawyers up, in far too many cases because, in essence, "Whatever he did, we cannot publicly admit any wrong." Throw in police unions who, even when there's video of an officer acting truly horribly, will make excuses. Which, taken together, causes a lot of people to decide "The cops don't give a crap about us, why should I give a damn about them?"
Put together, it really messes things up, especially for the cops who are NOT abusive, or uncaring, or badly trained. People who know them think they're great, but "All those others, guy, they suck."
Answers? Personally I think getting rid of qualified immunity would help a lot; if the bad ones, and iffy ones, knew that pulling the crap they get away with now would mean paying damages out of their own pockets, I think a lot of it would stop real quick. Department brass who care more about the profession and the people they serve than about 'image', and get rid of the bad ones as fast as possible. Cops need to know that when they're in the right, their brass will be right behind them all the way; when they're in the wrong, they'll answer for it.
Clean up the SWAT bullshit. It's a very valuable tool when used correctly, but that means
Do NOT use it unless it's actually needed.
Unless something actually requires the violence and hazard of a kick-in-the-doors raid, DO NOT DO THAT.
Your team raids the wrong address? Didn't make sure, as much as humanly possible, that person actually lives there? That needs to be punished harshly.
Add in, as demonstrated by the Portland and Seattle bullshit, that the cops are not used as enforcers by politicians. That shit is going to come back on them really badly, and I'll bet they whine and moan a lot when it does.
Ok, I'm done on this for now. I shall now see if I can get my sinuses to stop acting like someone's sneaking quick-set epoxy in there.