On Society's Moral Obligations to Police Officers

A Goldblog reader writes in reference to my post on white police officers:

I have been very dismayed to see so much commentary revolve around the public's 'right' to basically scream at and demean police officers at will. ... The idea that police officers should expect to be excoriated by the general public on a daily basis without cause is fairly repugnant.  Yes, it is technically legal to yell and hurl insults at the police, but why would anyone want to champion this as if it was some sacred right?  Why shouldn't the default position be that police officers are deserving of respect and that the public, even if it can legally treat police officers in an abusive manner, shouldn't do it because it's wrong?  There is a big difference between "I can" and "I should" that our society seems to be forgetting.
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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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