On Society's Moral Obligations to Police Officers

By Jeffrey Goldberg

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.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2009/08/on-societys-moral-obligations-to-police-officers/22586/