Gazing Into Police Culture Through Cop T-Shirts

Cop t-shirts: For when merely acting like an abusive asshole doesn’t send a strong enough message. Via the Huffington Post, Radley Balko runs down a litany of disturbing examples of custom t-shirts enjoyed by cops which hint at a problematic dynamic in law enforcement culture:

Earlier this week, an anonymous public defender sent Gothamist a photo of an NYPD warrant squad officer wearing a t-shirt with a pretty disturbing quote from Ernest Hemingway [below]. There have been a number of other incidents over the years in which cops have donned t-shirts that reflect a mentality somewhat less lofty than “protect and serve.”

The Village Voice reports that the quote was also printed on t-shirts worn by NYPD’s infamous Street Crimes Unit, which was disbanded after shooting unarmed immigrant Amadou Diallo 41 times in 1999 as Diallo reached for his wallet.

cop t-shirts

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  • InfvoCuernos

    I think the one that says it all to me is ” “Law Enforcement……Helping perps slip down stairs since 1766″ -implying a pride in “policework” prior to the Declaration against tyranny and police abuse. None if this is surprising, now they’re just letting everyone know what to get them for xmas(hint, smells like gas, has a piece of funny t-shirt hanging out of it).

  • Anarchy Pony

    When all you’ve got is a hammer; every problem looks like a nail.

    • emperorreagan

      It’s a shame, too, because the socket wrenches are only 2 aisles over.

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