Moreso, it is their function to use violence to get what they want. I for one, do not respect it. For instance, the Seattle police recently beat a 14 year old girl, and sent an innocent man into a permanent coma in 2 seperate incidents.
At risk of going even further off-topic, but in defense of the Seattle Police Department, both the incidents mentioned in fact involved only King County Sheriff personnel. My dealing with SPD, on and off the water, have been uniformly positive; the sheriff's department, on the other hand, has some serious systemic problems which has lead to a large number of deplorable incidents in recent years. I recommend reading the Seattle PI's "Conduct Unbecoming" series if you happen to be local to the Puget Sound region.
Originally Posted by sailormom
My experience with law enforcement and others has been that your attitude determines the treatment you receive in return. If you're respectful and cooperative, you'll usually be treated with respect. If you are uncooperative and let them know what you think of them, and argue about their right to do whatever they're doing, they'll be curt and more insistent. If you use force to resist them, they'll swarm you, wrestle you to the ground and handcuff you behind the back, and take you to jail.
This is absolutely true, and as someone else said, respect and politeness should be the bare minimum in attitude on either
side of the police/citizen interaction. In between all the petty BS they are often mandated to inflict on us, even the jerks among law enforcement do dangerous, important work helping to keep our society safe and well-ordered. They deserve at least a rudimentary level of respect from each of us at the outset. And should anyone get nasty and abusive with them, I think they are justified in forcing compliance.
On the other hand, this isn't really relevant to the topic at hand. They may be nice
to you if you are nice to them, but it doesn't mean that what they are asking is necessarily right or reasonable in a free society.
CD's point is well-taken too. I still sympathize if these attitudes are leaking north across the border, but Canada isn't our little brother... the Canadian government is ultimately responsible in deciding how to run your country and enforce your laws. I know that it's been a habit with some US administrations to lean on Canada to do things the "American" way... but I always cheer a little bit when I see Canada tell them to stick it. Absolutely one of my favorite countries in the world... don't go changing!