Radley Balko has an interesting story about a difficult night with some neighbors and some police officers.
My advice to Radley, which he didn’t ask for:
2) Cut the cops a break. From your perspective, the officer shouldn’t have burst into your house with his gun drawn. But try looking at it from his point of view. He probably thought you were really beating your girlfriend. What would you do in that situation as the cop?
(That ought to get you interested in his post.)
UPDATE 11-25-06: Reading this post years later, I have two reactions. First, I should note (as I did at the time) that my comment that Balko should “move” was too flip. As I explained in comments at the time, it was meant to be tongue-in-cheek; it sounded like he was living in a bad place. But, of course, as other people noted, moving is not always an option. Second, while I understand the cop’s thinking that this was a domestic violence situation happening right in front of his eyes, bursting into the house with his gun drawn was probably not the most appropriate tactic.
I can see how going through an experience like that would have a formative effect on one’s outlook, and it certainly seems to have had one on Balko’s.