My cousin was the top-ranked cop, the Director-General of Police in Kerala. Notwithstanding that fact, in my experience, police and criminals represent the ‘underworld’ side of the society. The only difference is that criminals run rampant, but the police are somewhat accountable to the society. In fact, they are the two sides of the same coin.
It is the duty of every business to stay in the race. To stay relevant to people. To avoid going out of business they will do whatever that needs to be done. From a constable to the Director-General, everyone likes to stay ‘relevant’ to people and what they are supposed to do is ‘serve the people’. In a perfect world where the crime rate is zero, every cop will lose their job. A policeman does not like going out of job.
The government also needs the police. Since we are a democracy, it is pretty routine that there would be clashes for power between members of different political parties. Like, the government drafts a bill. The opposition thinks that it is against their interests. They mobilize people and a ‘strike’ is announced. So, to control the mob in such situations it is necessary to have a proper police force.
Take a real life situation. After a pickpocket is arrested, he is brought before the court; before remanding him into jail. If he has any money with him, the cops are supposed to report that to the court. In practice, a lot of cops take the money and they divide it among themselves. And the judicial officer sitting-in as the magistrate does not even get to know about it. So a pickpocket picks a purse, and later, the cops divide it among themselves. So who is behaving the real pickpocket?
Since the police department is an important face of the government itself, every top-ranked cop would behave in a manner that exemplifies nobility and service. But in reality, it is a criminal organization where some good officers find it really hard to tend the lower-ranked men.
Look at the public. There are a lot of people who have never gone to a police station in their entire lives. Not even once with a petition. It is second nature for them to think of the cops as good people. But in reality, they tend to stand by the criminals; because without criminals there would not be any cops. In some cases, it is only when they feel really accountable that they muster enough resources to crack the criminals.
I feel this is almost a global phenomenon. We have not forgotten the predicament of the tennis player, James Blake during the 2015 US Open. The former US Open quarter-finalist-turned-commentator was waiting for a bus outside his hotel to go to the US Open when he was nabbed, handcuffed, and made to sit on the curb for about 15 minutes by a plainclothes black-cop in New York. His identity was mistaken, and though he was released after about 15 minutes the damage was already done.
As this writer commented on a You Tube channel, this became news only because a celebrity was involved. This is how a cop generally behaves.
See it for yourself. This is how NYPD ‘arrests’ a criminal there in New York.