Instead of casting police as the public servants they are, we talk about them as heroes and warriors — the people going after the bad guys, the people shooting at criminals. And indeed, for Americans who look like me — white, middle class — the police are understood as a protective force. With the big exception of sexual violence, I generally know that I can call the police if I am the victim of a crime and they will be responsive. Because of the color of my skin, I never worry that the police will interpret my very presence as criminality. The white Americans who venerate the police as our heroes and protectors play an enormous part in this farcical system of pretending the police are heroic, uniquely brave tough guys who take on extraordinary risks; this allows us to justify handing them expansive legal and cultural cover as if they’re the most delicate, special, and vulnerable among us. It should not work this way, that one group has both so much power over others and so very little obligation to them. That one group floats on the myth that they are the warriors for peace and safety — that they put their live on the line so the rest of us can be safe — while in reality the risk is pushed off onto civilians, and there are no consequences when those same officers are active and ongoing threats to peace and safety.