I doubt the old elementary school lesson, "the policeman is your friend," was ever true, but it certainly isn't nowadays.
Daniel Chong was the classic innocent by-stander swept up in a drug raid. The DEA put him on ice to soften him up for interrogation. They kept him locked in a holding cell without food or water for five days. He was reduced to drinking his own urine and tried to commit suicide. It was working, he would have signed any confession placed before him. The only thing keeping this from being a righteous bust was some bleeding heart custodian who listened to Daniel's desperate pleads and reported it. No one involved was punished and the DEA has not apologized.
Two Extra Years, and Counting
Daniel Larsen (never name a kid "Daniel," cops hate that name) was sent to prison for 27 years for a crime he never committed. A decade later, in 2010, a federal judge overturned his conviction and ordered Daniel set free. But the California Department of Corrections strongly believes in maintaining a balanced prison population of both the guilty and innocent. They have steadfastly ignored the judge's order and refused to release him.
In Arkansas, Chavis Carter was under arrest for pot possession in the back seat of a patrol car, his hands cuffed behind his back. The cops content that Chavis then committed suicide by shooting himself in the right temple. The official story is the police missed a gun in his possession after searching him twice. Police claim that Chavis then managed to contort himself in a way worthy of Cirque de Soleil and killed himself over a simple pot bust. The other option is that a white cop decided to murder himself some black kid because you can get away with that kind of shit in Jonesboro, Arkansas.
In Mesquite, Texas a cop was involved in fender bender accident. The officer leapt from his patrol car and emptied his gun into the driver of the other car. The officer then reloaded and continued firing. All totaled the officer put 41 bullets into the unarmed driver. After discovering a witness had filmed the shooting the police confiscated the camera and deleted the footage.
Also in Texas, police shot and killed a crippled man in a wheelchair for the crime of waving a ballpoint pen in a threatening manner. White cop, black victim. Just saying.
In White Plains, New York police responding to a medical emergency broke down the door, tasered the 68 year-old resident and because that wasn't enough fun, the police then shot him dead. A subsequent police report called the shooting "totally justified" but did recommend police start propaganda partnerships with local media to explain away any future police killings of elderly men.
While American police officers may rank better than crazed psychopaths and Colombian drug cartels on the list of people you never want to meet, they are not much better. Stay safe.