Should officers be able to listen to music while on duty?

Turn it off

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This isn't going to be an incredibly detailed post. But according to dash cam footage, Patrolman First Class Michael T. Slager was listening to Everlast's 1998 hit single "What It's Like" when he pulled over Walter Scott. As you know, Slager ultimately shot Scott in the back, and the officer is now facing a murder charge — a charge which I think will ultimately be dropped to manslaughter thanks to ace local attorney Andy Savage.

Now, I wasn't taken aback by the lyrics to the song — specifically a line in which the one-time House of Pain leader mentions a "chrome 45" — because, one, I've heard the song a million time and, two, I don't believe in magic. Coincidences happen. The universe doesn't provide foreshadowing. Your life isn't a big-budget Hollywood movie.

What bothers me is that Slager was listening to music in the first place. I mean, I've worked jobs where music was strictly forbidden — in one case it was on a construction site, another a tiny cubicle pulling staplers out of paper.  I don't know about you, but it seems to me that police work should be one of those jobs.

Look, I like to rock out in my car. I can sing "Uptown Funk" with the best of them. But I don't want those who are supposed to protecting me doing anything other than being on the lookout for trouble. Just saying.


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