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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Garrett Styles - The Blue PR machine spins up again | #policeculture

From teh Tumblr.

Lives on the line.

Sudden tragedy.

A sobering reminder.

Heroes in blue.

Gave his life in the performance of his duty.

Officers coming from all over to pay tribute to a fallen comrade.

It’s a mythology with a lot of miles on it. You can practically write this shit in your sleep.

Just one question: even if we allow for the sake of argument that this mindless fetishizing of men in uniform is a good thing, how come we don’t see this kind of blanket, wall-to-wall, 24/7 coverage whenever a Canadian soldier gets killed in Afghanistan?


  1. While no one delights in the killing of an officer in the line of duty, I, too, have always been appalled by the fact that each death becomes a public spectacle, and certainly suggests that some lives are more valued than others. It also perpetuates the myth that policing in Canada is especially dangerous, which is certainly not in accordance with statistics.

    Far more dangerous a pursuit is firefighting, but because relatively few die on the job, but years later from diseases caused by long-term exposure to a multitude of toxic substances encountered while fighting fires, the public barely notices.

  2. I remember when a fire fighter died while on the job, the flags were NOT flown at half mast at the police stations that I saw in the Toronto area.

    Before the 24 hour news channels, one could expect a couple of thousand police officers to attend a police funeral. Now, it's in the thousands. This is especially true when the on-air stations broadcast the funerals.

    It is unfortunate that the officer died while on duty. I do think that when the day comes when the media reduce their broadcasting of police funerals, we will see a reduction in the number of funeral attendees.

  3. There's no question that they milk it for as much PR as they can. CP24 alone was running live coverage for hours, with all those cliches on an endless loop.

    I could accuse the cops and tabloids / faux-populist teevee of exploiting the tragedy for political purposes, but that would make me REALLY insensitive.