1992 | Metal
“I'm cop killer, it's better you than me. -- Cop killer, fuck police brutality! -- Cop killer, I know your family's grievin' (fuck 'em!) -- Cop killer, but tonight we get even, haha!”
- CLEAT (Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas) called for a boycott of all products by Time Warner to pressure removal of the song and album from stores. Within a week, police organizations across the United States joined the protest.
- Ice-T eventually recalled the album and re-released it without the inclusion of the song, which was given away as a free single.
- Ice-T has also credited the Talking Heads song "Psycho Killer" with partially inspiring the song.
THE HOT TAKES
Alright, so I think it's safe to say we're dealing with someone who hates cops. It's funny to see police department reactions to this sort of thing. After all, we are told, the police are just out there to protect and serve us! They work for us! Without them, we would all be helpless to defend ourselves against drug dealers, school shooters, homemade bombs, homeless people, and all the other things in the world that we might find distasteful. When in fact, the police are little more than junior high hall monitors who have been given the authority to kill as they deem fit. "Do you know why I pulled you over?" Fuck off.
I remember when this song came out in 1992. I was a sophomore in high school, and it was a year after the Rodney King beating, and police acquittal that sparked the LA riots, so tensions were super high. I remember how shocked I was. I had never seen that kind of police violence before. After talking with my mom, I felt much better because we came to the conclusion that if he hadn’t led them on a high speed chase and had just complied, he wouldn’t have gotten hurt. Funny how my mom had been a battered woman, and we never even considered how we were making the same excuses that my dad had made for his behaviour. It took many years before I realized just how common police brutality is. Minorities had been trying to tell us for years what was happening, but it was just so hard to believe until the problem got so bad that white America can’t deny it anymore. We have to keep chipping away at the nail in the coffin for special police protections. They are the standing army that Madison warned us about.
This song says so much. Most notable should be evidenced in how difficult it is to find. The song was removed from pressings of the album and none of the digital carriers have it on there. It’s weird that police need protection from a song but apparently. I will admit the song is graphic and clearly comes from a place of anger but it’s fiction. What I find most revolting is that after twenty plus years our culture has not addressed the issues that cause this resentment to blossom. I’m not here to make a plea for the case of Black Lives Matter I’d much rather see all people white, black or otherwise have fewer interactions with the violent thugs in charge of drumming up tribute for the leaders of their little fiefdoms. I have law enforcement in my family and while I hope nothing ever happens to them, I hope they realize how at odds with justice the police are in America.