It all seemed perfectly natural to me. Including that my mother was not happy I’d walked off but at the same time happy I was home. At the time I lived in the bubble where all policemen are good. They are selected by a magical process that sees the goodness in their heart and knows they will do the right thing with a little boy wandering around aimlessly.
No one tells you when the bubble is gone. You look in the rear view mirror one day and you wonder which kind of officer that is. You realize the badge tells you nothing about the person. Where you are and what you are doing there have much more to do with how things will go than any uniform.
“Good” and “bad” are completely independent of “police officer”, “American” , “clean”, “White”, “Christian”, “educated”. Statistically, you can say a lot about a group of people and be accurate. Most cops are good. Education leads to a healthier society. Americans are leaders in many fields. Christians have contributed to a better world. But individually, that means nothing. There are more than a few clean, white, educated, Christian American police officers in jail.
You can replace any one of those words with anything you like and it changes nothing about this post. Substitute “police officer” with “protestor”, “Christian” with “Muslim”, “white” with “yellow”. None of that tells you anything about good and bad. Comments from Rudy Giuliani, George Pataki and Bill Bratton show an intense misunderstanding of this.