Kill A Cop For God

This is the title of the new album offered by a Tucson punk band which I will not name to avoid giving them undeserved attention. No kidding, folks. On the cover of the album is an unpublished photograph of Tucson police officer Erik Hite, shot to death in the line of duty just a few months ago, as he lay dying on the sidewalk. Out of respect for the family I absolutely refuse to re-post the image here, though you can also find it on the band’s Myspace page (which I also will not link). Also on the Myspace page is a blog with a list of all five cop killers in Tucson’s history. They hail the murderers as “heroes.”

I’m all for freedom of speech. The First Amendment gives me the right to speak my mind as I see fit–as long as I don’t cross the line. When my speech becomes violence and I’m inciting others to kill, there’s a problem. That sort of thing is illegal. Here in Arizona, it falls under “threatening and intimidation.” Encouraging others to kill cops should be that point where the general public says enough is enough. We did once–when Ice T’s metal-core band Body Count released the song “Cop Killer.” We all know that the idiotic losers in this “band” (whose music is comprised of little more than distorted noise and lyrics you can’t understand unless you have them in front of you) won’t be arrested. They’re trying to make a quick buck off of shock value, and this is the quickest way to do it.

What gets me about punk bands is that they talk a big game about never selling out. This band has a shirt that says (in part) “we’ll hate you because you’ll be something new next year.” But by doing this, they’ve proven themselves to be willing to sell out because it gets press and might sell a few more albums. That’s why I won’t give you the name of the band or link any of their websites. They don’t deserve it.

I’m very careful about condemning anybody. I never tell anyone to go to hell because I don’t believe I have the right. These guys, though, can go to hell and I couldn’t care less. I hope they rot.