Whenever I badmouth the police, this inevitable argument always surfaces: "How can you hate the police when you are in the military? It's like the same thing." Their intention is to get me flustered, but it never does because I know one thing: the Armed Forces cannot be compared to domestic LEOs. We are very different...
This train of though led to an epiphany. Those who are the law cannot be expected to follow the law. Think about it: if a police officer pulls you over for going 56 in a 55, then they speed limit is clearly 55. If he or she doesn't pull you over until you are going 65, then the speed limit is 64. When a government official like a DA or a police officer chooses to enforce a law, it then becomes a law. Before that, the "law" is just empty words. I know, it's hard to wrap your head around unless you're a lawyer (if a lawyer hadn't spent 75 minutes explaining it to me in class, I might not get it either).
I think, therefore, that this is the reason why cops get special legal treatment such as lighter sentences, dropped charges, or no filed charges at all for serious crimes that a mere peasant would be crucified for. See the "Only Ones Files" for a long, long list of proof, thanks to David Codrea.
So, after all this, I can definitively say that LEOs and Service members are extremely different because of the following: the UCMJ. The Uniform Code of Military Justice is a law code for active duty members of the Armed Forces. It does not replace, but merely adds to the current body of law in the United States. It is quite strict, and really restricts military members from doing a lot of things a regular civilian might enjoy. If a soldier, sailor, or marine is found guilty of something in a military court under the UCMJ, they are still liable for it under common law in a civilian court as well. This doesn't prevent service members from doing bad things, but they sure as Hell don't get special treatment. Generals go to courts martial the same as privates do. This is what is missing from the Law Enforcement Community. There should be a separate set of laws that LEOs are responsible to in addition to those imposed upon "civilians," as they like to call the rest of us. If we're "civilians" then they should have no problem adopting a different, more strict set of laws for their higher level of citizen. Doesn't it seem unusual that the laws they have to enforce are the ones they are liable under? It's a broken system that invites abuse, waste, and dishonesty.
I believe that a federal code that applies only to law enforcement officers is necessary and LONG overdue. Some might say that the federal government has no business getting involved with local LEOs, but then when you ask them about the "Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act" they can't say enough good things about it. I don't understand why this law exists when the Supreme Court held that LEOs do not have a duty to protect the public in any way, but that's not the discussion here. We need a code of law for LEOs that cannot be influenced by the LEOs themselves, or the system will continue to fall apart more and more until the police state becomes even more the norm than it already is.