Wow, the cop love is overwhelming. I hope you haters never have the need for an officer if your identity gets stolen, your house get burglarized, your car gets stolen, you get assaulted, etc.
Are there jerks in law enforcement? Absolutely, just like there are in ALL walks of life. I work with some folks that I cant' stand, not because they are crooked, but because they are lazy. Personally, I don't know any crooked cops.
In some parts of the country the pay for cops is so incredibly bad (New Orleans) comes to mind, that the only people really drawn to law enforcement as a career are bullies. That was one of the reasons for the professionalization movement, and the push for higher wages 20 years ago. It was to draw people who might otherwise work in the private sector to police work. It worked, but there is obviously a long way to go. Something as ingrained as police culture takes a long time to overcome. Something else, I've noticed that we have a lot of combat vets moving into law enforcement. I work with one who's a great young cop, but overall I'm afraid it's not always the best fit.
The difference between today and 20 years ago is that these days everybody has a video camera in their hand. Don't forget that video can be edited and manipulated to make anybody look bad, just look at the ACORN and Shirley Sherrod videos that turned out to be totally bogus. But there are also many examples that cannot be defended, and officers often do get charged and fired. Good riddance, the profession does not need people like that.
When the police have been called to something in-progress, it means that things have escalated to a point that the caller can't handle it. The police arrive, and are immediately expected to take control of the situation. Sometimes this requires ordering people to do something that they don't want to do, like shut up and sit down, or drop a potential weapon. Then the cops are expected to interview people who are in the midst of a really bad day, and try to determine what happened. It's a very tough job that most people are not prepared, either physically, mentally or emotionally to handle.
If at some point, a cop yelled at you and your feelings got hurt, that's your problem, but voicing understanding for the wanton execution of two men who were doing nothing more than eating their lunch in uniform is insane.
One last thought: one of the reasons cops ask you where you're going and where you are coming from is because they suspect you might be up to something criminal. I regularly stop suspicious looking people who are out walking in the early morning hours (midnight to 4am). A surprising number have outstanding warrants, or have been recently involved in criminal activity. Sorry for doing what I get paid for! If you're driving, and an officer suspects that you might have been drinking, they'll ask these questions in an effort to engage you in conversation to see if you exhibit any signs of intoxication. It's not a violation of your rights for me to ask these questions. Check points...that's another matter. They've been ruled unconstitutional in Washington State.