What is a "police officer?"
A "police officer" is an individual hired by the government, and whose purpose is to enforce government mandates through the use of coercive force.
- An individual Police officers are humans and individuals like you and me capable of making rational (and irrational) decisions.
- hired by the government Police officers are government employees. They perform actions for the government in exchange for various forms of compensation. They are employees much in the same way a McDonalds worker or a mafia goon are employees.
- whose purpose is to enforce mandates The job-description of a police officer is to enforce government mandates. Whether that is clearing out protests who don't have a permit, drug busts, shutting down businesses that haven't been granted permits, or assaulting and caging people who don't wish to be servant to government mandates.
- with the use of coercive force Every fine, regulation, law, tax, and 99% of other government actions requires the use of coercive force. Take for example a business license requirement. If an individual operates without this specialized permission of the government, the government will respond by issuing larger fees and court summons. If one does not cooperate, they will send enforcers to cage this individual or seize the property without the owner's permission. If the individual acts in moderate self defense, he will be "charged with resisting arrest" and "assaulting a police officer" and be subjected to further punishment and extortion. If an individual acts in pure self-defense, he will be outnumbered and shot. Police officers are the tool government uses in order to enforce everything previously mentioned.
That which is said, and that which is reality are two very different things. Euphemisms about police officers are quite common, proclaiming the virtues of police "to protect and serve" when reality demonstrates police are not obligated to to protect and serve individuals. If one looks past what is said, it is quite easy to recognize that protect and serve government interests. Whether one chooses to see reality for what it is, or place their faith in hollow words is for the individual to decide.