"Hasty generalization is an informal fallacy of faulty generalization by reaching an inductive generalization based on insufficient evidence—essentially making a hasty conclusion without considering all of the variables. In statistics, it may involve basing broad conclusions regarding the statistics of a survey from a small sample group that fails to sufficiently represent an entire population. Its opposite fallacy is called slothful induction, or denying a reasonable conclusion of an inductive argument (e.g. "it was just a coincidence")." Wiki, April 2015.
Pavlov's dog, and opinion journalists, salivate whenever a bell rings.
Over generalization, or concrete truth? The recent shooting death of an individual by a police officer in South Carolina rings a bell for certain journalists. They are quick to high dudgeon, suggesting that law enforcement is replete with "bad apples" who operate outside any legal framework holding them accountable. We are "them, we're they, above the law." In fact, say the ink-stained wise, it is in the nature of governmental authority to corrupt everyone it ensnares, creating thieves and thugs among officers making $300,000 per year. The accusers offer as proof a dozen examples of misconduct drawn from half a billion contacts per year by nearly a million officers nationwide.
Opening Day, Coors Field, Denver. Officer John Adsit and his son take the mound to deliver the ceremonial first pitch. Officer Adsit's son delivers a perfect strike, doing the honor because Dad is still recovering. He received his injuries on bike patrol, helping safeguard students protesting police practices. The sellout crowd gives the Adsits a standing ovation.
Opening Day, Frontier Stadium, Rochester, NY. The widow of Rochester Police Officer Daryl Pierson walks with an honor guard of officers, her 10 month old in her arms, and watches her eight year old son throw the first pitch. Officer Daryl Pierson died in September 2015 while apprehending a dangerous wanted criminal. The crowd, braving Upstate New York "spring" weather (37 degrees at game time) stood cheering.
The pundits did not mention either crowd, or either officer's sacrifice. A pity. While it would have diluted their point, it would have made another. That for all of our faults, all of the times we fall short, for the few (too many) in our midst who lie, cheat and steal, law enforcement is a noble calling that attracts many of the best America has to offer. But don't take my word for it.