…those who abuse the power with which they are entrusted come to see it as their own power, not power that is delegated, and supposed to be used fairly.
This nails it.
Public employees, and especially cops, seem to not understand that the powers they have over us have been delegated by us, and have specific purposes and limits. They do not reside in the persons of the public employees themselves, but are tools loaned to them for a time, to be used only in strict accordance with the reasons they have been delegated.
But public employees seem to inevitably come to believe that their powers are grounded in their own personal selves by virtue of their status, or the nature of their jobs.
And this system is self-reinforcing. Taxpayers are forced to fund police unions, say, which possess the same mindset and defend it viciously, so that citizens are paying for the establishment of countless individual petty tyrants who believe in their own exceptionalism as being all that is necessary for them to exercise their powers, even of deadly force, whenever they feel like it.
This will not change until public servants understand that they are servants, not masters, and end up in jail and bankrupt whenver they abuse the powers we have delegated to them.
There is nothing more special about the life of a cop than there is about any American. And we need to stop acting as if that is the case.