Synopses of a few recent headlines:
Off duty police officer hits young girl with motorcycle, then in the ensuing fight with the girl’s father, shoots the father dead.
Cops taze and kill 95 yo WWII vet for refusing to put down his weapon: a cane.
Eight cops beat, kill drunken man for not obeying their orders.
Cop shoots, kills, 13 yo boy carrying a BB gun.
Cops taze, shoot, and kill boy with a knife.
Cops throw to the ground and jump on the back of pregnant woman.
Really. These are all actual recent stories, and only a few of them about the cops in the US. Really? Our 6′ 250 lb cops are afraid of old men, pregnant women and little boys with toys. What the hell are they being taught? Who is teaching them? Nazis???
They are reacting like untrained, stupid gorillas. They beat a man who was trying to kill himself. Does the man get help? No, he gets arrested. Eight cops, eight 6′ men in their prime beat and kill a drunken man for not obeying their orders. The guy can’t pronounce his own name, much less make sense of the men attacking him for (to him) no reason whatsoever. The cop that shot the little 13 year old boy who was taking his new BB gun to a friends house. He had a target in his other hand. The cop told the kid to stop and he did. Then he told the kid to drop the “weapon.” The boy, clearly frightened out of his head, and probably not thinking clearly and not thinking his BB gun is the weapon the cop is referring to, does not move. The cop then unloads his handgun on the boy.
I was taught that cops were the good guys. The ones you ran to if you were in trouble. The ones you trusted. The safe men you could turn to. Now the cops are evil, untrusting and untrustworthy vermin. They shoot without thought. They show no restraint when dealing with people slow to respond to their threatening presence. I saw the video of the cops beating the drunken man in California. A crowd gathers and all the onlookers have their phones out, recording the event. None step near the cops. As their victim lays unconscious and dying, they begin to try to confiscate everyone’s phones. I saw the video of two cops dragging a pregnant woman from her car. She is clearly frightened and confused by their aggression and their attack. She hesitates in falling to the ground on her belly. She is pregnant, and undoubtedly her child is her first thought. The cops, misunderstanding her apprehension throw her (all 5’5″ 130 lbs of her) to the ground and jump on her, pressing knees to her spine as they have been taught. They handcuff her and drag her away, all the while she is screaming that she is pregnant.
I am tired of hearing stories like these. It seems like there are two at least every week. I don’t hear anyone discussing the procedures our cops have been trained in. I haven’t heard anyone ponder the reasons behind these numerous and growing incidents of excessive use of force.
When I read that the cops were called to a nursing home I was appalled. What sort of facility calls the cops when their patients become unruly? This 95 yo WWII veteran did not want the medical attention staff wanted for him. He would not agree to take his meds, or to approve a surgery (I don’t recall the exact reason). These are his rights, anyone who has ever worked in health care knows these rights. For the facility to have called the police is unforgivable. For the cops to have participated and (very likely) exacerbated the situation to where the old man brandished his cane at them, they tazed him. His poor old body was too weakened to handle the electrical jolt and he died.
Of course, I don’t know all the details of these events. I don’t know the cops’ sides of the stories. Yet I don’t doubt excessive force was used in each of the cases I mention.
I hope these cops have all been relieved of duty. If not, at least they have been demoted to desk jobs somewhere in a dank basement of a precinct. I hope they are haunted by their actions. I know they are not forgiven by their victims (who survived) and their families. I doubt I could forgive them either. I’m not sure they should be.
Is it the atmosphere of violence and guns the US is famous for? Is it Big Brother trying to keep us in line? Are these “rogue” cops who disregard their training and their own sense of morality and judgement? I honestly would like to know. The only thing I know for certain, is I no longer trust the police in the US to do the right thing. I will teach my grandson to view the police askance and without trust.