Well, the cop in Ferguson gets away with murder. Whatever. At least there was a trial. That’s more than a lot of victims of police brutality get. However, riding on the heels of that is another story from Cleveland. The police are called about a kid in the park who has a gun. However, the person who called it in is unsure if it’s a real gun or not. She says this more than once. The cops arrive on the scene, and according to the chief of police in a press statement, there was no verbal or physical altercation. They just saw the kid reach down and opened fire. Two bullets and the kid is dead. What weapon did he have? A BB gun. And it clearly looked fake, with the large clip out of the top of it. Did they yell at him to drop the weapon? Did they tell him to freeze? According to the statement that they made – no. They merely opened fire when the kid reaches to pull out the BB gun. Naturally, the family has a lawyer, and I hope they take these fucking cops to the cleaner.
You know, there is story after story about shit like this, and each time, it just makes me less surprised. For real, this is becoming normal, in America. Police killing innocent people who didn’t pose any risk, and as always, they are never held accountable. No legal bodies will make an example of these cops. And whenever people call out this kind of behavior, they are told, “well, it’s only a few bad apples!” I take issue with this line of rhetoric. Why? Simple – where are the good cops? Where are the good ones, standing against the bad ones?
Where were the cops in Detroit, when actual police officers were holding people up and robbing them? Where were the good cops in New York City, when a 35 year old man who was mentally disabled was being beaten to death? He was screaming for his dad the entire time. Where were the good cops when a cop rapes a girl on the hood of his car, telling her that nobody will help her if she goes to the cops? What good cops came out and spoke out about the rampant use of the SWAT team, like in that instance where they busted into a house on a raid and threw a flashbang into a baby’s crib, mutilating the baby? Tell me – where the fuck are all the good cops, who should be standing against the rampant corruption and lack of accountability?
I can hear people already – they would lose there jobs if they talked! Cops do a hard job! You’ve never been there! What would you have done?! Same BS that they always say, because they want to believe that the policeman is your friend. But we’re learning, with the militarization of the police forces in this country, that when you give cops grenade launchers, they become less about protecting and serving than they do about wanting to play with their new toys. The worst part is that, with the almost non-existent oversight from the legal system, they get slaps on the wrist. Time and time again this has been demonstrated. It’s indefensible! I have a friend who is going for a law degree, and doesn’t like people trash-talking lawyers and judges. Well, I’m sorry, but when you have a system this broken, somebody needs to say something. Here’s what I’m saying – the system is broken.
Here’s a reality that I argued with my old man about for hours on end – the police need to be held to a higher standard than normal people. When you are given a badge and a gun, with the ability to kill another person, you are expected to be able to handle situations better than normal people. We don’t expect you to kill a kid without saying a single word to him. We don’t expect you to kill an unarmed black teenager. We don’t expect you to rape women on the hood of your patrol car. We don’t expect you to kick the fuck out of someone who is in custody and has cuffed hands. We don’t expect you to strip someone naked and leave them like that, cuffed, for hours. There are a lot of things that we don’t expect. I can’t be the only one who thinks this way.
But I’m just bitching, right? What solutions do I have? Well, the reality is that it would be hard to fix entirely. This would be a big thing. However, I do have a solution that could be implemented rather quickly and we have already seen does a lot of good – requiring that ALL officers on duty wear cameras. After all, if we can afford to give the cops tanks, some cameras shouldn’t be too hard, right? Although, if you heard that story about a cop that kept having a “camera malfunction” whenever he brutalized people, then even this isn’t perfect. But it’s a step in the right direction.
Law enforcement’s use of both regular and lethal force is out of control in this country. It’s weird that we live in a surveillance state, yet they smash the cameras of whoever films them, or in the cases of some states, try to outlaw filming cops altogether. The police is now so militarized, but without the discipline and restraint of soldiers. They took their lessons on how to handle this stuff from Call of Duty. And the fact that people seem content to brush this shit off is mind-boggling.
Something needs to be done. Now.
Until next time, a quote,
“I consider contributions to society at large to be the most important part of pride in your country, and not mere thoughts. If patriotism is all about what level of fervor you love your country, or how many fireworks you light off on the Fourth of July, then that’s not a very impressive trait, to me. Because then you love your country like a four-year-old loves mommy.” -Zaunstar, Nationalism: Foolish Pride