I have a strong suspicion of law enforcement. I can only recall one incident where a state police officer who wanted to write a quick ticket before getting his coffee at the local McDonalds abstractly harassed me. Thankfully, I got away without a ticket for the civil infraction he falsely accused me of committing.
So, why do I not trust the police?
Before I continue, please don’t misconstrue my distrust as disrespect for what officers do. There are wonderful officers who do wonderful things every day. They deserve recognition and reward for not taking innocent lives or costing taxpayers millions of dollars in lawsuit settlements.
My column is simply an effort to improve three things in this world; truth, justice and equality.
If a police officer can openly lie to a citizen, that is not truth.
If a police officer has special protections that are unavailable to a civilian, that is not equality.
If a police officer can fire 16 rounds into an unarmed man without consequence, that is not justice.
Unsurprisingly, my efforts to rally for these three things within the law enforcement community, from security rent-a-cops to full-time officers, have been called “troubling” on many occasions.
Fair warning – fighting for these values may put you on a list. Like a South Carolina interim police chief who says citizens advocating for legalizing marijuana creates reasonable suspicion that they might be participating in an illegal activity.
Granted, what is truly troubling is a Chicago police officer firing 16 rounds while standing over an unarmed man after he had “several beers” before coming into work. Then taxpayers foot the $4.1 million lawsuit settlement as he continues enforcing the “law” without consequence.
What frightens me is that we as citizens have no way to protect ourselves from rogue cops, except only after the fact. Officers have the “I feared for my life” to vindicate their brutality towards us. Yet, any form of protest from us can be quickly squelched with a resisting arrest or disorderly conduct charge, a Taser or worse, regardless if the officer is correctly performing his or her duties.
We see officers tout their dash cams as great equalizers. But what happens when they do not work?
Take for instance the story out of San Antonio, Texas, where an officer was accused of handcuffing and raping a 19-year-old woman. When he pulled her over, he accused her that her car was stolen.
She presented the receipt for the car, yet he allegedly proceeded to invasively pat her down after refusing to call a female officer, shoved her in the back of his squad car, raped her and then told her to keep it a secret. This isn’t his first incident with young females.
Not surprisingly, his dash cam did not have a functioning hard drive, which was something, according to Police Chief William McManus, the offending officer would have “been aware” of.
Moreover, let us not forget the horror story out of New Mexico, where a man was forced to undergo x-rays, enemas, finger examinations and colonoscopies in order to find suspected drugs apparently stashed in his anal cavity.
The warrant was executed in a county where it was not valid, during times the officers were not authorized to do so. In addition, the drug dog used in the search of the man’s vehicle, which led officers to believe the man had drugs, was not even certified in the state to perform as a drug dog.
This isn’t the first time this has happened, either.
He could do nothing to stop his rights from being violated, yet an officer can cry, “I feared for my life,” and kill anyone they deem a threat, regardless if it is even a credible threat. Though shocking to many, statistics are not kept on how many people are killed by officers while in the line of duty.
There is no accountability.
We have nothing at all to fight against police brutality because the last that I knew, killing a police officer carries a harsher consequence than just killing another civilian – a true sign of equality in America.
Of course, officers are human, yet they are in positions where they cannot afford to be. When dealing with innocent lives, being human is no longer an excuse. Granted it has already been established that you cannot be too smart and be a cop at the same time.
With the militarization of the police and an “it is better to be judged by 12 than carried by six,” mentality permeating through America’s police force, we need proactive measures that protect citizens from police brutality at whatever cost necessary.
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