“Comply or Die” is not something the Founders envisioned but it has for right or wrong become codified.What is also pretty much set in stone is the mistrust and obstinacy present within the black community regards their relationship with the police.
The USA is grappling with a number of recent cases where black folks have met their deaths during interactions with the police. The Michael Brown matter that ignited rage in Ferguson is a classic example. The folks in NYC are facing yet another episode after a death of a black man in the hallway of a Brooklyn housing project.
A number of departments in the USA have faced repercussions for their direct and indirect actions in many cases brought forth by the citizenry. Lawsuits are of course the prime example. After the monetary damage headlines what is often lost on the citizens is the policy changes and in some cases the governmental watchdogging. LA and NYC are the best examples of this in my opinion. The events that unfurl from such cases are textbook lessons for other departments. Lessons that should be learned and put into practice.
What about the citizens? Well one would hope they too would learn some lessons but since the American Public Education System sucks so bad and that our media is so pathetic and derelict I don’t know what hope we have there. To illustrate the problem let’s look at two other recent cases…
Garner in NYC
Garner’s death is grotesquely misjudged when deemed a homicide. In fact the further details of the very report that called it a homicide states that basically Pickwickian Syndrome ,combined with a history of asthma actually served as the cause of death.
Was the level of force “appropriate”? This is a nonsense question as is calling the cop a pussy. If the real question is should law and order be practiced without regards of color,creed and zip code lets just say that any answer other than “ABSOLUTELY” negates your standing.
That said, complaints by citizens and long standing NYPD policy lead to the eventful encounter on Staten Island that day. The cop should’ve waited for back up and if fatboy failed to comply at that time non lethal assets such as CS or TASER should’ve been deployed. Keep in mind that assets such as this have caused death too.
Bottom line the cop should face departmental repercussions but the Grand Jury was correct in their decision.
Rice in Cleveland
The Rice case is getting the full monty press of dumb and the only thing that should be under the magnifying glass is perhaps only being reviewed by the CPD itself. The latest stroke of stupid is the spinning of the officers prior employment stint in Independence.
When I look at the video some of the things I see that raised my eyebrows and dismay are as follows:
1. The police contrary to some spin made it a point to take a potentially dangerous call from another unit since they were clearing and the location was in fact in their patrol sector. Anybody that has had any connection to 911 work knows this to be admirable for its professionalism.
2. The police rolled up pretty hot. In my opinion too hot. It is pretty clear that one or up to the reported three commands to drop the weapon came from inside the vehicle. I have not heard or seen anything that leads me to believe this was over the cars PA system,just a shouting cop.
3. The officers exited the vehicle after firing and rolled out. One towards the rear of the cruiser one towards the front thus acquiring a cross fire angle.Two points here. Contrary to the new spin that Loehmer [sp?] is some wussy weeping turd he showed a coherent display of training.
Many departments in the USA would not have the officers respond hot like they did. On the walkway and coming so close to the suspect.The CPD has publicly stated that questioning this was in fact a good question. I believe it would’ve been best practice to have stopped somewhat farther,drawn weapons and sighted the kid and preferably over the PA command Rice to put his hands up. When a weapon is in the hands of a suspect you tell them to drop it. When it is not in their hands YOU DO NOT TELL THEM TO TOUCH IT !!!
It may be obvious here that the end result in my world may very well have been the same. Rice dead. That said the Rice case begs for actions other than sizing the cops up for orange jumpers.
So although I may read “pro cop extremis” I think a detached viewing of the cases shows lapses in judgement and practice do not necessarily equal malice or felonious behavior.
The fact is that in a violent society people get hurt and indeed killed. At times this occurs at the hands of those sworn to protect and serve and that has a very disturbing impact.
What is equally true however is that whether the police are high on adrenaline or just assholes compliance defuses the problem that is splashing the headlines today. In cases when something goes further the compliant suspect is better positioned to become a credible victim and winning plaintiff. This is Real Politik on the streets of the USA. I don’t ask for people to like it nor do I think it shouldn’t be changed. Right here,Right now though it is what it is.