Every day we are bombarded with false stories of police brutality and excessive force. Watch out America, all of this broad brush stroke discriminatory police bashing may bring us unintended consequences.
Let me get one thing out of the way. To the question, are there cops who use excessive force or discriminate against others? The answer is absolutely, yes.
Even though I am white, I have experienced, first hand, some of the same discrimination, threats and intimidation blacks experience. In 2013, an African American friend and I stopped at the Blue & White Diner on Highway 61 in Tunica, Mississippi.
A big fat white good old boy looking cop with a white bushy mustache was seated across the diner from us. It felt like we were locked in a small Southern town time-warp of bigotry and discrimination. It was like a scene out of Sidney Poitier’s movie, In the Heat of the Night. I wondered if I would be forced to shoot this cop in order to survive. Yes, there are bad cops, but mostly there are good cops. Good cops are color blind. Good cops focus on bad behavior and do not focus or discriminate on race. Today we have a situation where bad citizens are discriminating against good cops. No one talks about that. Good citizens hear so much in the news about bad cops shooting innocent citizens, it becomes difficult to not believe all cops are bad.
It amazes me what is constantly missing from all the police cop hating rhetoric. People are quick to throw down the race card or complain about the excessive force without knowing all the facts even when the facts are available.
What is missing is the question, Would force of any kind have been necessary by law enforcement if the suspect had complied with police instructions?
By police instructions I mean routine lawful things like: Pull your car to the right and stop. Show the officer your license. Put your hands on the steering wheel. Put your cigarette down. Put the stick, bat, gun, squirt gun or cell phone down. Drop the knife. Take your hands out of your pockets. Move your car. Get on the ground. Take control of your dog. Submit peacefully to handcuffing.
There is a recent case where a white male suspect, booked into jail for DUI, claimed police beat him to a pulp. He had two black eyes and multiple bruises and puffy lips. The victim wanted the cops fired and he wanted millions of dollars for his pain, suffering and violation of constitutional rights. That is all that is needed for anti-police protestors to burn down a neighborhood. It looks like another case of police brutality.
There is just one problem. The suspect was not aware his cell was monitored with a video camera system which showed him causing self inflicted wounds by punching himself in the face and banging his own head into the wall. Had there not been video evidence, this could have been front page news, with marching in the streets, window breaking and beer cans tossed at uniformed police officers.
As a uniformed police officer, if an “unarmed” teenager refuses to drop a harmless looking squirt gun like the one pictured above or his cell phone, might I shoot the teenager? Yes, I might. Through my training I know a harmless squirt gun or cell phone might well not be as harmless as it looks. In a split second police do not have time to determine if a squirt gun or cell phone or … is a weapon. If the citizen does not want to be shot, all he has to do is drop the squirt gun or cell phone. Comply or die.
The suspect’s action or inaction is what triggers police reaction. The price for failing to comply with a lawful police order is possible injury or death. The squirt gun in the photo is a real shotgun with huge killing power. “Drop the squirt gun or I will shoot.” Comply or die.
If citizens internalize the concept, comply or die, no physical force need be exerted. If the citizen is compliant, any amount of physical force might be considered excessive force.
Keep it up America and the police bashing, building burning and lawsuits will drive law enforcement to begin a destructive phenomenon known as de-policing. Cops will want to collect their paycheck and then later their pension, but will do as little as possible to earn their pay. If they do nothing, then little trouble will come their way. Police officers will not have to put up with false accusations, lawsuits and stress occurring today in our whining litigious society. If cops simply answer up for their calls, do little when they arrive, fail to arrest and fail to take charge of tough situations, then the number of use of force incidents and officer involved shootings will plummet, leaving the citizens to fend for themselves.
Police can become afraid to make the split second decisions they are trained to make. Cops will start to hesitate. Hostile non-compliant citizen + cop hesitation = dead cop. Law enforcement could become weak and ineffective. A recent study shows 80% of police officers are not willing to recommend the career of law enforcement to their own family.
Eventually, our applicant pool will be made up of only dope smoking citizens taking the police exam under the hazy cloud of, now legal, recreational marijuana smoke. Qualified candidates will not apply.
Once those bent on undermining our American society have eliminated effective law enforcement or have tied its hands with unreasonable restraints, the evil doers will be free to come after us. Then private citizens will be the ones who must manage physical force, excessive or not, or will perish.
Five Prinicples That Will Reduce Police Use of Force and Officer Involved Shootings:
Step 1: Every child deserves to have a set of loving and well adjusted parents; a mother and a father. Stop having children out of wedlock in the rush to Welfare.
Step 2: Parents must teach their children to comply wilth lawful direction from parents, teachers and police officers. In most situations, two parents can do a better job with this then just one parent.
Step 3: Parents, teachers and society must teach children that poor choices and bad behavior often trigger negative consequences. Decisions followed by consequences shapes future behavior.
Step 4: Comply or die is a concept every child and every adult can find beneficial.
Step 5: If the officer’s actions are wrong, file a complaint with police administration, Internal Affairs, the courts, a lawyer or the Federal Government and request an investigation. Fighting what is perceived as injustice in the street by refusing to comply with lawful orders from a police officer can generate more incidents involving a police officer shooting a citizen. Comply or die.
Police Lieutenant Jim Glennon‘s article (Note: Article includes rough language quotes.) provides learned and excellent thought provoking information regarding America’s movement towards destroying the thin blue line that separates us from criminal predators.
A note to good police officers everywhere. Please do not give up on us. America may wake up and do the right thing to support, rather than destroy our heroes behind the badge.