posted on Dec, 7 2014 @ 09:08 PM
This whole issue sucks for many reasons. I'll list my least favorite ones, and things I think can be solutions for each:
1. I have an issue with the idea that a grand jury decided not to indict an officer who killed someone through the use of an illegal choke hold. I
don't care what is going on, last time I checked, the NYPD had outlawed restraints like that some 30 or so years ago. Even if you can't make a case
for murder (which it wasn't) or manslaughter (which would be to make an example of the cop), one could easily make a case for criminally negligent
homicide. As that is the case, I amazes me how the GJ decided not to even let that case go to court with that charge.
The solution to this is to do away with the grand jury model to begin with. If that is going too far for some people, then at the very least, in
situations like this, a special prosecutor should be brought in to bring the case before the GJ, and their only purpose should be to achieve
indictment, and let a jury of the people whom the officer is supposed to protect and serve decide his fate.
2. I have an even bigger issue with officers not carrying non-lethal methods of enforcement. From Wilson in Ferguson to Pantaleo in NYC, it seems to
be that officers seem to have the option of whether or not to carry a tazer or not. Why the hell is that? I understand that tazers fail to work on
something like 5% of the population, but that means it will work 95% of the time. In the 5% it doesn't work the first time, its a pretty safe bet
that a second cycle will at the very least buy you time to make decision on what to do next.
The solution to this is pretty simple. EVERY officer should be required to carry and utilize non lethal enforcement whenever possible. Which leads
me to my next issue.....
3. Why the hell don't officers have body cameras on their person at all times? All of these instances where cops state that they feared for their
lives could easily be corroborated with video and audio evidence of the entire encounter. The problem is that currently, dead people don't talk, and
as such we only have one story to go on and nobody who is going to tell a different side of the story.
Officers complain every time this issue is brought up.....they claim that it will negatively impact their ability to protect and serve because they
will constantly have to think about whether or not their actions will get them in trouble instead of simply reacting to situations. That may well be
true....unfortunately, I don't care about that. I know that sounds bad, but the reality is that if a cop would respond to a situation without a
camera in a manner that would get them in trouble with a camera, then that cop needs to not be a cop. They are as big a danger to society as the
criminals in my belief, because they can do their actions with the backing of the law. When those that are or are related to LEO's try to say that
if you don't do the job, you shouldn't get a say, I simply want to reply by saying that I don't have to be a cop to know that the job is dangerous.
Fully accepted. Unfortunately, just as I know that the job is dangerous, so did that person or their loved one who decided to join the police force.
That having been said, we must stop allowing officers to use that inherent danger as an excuse for making poor decisions on the job, especially when
they lead to the death of someone who didn't need to die. If these officers are wearing cameras, the evidence of what happened would easily support
or refute their need to use force. If the situation warranted the use of force, then the cop who did so would be cleared and return to work. If not,
then there would be the evidence to indict and bring charges. Either way, if someone ends up dead at the hands of a LEO, at least we would know what
actually happened. To piggyback on that point, it boils down to this.....all of the men who died may have committed crimes prior to their interaction
with the officers. None of those crimes, including resisting arrest (if you want to call any of these cases where that happened), comes with the
penalty of death. As such, all of these men were denied their right to due process at the very least. That is a problem that cannot be allowed to
4. Police officers who are involved in incidents where shootings or physical violence occurs are currently brought before a review board. The
problem with that is that the board is comprised of other officers who are not too keen on telling a fellow officer they screwed up, so they usually
come back with no result. Seriously?
To prevent this from happening any longer, there needs to be a group of people, preferably elected, who have no allegiance to the police department
and oversee these investigations. Their ultimate allegiance would be to the citizenry, and because they would be elected, would be accountable if the
citizens didn't feel that they were properly executing the duties of their position. This board would also be comprised of people who were NOT
former law enforcement. I mean really, why bother with this panel of people if it is going to basically be the police review board to begin with?
Now to deal with another aspect of this issue.
I don't believe that race is a direct reason for any of these incidents. That said, I can say that I believe that indirectly it is a huge part of
the problem. I don't think that any of the officers in question left the precinct that day wanting to kill a black man. That would be a case where
race directly played a part in the situations. I do, however, believe that officers have a predisposition to contact and arrest black men on the
premise that they are more likely to be doing something wrong. That is messed up on so many levels I don't want to make this post as long as it
would need to be to address it...lol. Suffice it to say that until that underlying current is dealt with, these issues are going to continue to
happen, and people will continue to defend the practice.
Sorry about the longwinded nature of the post, but I needed to get this off my chest. If you read all of this, thanks for hearing me out in advance.