I’m sorry, folks. You just cannot treat people like animals headed for slaughter and expect that they will not respond in kind.
We keep having incidents where cops keep responding to provocation completely disproportionately and the faux “law and order” Republicans don’t recognize that fact. “When a cop tells you do something, do it,” they say.
I call “bulls**t.”
Just because we give cops badges and guns and some limited authority over our lives doesn’t mean that their good judgment should drain out of their butts at the same time.
Two events from last weekend illustrate the danger of cops with bad judgment.
The first happened in McKinney, Texas, where a young cop trying to disperse a crowd of teens threw a young teen girl wearing a bathing suit, obviously unarmed and no threat, to the ground to cuff her and then pulled his gun on a couple of teen boys who went to help her. It was all captured on the cell phone of Brandon Brooks and posted to YouTube for all to see.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas—which occasionally falls down the Al Sharpton rabbit hole, hit it right on the head with the following statement:
While we don’t know all the facts about the party, the crowd, or whether a fight broke out, what we do know is that the police response, as seen on the video, appears to be a textbook case of overuse of force. A well-trained police department would have responded more cautiously, with less hostility, and using sophisticated crowd control methods that favor de-escalation not escalation. Without question, guns were not needed and in fact risked turning a group of partying teenagers into a violent encounter that could have turned deadly.
Police departments are intended to be organizations that protect and serve their constituents. But increasingly in this country we have two kinds of policing and we saw both in this incident: protecting and serving white communities and criminalizing and controlling black communities.
Watch the six minutes of video. When they’re right, they’re right.
And then there’s the New Jersey State Police and the Hot97 Summer Jam concert at the ironically-named Met Life Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
What appeared to be a police riot ensued when somebody made the decision to stop letting people inside the venue—even those who had tickets. And the New Jersey State Police went into full riot mode.
The New York radio station which sponsored the event is giving money back to those ticket holders who were denied entrance, but one might correctly wonder if any of these actions would have been taken if it were a Toby Keith Summer Jam as opposed to a hip-hop event attended largely by black folks.
Nobody will ever mistake me for Al Sharpton. Or, even Jesse Jackson.
But one wonders what might happen if, called to a minor disturbance, a police officer began by saying “good evening ladies and gentlemen, what seems to be the issue here” as opposed to the foul-mouthed nonsense coming from the McKinney police officer, which seems to be closer to the norm.
Once again, if you treat people like animals—all people—they will most assuredly exceed your expectations.
I’ve heard every excuse and defense in the law-and-order handbook. I’ve heard that the thin blue line is our sole defense against the base elements of society.
Even Clint Eastwood will be happy to tell you that Dirty Harry Callahan was a character he played in the movies, not what the cops should be in real life.
I know that many of the folks who read this are going to be upset at my lack of respect for law enforcement. But, folks, the fact is that respect is earned, not given; and the truth is that it is hard to respect people who have little or no respect for you.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth