Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Good Guys Don’t Wear Badges (Part 2)

   The police are out of control. I have been of the mindset that this is something that just happened, but I now have to face the distinct possibility that it has been going on all along, and that the advent of better video technology and availability is simply showing us something that has always been present.

   Not all police officers are negligent in the performance of their duties, but the blue code of silence makes all of them culpable since all it takes for evil to prevail is for good people to do or say nothing. I know well the label any officer will get for speaking out, but also understand that watching a crime being committed as a sworn protector of the community and upholder of the law makes you just as culpable as the officer committing the crime.

   Watching bad guys with badges is becoming the norm, especially if you’re a regular viewer of You Tube. It makes you wonder if there are any police officers left that don’t feel they have a sense of entitlement attached to their position. 

Not to pick on the state of Oklahoma (but I’m going to), but it seems they are a shining example of what police culture has become. The case of Pearl Pearson has the word “allegedly” attached to it, since the dash camera footage hasn’t been made available to the public, but given what other footage of other officers are doing in that state, the credibility of his case is not a stretch.

   The short version goes like this: 64 year old Pearson allegedly refused to comply with verbal commands and resisted arrest resulting in a seven minute struggle that left him looking like he lost a championship boxing match. The catch in all of this is that Pearson is deaf and thus, never heard any verbal commands and while allegedly trying to produce his license (which affirms his disability), took a beating…allegedly. All this, despite the fact his car has a placard on it informing anyone that will read it that he is deaf.

   Pearson is said to have a son that is a police officer and a son-in-law that is a sheriff and thus knows how too handle police encounters. Obviously his information is outdated because the police these days deal in brutality and bullying and the only role left for the average citizen is that of victim.

   Then there’s the story of Oklahoma State Trooper Daniel Martin who decided it was a smart decision to pull over an ambulance to give the driver a piece of his mind for not yielding and allegedly making an obscene gesture…resulting in his supervisor being arrested, all the while ignoring the FACT they had a patient that needed transport to a hospital!

   As a first responder myself, it’s absolutely mind boggling to me why any officer would act this way. I suppose we can all chalk it up to human nature but when does that excuse become too convenient for abhorrent behavior becoming normal? We see police plant evidence, beat already unconscious suspects after they horrifically crash after pursuit…and lord knows what else as you peruse the internet in the video age. Where will it end?

If the good cops don’t force the bad ones to do better, if juries don’t find police guilty when the evidence is obvious, and judges don’t uphold the law when corrupt cops are brought before them…then where can we begin to fix this broken culture? Why hasn’t anyone figured out that there would be no need for a blue code of silence if everyone were doing exactly what they were supposed to do? Why hasn’t anyone figure out that people cannot comply with orders when they are getting the crap beat out of them…and raising your hand to protect yourself, to save your life, is not resisting.

   I know what some of you are thinking, not all cops are bad. My only response to that is…how can you tell?

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