I’m not a social activist or a rebel. I’m just an ordinary man living a quiet life. Just like most people, I have my own feelings, thoughts and conversations with people. In these conversations or occasional reading, I’m still surprised at what I see, read or hear.
We’re living in the 21st century and I thought this meant we have advanced ourselves further than what we have. It’s not enough to see images of people who have been mistreated, we have media in support of abhorrent behavior, excusing it as, “rule of law.”
We’ve seen the uproar over the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. It’s clear that Michael Brown was no saint and the grand jury decided by a majority to not indict officer Darren Wilson. They saw evidence presented to them which suggested Michael Brown attacked officer Wilson and the threat was sufficient to kill Brown. Never mind there really was no advocate for Michael Brown in that court room because, the state lead by the district attorney presented evidence which cleared the police officer. I have nothing which proves this was the wrong conclusion, then again neither does trotting out statistics on more black men are murdered by black men as a rational for this finding.
What concerns me more about this situation has more to do with what I see from verdicts like the death of Eric Garner. The video seems to support the police were struggling with and choking Mr. Garner while on the ground. According to the grand jury, the police didn’t choke him. He was saying he couldn’t breathe but they continued to wrestle and choke him. I’ve heard rationalization of what the police did, such as, they were just following the law. The law that was potentially broken was selling loose un-taxed cigarettes on the streets of New York. This according to police and the grand jury gives them the right to detain, suppress any opposition, and if necessary, kill. Oh, they didn’t kill him? Then how did he die? Was he in a Vulcan pinch? Oh, you say he was fat and that contributed to his death.
It seems we had more common sense than to allow this type of defense when we placed the Nazi’s on trial at Nuremberg. “Historically, the plea of superior orders has been used both before and after the Nuremberg Trials, with a notable lack of consistency in various rulings.” [wikipedia]
There is a disturbing trend for authority to be unaccountable, and this has led to many instances, where government officials are sometimes getting away with not being responsible for their negligence or criminal behavior.
Every time someone posts a police militarization article, or a police abuse video, or anything similar, someone declares, “but what about the good cops”? Yes, what about the good cops? What are they doing to eradicate those in their ranks who seem to be able to act with impunity. If we’re to believe in this quote by Edmund Burke, “All that needs to be done for evil to prevail is that good men do nothing“, then isn’t it time for those good police and their leadership to come forward and say, this won’t be tolerated. How does this end, without more accountability?
What about the death of Kendrick Johnson? What do we know happened to him after nearly 2 years? When his body was first discovered an autopsy concluded that the death was accidental. Johnson’s family had a private pathologist conduct another autopsy which concluded that Johnson died from blunt force trauma. There are still no results from an ongoing investigation.
The disappearance of Terrance Williams and Felipe Santos, occurred just after contact with former Naples Florida deputy Steve Calkins. His story has changed several times and although he was fired for being uncooperative and deceptive, the case remains unresolved.
Maybe this is a step in the right direction; Charlotte North Carolina stopped paying legal fees for officer Randall Kerrick who shot and killed unarmed Jonathan Ferrell. Mr. Ferrell was shot 10 times by the police officer.
An NYPD officer recently shot Akai Gurley while he was with his girl friend in an apartment complex hall way entering into a stair well. New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton called the death of a “totally innocent,” unarmed black man an “unfortunate tragedy”.
“If you think that the protests in New York are just about race and police behavior, you are wrong. They are about the lack of accountability, and this problem stretches into many corners of our business and personal lives.” Bruce Kasanoff December 4, 2014 LinkedIn
Habersham County officials in Georgia said they will not pay for the medical expenses incurred by a 19-month-old who was badly burned by a flash grenade during a police raid. SWAT officers launched the grenade while executing a search warrant for a drug suspect, who was not found inside the home.
What do you think? Are those in power and use law enforcement to maintain order, themselves out-of-order? Do the police use proper restraint?