Police Abuse #8

I'm not going to repeat all the accusations and counter-accusations in the killings of Eric Garner and Michael Brown.  You can read that anywhere on the internet.  What I will say is that I do not believe the police, in each instance, is 100% innocent and pure as the driven snow.  For example, I find Darren Wilson firing 12 times, at Michael Brown, a bit, shall we say, excessive?  Why continue firing at Brown as he is fleeing the scene?  Are there not fleeing felon laws in Missouri that forbid this?  Why not call for backup as he was in pursuit of Brown?  In the case of Eric Garner, when a suspect tells you he can't breath, why not let up to allow him to catch a breath?  Police said if they had allowed him off the ground, he would have become antagonistic again.  So, you just kill someone because of something they might do? I do not condone the violence in Ferguson over the Michael Brown death.  But, I don't approve of a police officer shooting at someone 12 times, including several times as that person was fleeing the scene.  Too many unarmed black men are being shot by police these days.  But, police brutality extends to every color, every race.  It just seems police have little regard for black people.  Something has to be done to correct this and soon. 

There has to be police accountability.  The grand jury takes the word of the district attorney of what happened and return no indictment.  The interaction between jury and DA must be investigated everywhere in this nation.  The jury must be independent and without prejudice of any case the DA brings to them.  Whenever a citizen files a complaint of police violating their civil rights, this must be investigated by an independent civilian board without any connection to the judicial system or law enforcement.  This is the only way police can be held accountable for their actions.  We cannot give total authority to police to do as they wish in every encounter with American citizens.  If police violate the rights they are sworn to uphold, then what difference is there between us and some Banana Republic where there are no rights for citizens?  Men and women have fought and died so we have the Bill of Rights.  These rights cannot be allowed to be infringed by someone wearing a blue uniform and shiny badge because that person is having a bad day. 

There has been recent talk of forcing all law enforcement, with power of arrest, to have liability insurance.  Those with no or few complaints get cheap insurance.  Those that have a high number of complaints must pay the highest rates just as car owners do that have had a number of speeding tickets.  I'm not sure that will ever happen.  But, it is a good idea.  The best idea I have heard is requiring all law enforcement to wear body cams that can never be turned off during the officer's shift.  They have pros and cons.  It would force both officer and citizen to be on their best behavior since the camera doesn't lie.  The cons are that many critics say nothing would keep police officers from turning off the camera or delete videos that could make them look bad.  There is a way around this.  If the officer turns off a camera, he is suspended without pay, immediately upon discovery.  The suspect then has all charges tossed out as a result.  Now, problems do occur to cameras that are not the fault of a police officer.  A good (independent) technician can determine if the body cam had been tampered with  or not.  These are two ideas to bring law enforcement personnel under control in this country.  Right now, law enforcement does as they wish because they know "others" have got their back.  That has to end.


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