The world has been headed for a cliff for awhile now. It has been obvious to anyone who were able to open their eyes and see it. However, it’s been easy to ignore, especially for those who find the truth inconvenient.
Many of us are familiar with the Criminal Justice System, if only from watching Police Shows. Our Police Forces have evolved over the last few centuries and have had a checkered past. In many countries, the police have served the people who ran the country, those on the top. All over the world, corruption exists to various degrees. In the Western World, most nations’ police forces are said to protect and serve the population on the whole. In Democracies, that is mostly true. Just like our Military, they aren’t there for the purpose of oppressing the people in the neighbourhoods in which they serve.
The thing to always remember is that both military and law enforcement if made up of people. They are flawed, ordinary people with their own perspectives, ideals and goals. Most want to serve a purpose with their careers and it’s Leadership and Training that makes a difference with how they do their duties. As with any group that gives it’s members some form of authority, it will attract people who are there for the wrong reasons. Those who like to throw their weight around. These are the ones who go out spoiling for a fight. They go out hoping for trouble. They tend to be extra aggressive and often have other members of their departments either idolizing them or afraid to say anything because the Blue Line comes down on snitches.
The parallels between Criminal thinking and Police thinking for these people is extraordinarily similar. Internal Affairs, the group that polices the Police, is known by many derogatory names, such as the Rat Squad. Many Police officers consider them the same way ordinary Criminals consider the Police. These same Officers turn on any of their own that report misconduct, just like Criminals turn on anyone who reports their crimes to the authorities. Paying lip service to the rules and regulations rather than the spirit that made those rules necessary. As long as those whose duty is to weed out bad apples are considered Traitors by the other cops, they will never get the support they need to do their job effectively. That is why in the worse cases Outside agencies have to be called in to do investigations. All other means are stonewalled by the very people who are suppose to Serve and Protect.
This week, two Buffalo, N.Y. police officers pushed down a seventy-five years old protester who was doing nothing violent towards them. Then their whole unit just left him there as they walked on. Next the Buffalo Police lied about it saying the man tripped and fell during a Skirmish with police officers. I’ve had worse skirmishes trying to get dressed in the morning. When the two officers were suspended without pay and later charged, 57 other members of the riot squad resigned in protest. Not from the Police Department but from the Emergency Response Team. They believe that being a part of an Elite Team meant they were not to be held accountable for their actions.
Being part of Elite Teams mean they have to be held to a higher standard and if they can’t live up to that standard then they don’t belong on such a team. If these officers don’t get that then maybe they need to be investigated for what They might be hiding.
The Real Question to Ask is, what are their Leaders doing to fix the problems. In this case they first tried to cover it up. Another session of Passing the Buck. Then 57 tried mass resigning. Not the Police Force, where they’d have to get real jobs after, just the Emergency Response Team they shamed by their adolescent actions. Let them try to find real jobs by kicking all of the 59 officers off the force. These are the incorrigible ones who should not be wearing Police Uniforms. Let them try to get away with such behavior in the real world and see how tough they are without a badge. My prediction is most will have to work for minimum wage unloading trucks or end up in prison as convicts.
There have always been two views on what police are suppose to do. Many believe their main purpose is to enforce the law. This has often lead to police enforcing stupid law like smoking pot or loitering. Many citizens believe protecting property is also their main function, especially the wealthier ones who have the most to protect. These citizens put their wealth above poorer people’s lives.
The other point of view is that the police are there to keep the Peace, hence the term Peace Officers. In this perspective, the police are there to quiet potential situations and not spend all their time enforcing arbitrary laws. It is a much harder job than kneeling on a man’s neck until he dies or pushing a civilian over until they hit their head on the ground. Peace Officers get to know the people in their district. They are committed to Community Policing, not starting fights or looking for the opportunity to show how tough they are.
Maybe because I’m not a wealthy person. Somehow I’ve never been able to put objects above Human Life and Dignity. Maybe I am just an aberration, unable to see materialism as the only way to look at things. All I can say that given the choice between the first type of policing and the latter, I choose the latter.
The last few weeks has shone a light on how the various Police Departments across the United States, Canada and other countries operate. It has shown that some departments are top heavy with thugs and bullies, while others are just people trying to do a very difficult job. If I lost my temper at my job and disrespected a customer, being suspended without pay would be the least of my worries. I’d be fired on the spot and if I laid hands on that customer, I’d be charged.
Most Police officers know they aren’t above the law. Some however have the Trump attitude that they can get away with anything, up to and including murder. This continues to build every time they get off scot free or with a slap on the wrist. They eventually develop the attitude that they deserve special treatment for doing their jobs. Before cameras were so common, they often got away with their actions because their word was more widely accepted over a civilian’s. As often as not they were backed up by other cops who were under pressure to keep loyal to their fellow officers. They were protected by lies of omission as well as outright fabrication. Many people forget that ten years ago, people did not carry cameras on them all the time. Most cell phones have better cameras now than were available in the past for the average person. The police officers are now getting caught breaking the law in greater numbers. It’s not because they suddenly went rogue. People like Derek Chauvin have a long history of complaints against him. 19 years of them. It took him being careless and getting videos murdering a suspect to put an end to his little reign of terror. Just like it’s time to put an end to abuses from other members of these departments. Anyone who believes their uniform elevates them above the people they are suppose to serve, doesn’t belong in uniform and the majority of people who actually take pride in their positions as Guardians of the People also believe this. They are the ones who need to step up and show their people that they aren’t there as oppressors but protectors. They have to weed out ALL the bad apples. The honorable men and women of law enforcement also need to be protected from backlash from the entrenched attitude that they have to protect those that abuse their position and break the laws because they can.