I saw another Facebook status that pissed me off last week:
In other words, “Stop crying or we’ll give you something to cry about.”
How nice to be immune from criticism from anyone who isn’t doing the job themselves.
I understand that it’s a dirty and dangerous job, and we owe a lot to our police officers. But is it too much to ask that they do their jobs without arresting innocent bystanders or beating the shit out of people in handcuffs? Or shooting people who are running away from traffic stops? Or rolling anyone who looks like they have money?
It’s not like we’re just being picky here.
The funny thing is, right after I saw the meme, I read anabout how the Baltimore City police are now afraid to make arrests because they’ll get in trouble.
So many things set me off.
“Many Baltimore Police officers say making an arrest can be nerve-wracking because they feel overburdened by documenting even necessary force, they worry they will be harshly punished for their actions and they don’t feel supported by commanders.”
If you can take the time to night-stick someone, I think you can take the time to justify it in writing. Next time, maybe they’ll think before they clobber.
You know, I’d really like to knock the crap out of that guy, but I just don’t wanna do the paperwork.
“’ They’re ready to throw police officers under the bus to appease the media and don’t support us even when our actions are appropriate,’ one officer was quoted as saying”
The media would be falling at their feet if they could start locking up bad guys without the eventual civil suit settlement for unnecessary violence. I don’t know about the internal review apparatus, but if their actions are justified, there shouldn’t be a problem. And I mean “justified” to an average person, not to another cop going, “It wasn’t THAT bad of a beating,”
All they have to do is release the body-cam footage at the soonest possible time. If the cop is justified, like the suspect is going crazy and inciting a fight, it will be plain as day (as long as there is no “selective editing” by turning the cam on and off at crucial times). Sometimes, some of these guys are asking for it and I don’t think there’s that much of an outcry.
“Another officer said police were ‘afraid to arrest anyone’ for fear that too many documented uses of force would be used against them.”
I’m sorry, if it’s justified, regardless of how many, it shouldn’t be a problem, although one might want to know how a single officer always seems to catch the “justified.” And if it’s not justified, well that’s the freakin’ point, isn’t it? To weed out the cops who are dealing out unjustified force.
I like the new Commish. He says he responds to such complaints by telling them “that the law hasn’t changed. Rather, the expectations are raised and officers will now be held accountable.”
But that’s the problem, in a nutshell. For the past 20 years, the Baltimore City police have had carte blanche to crack heads, plant evidence, and go on their merry way. Usually, there was no one to say otherwise, other than the one with the cracked head. And who was going to believe some criminal over an officer of the law?
Cell phone video changed all of that. Now there is independent, corroborating evidence showing cops cracking people at the drop of a hat or comment. They need to realize that the old days are over and they need to act like the public servants and role model’s they’re supposed to be.
I keep mentioning this because it’s vastly important, but this “above the law” behavior is so ingrained, they keep doing it even with Justice Department officials are riding in the car with them while they were formulating the Consent Decree.
I know that I’ve never been a cop and wouldn’t have been if I could. And I know that they’re the first people I’m calling when I hear someone coming in the door. People always complain about the cops until they need one.
But that doesn’t mean we can grant this group of people a broad license to do whatever they damn well feel like doing and operate like the unelected King of their Domain. They’re supposed to uphold the law, not break it when it’s convenient or hurt people just for fun.
For those feel this expectation of lawfulness is just too restricting, they can always apply for a job with ICE.