Thursday, March 3, 2016

Police Mode

This American Life released an episode recently called My Damn Mind, the first half concerning the shooting of an unarmed young man in a hospital having a psychotic episode. There were over two hundred police shootings of humans having psychological problems in the US last year. Listening to the story I became agitated. Why did this happen? Sure, I wasn't there but what missing information could make someone think that shooting an unarmed person is acceptable? If two "civilians" tangled unarmed, that would usually be considered a brawl not a life or death situation. It was stated numerous times that "the cops had not received proper training to deal with psychotic individuals" but I don't see what that has to do with anything. The police report states that the young man attacked them causing them to immediately go into "cop mode". They stood by their actions. 

I believe in respecting authority but what I don't accept is the idea that putting on a badge makes your health and welfare more important than someone else's, especially if they are unarmed. Josh Brolin was arrested for tapping a cop on the shoulder to get his attention. He tapped the dude on the shoulder! I know that LEOs will say "you don't know the dangers we face" but what difference does that make? Traffic stops I sort of understand. People may have guns in their vehicles, blast you and drive off, but if you are on a street in the city, the likelihood of someone trying to harm you just because you are standing there is really remote. "But it's still a possibility" some people would argue. Again, how does that make it acceptable? A boxer knows the risks being taken entering the ring - blood and bruises are part of the job - death is recognized as a possibility though fairly remote. When you put on a badge you have to accept what comes with it but most cops aren't wearing a badge to serve.

It's called a "shield" for a reason. Men and women who have felt pushed around or abused in life pick up law enforcement claiming they "want to make a difference in the world". That might be true but what I believe is also true is these individuals want to feel like they have the power to keep everyone right where they want them. I don't like people touching me - it pisses me off most of the time. I can imagine how it would feel good to have a trump card to say "back the fuck up" and be respected. It's all about feeling like your wishes are honored - ultimately that other people value your speck of consciousness. Most people don't work through their subconscious thoughts so when they are ignored, insulted or attacked (particularly when it's someone they look down upon), all the bottled anger and fear are released and unarmed people end up being shot. It's inexcusable and has nothing to do with training to better deal with mentally ill. Law enforcement needs severe help learning how to recognize and handle the demons stuffed into that blue suit, so that the shield is viewed more like a piece of a wall instead of personal bubble. Vikings would form a shield wall that they all stood shoulder to shoulder behind. If someone fell they closed in over the spot to try and progress with the fight. Cops are supposed to be standing for justice -"to protect and serve" trusting that the shield wall will prevail even if one falls. I'm definitely not advocating violence against the police but their attitude of a scratch on me equals death for you is unacceptable and highly troubling. Cop mode should not equal "god mode" - this isn't Judge Dread (who by the way is just a government sanctioned vigilante). These cops going around killing folks are really just a bunch of pissed on, pissed off little kids with a god complex. 

No comments:

Post a Comment