Monday, September 16, 2013

In Praise of Police When They Protect and Serve and Not When They Murder the Public

I've been extremely troubled by a rash of police pre-emptively shooting people, generally black men. Isn't the slogan for police "To Protect and Serve"? How is the murder of men like Jonathan Ferrell protecting or serving anyone?

I blame poor education, bad training and entrenched racism for most of these shootings. Cops everywhere do not behave so stupidly. When cops are properly hired and trained, they can solve problems.

We had an incident at our house a couple of years ago when a drunk teenager, apparently looking for his girlfriend, chose our doorbell to ring at 4am. We went and talked to the kid, but he refused to go away (frankly, he was too drunk). We said if you don't leave we're calling the cops. He didn't leave, so we called the cops. A single female cop showed up within ten minutes and talked to the kid. She diffused the situation in a way we could not, not by shooting, tasing or arresting the kid, but by firmly talking to him. She figured out where he lived and brought him home. She protected and served, which is what cops ought to be doing. We declined to press any charges because she solved the situation.

I wish all Americans could rely on the police as we did. Jonathan Ferrell, apparently upset by having been in a car accident, did not have that opportunity.

2013.09.17 - In news reports about the North Carolina shooting, the cop pumped 10 bullets into Jonathan Ferrell. Sometimes, cops do accidentally kill innocent people, but shooting 12 times, at least 10 of those shots hitting their intended target? That was no accident.

1 comment:

Ronald Oakes said...

I've had mostly good interactions with the police. Several in the last two years with the San Diego Police - mostly dealing with my son (and why he has been out of the house more often than in the house over the last six months).

Shortly after I moved to the Chicago area in 1989, I was working a split shift - midnight to 4:00am and then 10:00am to 2:00pm IIRC. This meant I was the first person back to my apartment complex, and I could get a prime spot - an angle space between the dumpster and the curb.

One night, I came out to head to work and found my car parked in by another car pulled up against the dumpster. So, I called the local police. They sent a car, and used the village tax sticker to locate a phone number for the car - and got the parents of the car's driver. The parents came and one of them moved the car so I could head to work. I think that the cops, and I know that I, figured that no further attempts to locate the driver would be warranted. We figured when he got home and had to face his parents over being called near midnight by the police to move his car, the parents would take appropriate action.