Apologies for the hyperbole in the headline but there was an article in the NY Post today that shows the police and those who support them still have learned nothing in the wake of the death of Eric Garner. Trying to scare the public into thinking there will be a rise on crime directly attributable to cops somehow being forced to do their job ethically. The facts remain. Eric Garner was suspected of selling loose cigarettes and was killed because of it. The officer in question has a track record of poor decisions and has been sued twice already for racial discrimination. One lawsuit was settled for $30,000 and the other is pending. The Medical Examiner has already ruled that the illegal choke hold used, is what killed him. People will point to the pre-existing conditions Mr. Garner had such as asthma but the facts remain unchanged. There were eight cops present against one unarmed, clearly out of shape citizen. The suspected criminal activity was very minor. These cops knew Mr. Garner as they had arrested him before. They knew he posed no danger. Despite what defenders say, he did not resist arrest; he was upset because he felt he was being targeted. If throwing your hands up in the air is all it takes to charge a felony such as resisting arrest, then we have to look at scrapping that law and starting over. Yet so many on the police side fail to understand that they were wrong. Here are the observations from the NY Post article:
"The biggest thing is that you're going to see more cops get hurt, and that's the sad part," said one Manhattan cop, blaming it on the decreased use of "stop, question and frisk" -- a cutback championed by the de Blasio administration.
So to the police, a program so widely ineffective and racial profiling as stop and frisk is the reason for less crime. This is quite telling. The statistics proved the complete ineptitude of stop frisk. Nearly 100% of the time, nothing ever came of a stop frisk. People were illegally detained and illegally searched for no reason. This however shows the mindset of the police state we are heading towards. Everyone is guilty until proven innocent. The problem is our constitution says the opposite. This is the heart of why current policing is so ineffectual and combative. To a cop, everyone is guilty and if they are proven innocent they must have just had a good lawyer. It is literally an "us versus them" mentality but the "them" are the people they are paid to "protect and serve."
"I think cops are more hesitant to take police actions, and that's when you see cops getting hurt more, cops getting shot, and cops saying, 'F-"-k that. Why am I going to do something that's going to cause me to get hurt or suspended? Why am I going to be that person?'
Digging deeper into the mindset of modern law enforcement thinking we come to another major problem. They think their top priority is their own lives and safety, not the citizenry. If someone really feels this way they need to turn their badge in now. The sad reality is that most join the force because of the eventual decent pay and early retirement. Their focus is not on how to keep us alive but how to keep themselves alive. You get a bad read on someone's intentions? Taze them! Someone has the nerve to say something back to you? Put them in a choke hold and scream "resisting arrest!" It has to stop but it will not until cops realize that their job is to protect our lives first.
"The streets are absolutely more dangerous for other people, too," said the officer, adding the rise of cellphone videography is also problematic, since suspects "want to put on a show for the camera." "[Police] are so leery of it that they're more hesitant to take that action because they know that if they do something, they're under the microscope," he said.
Are you kidding me? The rise of videography is problematic for them because it shows the truth! Who doubts that if someone had not taken a video of Eric Garner's arrest that no one would ever have to answer for it? Please, stop the self serving nonsense. Do you think Eric Garner was putting on a show while he could not breathe and was being killed? So police are "leery" to take action because they are afraid someone might see them doing their job? If they did their job professionally and competently then they would have no fear.
"Obviously, he resisted, and he could have avoided all of that by just going through the process," another Manhattan cop said. "Everybody likes to point fingers, but no one wants the fingers pointed at them. If people think they are being treated unfairly, they should sue the city after they go through the process instead of resisting."
Blaming the corpse is simply ugly in a case this obvious. Even if you think putting your hands in the air is resisting arrest, that does not carry the death penalty. This warped mindset is a cancer running through the police today. That if anyone dares to do anything other than "yes sir" them, they deserved to be tazered, choked, and killed. That is not how policing should be in a free society. He could have avoided all this if he just complied? How about the professional in this situation could have not choked him, then drove his knee into the man's face while it was already on the pavement?
"People feel they have more rights and they can't be stopped. There is no respect," said a Brooklyn cop, who recalled a recent arrest of an armed man who used the crackdown on stop-and-frisk as a reason to resist arrest. "People feel like they know the law better than we do."
The old bait and switch here. To prove this point the cop refers to a case where someone dressed as Spider-Man genuinely resisted arrest. No one is making the argument that cops should not enforce the law. We are suggesting however that they not break the law. That they be held to a higher standard not a lower one. A 30-year NYPD veteran completes the insanity:
"The current administration wants to put the brakes on police .".". It all stems from this understanding that the current [situation] is more likely to support litigation versus the police rather than protect the police. It's amazing how quickly and how little crime it takes for the public to feel the effects of a different mayor. There's no other explanation I can see."
No one wants to put the brakes on the police. We want them to do their job professionally and competently. Note the mindset again though. This veteran law enforcement officer sees two perspectives. You can either support suing the cops or you can support the cops themselves. How pathetic. How about a third option? One where you support the cops who do their jobs right and you prosecute the ones who kill people for selling loose cigarettes and then think they are justified? The only ones who feel the difference are the police themselves because someone has dared to stop and frisk their behavior. Someone has profiled them and asked them what they think they are doing. They feel the difference and say they are not being respected. It is not respect they are looking for however. It is fear. Since the Garner murder we have seen another cop place an 8 month pregnant woman in a choke hold for daring to barbeque on the sidewalk. We saw another man have his head stomped on while already on the ground in cuffs and then have a pistol stuck in his face in the same position. This mindset of us versus them, guilty until proven innocent, and say anything and you are resisting arrest has to stop or things will never improve. Because the majority of the police are good, hard working people but the ones who are not are tainting everything because no one will stand up and say, hey, maybe he shouldn't have killed a guy for selling loose cigarettes. If that is simply too much then turn in your badge. As Alec Baldwin's character in The Departed said; world needs plenty of bartenders.