Sunday, June 22, 2014

Comparatively Speaking

Admittedly, I am glad an officer stepped forward and told the harsh truth about something that should have never taken place.  I am glad the alleged officer will not have the privilege of breaking the law and hiding behind his badge.  When I read about the unnecessary killing of a dog that had already been restrained and posed no threat, I was disgusted.  To be honest, I viewed the news clip and read the report with very mixed emotions.  Killing an animal unnecessarily is reprehensible, but seeing what appeared to be some sort of press conference on the matter with several officers present sent my mind racing.

There are dash cam and phone videos all over the internet also alleging police brutality, but there are no press conferences about those.  I've reported on cases in which people are hospitalized, some have even died, and so often the "official report" is the officers were following policy and protocol.  A woman was murdered in her vehicle as she was driving away, and had there not been a man working on a nearby house who witnessed the situation, the truth may have never been told.  Former officer Daniel Harmon Wright was convicted and sentenced to three years.  When I see groups of officers arriving on a scene and their main concern is to turn videos off, I'm pretty sure I know whose side of the story will stand.

In reading these reports, most law abiding citizens continue to be sure this couldn't happen to them, or they'd react differently, but what happens when a medical condition precludes that option?  This was the case for Thomas Mathieu, a diabetic, who had the wherewithal to pull over when he felt the problem.  Police officers are supposed to be trained as first responders to recognize basic potential health problems, but by their own admission, this was not the case.  They did not first consider the possibility of a medical emergency.  Their treatment of Mr. Mathieu resulted in his hospitalization with lacerations and three broken ribs.  An internal investigation determined that excessive force was not used by the officers and they were cleared of any charges.

We know all only the extremes make the news and ninety percent of police business is business as usual, but is the business of law enforcement superseding "to serve and protect?"  A serious problem that seems to be developing is two fold.  One, when people lose faith or fear the police, they will be more apt to take matters into their own hands rather than calling 911.  The other problem is these immoral brutal cops are placing their colleagues in danger.  A society will quickly deteriorate with a "them and us" mentality.  The "them and us" mentality can quickly become "him or me."  We've watched it happen politically, and now it's taking place in life and death situations.

I am absolutely against animal cruelty, but I am also against police brutality and assault.  The fact that an officer can be investigated for asking to not drive the lead car in a gay parade, and felony charges have already been brought against an officer who killed a dog, while it is "policy" for humans to be brutalized and traumatized by police is unacceptable.  It is barbaric.

 If a ruler hearken to lies, all his servants are wicked.  a Proverb of Holy Scripture

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