Go read that story (and make sure you watch the video), then come back here.
Done? Ok, good.
Do you believe that was excessive force? Do you believe the officers in that video were far more forceful than they needed to be in trying to handcuff a 130lb woman? I’m just gonna go ahead and assume that your answer was “yes.” If you disagree, well that’s your opinion, and you are entitled to it despite the fact that you’re an idiot. The girl, the city, the cops; they’re all interchangeable. This is something that happens throughout the country on a regular basis, and despite the (completely warranted) outrage, nothing seems to change. I mean, think about it. Why, if you’re a police officer, would you so blatantly assault a person, knowing that the entire incident is being recorded on your dashboard camera? Because you know that you’re probably gonna get away with it.
It doesn’t help the situation when your union says things like:
“They were absolutely justified in doing what was called a takedown and that’s what they did here, and in fact they would have been justified in going all the way up in the use of chemical weapons, or a taser, using a baton, they wouldn’t have been justified in using deadly force,”
In what has to be a front runner for understatement of the year, Ms. West’s attorney replied with the following:
“For the P.B.A. to take the position that it would have been appropriate and justified to use a baton, taser, or chemical weapons to subdue a 120 pound woman with five officers on scene, in my opinion, identifies the severity of the problem within the department.”
Somehow, the FBPA watched that video and came to the conclusion that not only was it okay, but it might’ve even been kinda lenient. Shit, who knows what would’ve happened if that cop had been in a bad mood? Bust out the taser, those cries sound like someone’s resisting arrest.
Don’t get me wrong, I know that not every cop believes this shit, and I’m not trying to paint them all with the same brush. But just because a problem isn’t widespread (relatively speaking; one instance of police brutality is already over the limit), doesn’t mean that we accept it and/or ignore it. Yet what keeps happening? Cops feel like assaulting someone and lying about it. But it’s okay; even if there’s video evidence they’ll probably just get away with it.
And don’t assume that these are isolated incidents; this shit is common, and this shit is excessive (maybe not the best word to use; seems like it’s easy to forget the definition). But the question, again, is why? Why does it happen? Why does it keep happening? Why do cops keep getting away with it? Do they think that their actions will be deterrents against future crimes? The only thing that I’ve learned from all of this is that if I ever feel the need to shoot an unarmed man 41 times (stopping to reload twice), I should make sure I’m wearing a badge.
I mean honestly? Do what you want. Your union and police chief will back you up, always stating that your actions were justified and not at all excessive (again, 41 shots…). Half the time, you’ll just get acquitted (and that’s if they even bother pressing charges).
But wait a second, we can’t criticize the police! They’re the law, and we have to respect that. It’s not as if they’d charge someone with a felony for distributing public information, right? And they definitely wouldn’t punish a man that made the grave mistake of clenching his buttcheeks by forcing him to undergo an x-ray, two rectal exams, three enemas, a second x-ray, and a colonoscopy.
Everyone needs to remember that at the end of the day, cops are people too. They aren’t better than us, they aren’t above the law, and they aren’t immune to (significant) lapses in judgement. An asshole with a badge is still an asshole. I want to reiterate that I’m not attacking all police officers, because there are plenty that perform their jobs admirably. But fuck the dirty cops, and fuck their peers that don’t speak up or lie to cover their buddies. Maybe instead of arresting people that film you when you fuck up, you should focus on…I dunno, not fucking up as much?