Tag Archives: police violence

These cops stepped way over the line

I keep watching that ghastly video of those Mesa, Ariz., police officers pummeling that suspect and am inclined to ask: Didn’t they train these cops how to restrain someone without resorting to this kind of violence?

Many of you have seen it, too. The cops responded to a domestic violence call. They found this guy standing next to a wall. They told him to sit down. He refused. The cops surrounded him. Then they started punching this individual in the face, wrestling him to the ground. Oh, and then they slammed his head into an elevator door.

I should add that the suspect was unarmed!

This police department has some recent history of over-the-top response to first response calls. An officer shot a man to death in a hotel hallway as he was pleading for his life. The officer was acquitted of murder charges, but then was let go by the department.

I have some knowledge about this issue.

In 2013, I was working part-time as a juvenile supervision officer for the Randall County Youth Center of the High Plains. Part of our training involved ways we could subdue residents of the center who, um, resisted obeying our instructions. We were instructed on ways to secure the individuals without resorting to punching, elbowing, kicking … whatever.

My question now as I watch that frightening video of the Mesa cops’ response is this: Weren’t these officers instructed to use similar techniques on the guy they ended up pummeling?

Take a good look at the physical stature of some of those officers. They’re brutes, man!

Mesa, you have a problem.

Shooting statement falls far short

cop vigil

President Obama isn’t tone deaf. He can’t be. He’s been elected twice to the highest office in the land and he did it with profound political savvy and insight.

Why, then, has he fallen woefully short in condemning the horrifying murder the other night of a Harris County sheriff’s deputy?

Darren Goforth was shot in the back as he pumped gas in his patrol car in Houston. He fell and the gunman then emptied his pistol into Goforth’s body.

A 30-year-old man, Shannon Miles, was apprehended a short time later and charged with capital murder.

That’s not the whole story.

Goforth was white. Miles is black. The president has been hair-trigger quick to condemn the shooting of young black men by white officers — as he should be. However, his statement on Goforth’s murder doesn’t measure up to the outrage he has expressed when police officers do the shooting.

The president needs to call for a federal investigation into whether the suspect — whose action was videotaped by surveillance cameras — was acting in response to the protests that have occurred in recent weeks by those condemning police activity. They’ve chanted “Pigs in a blanket, fry ’em in bacon!”

The president did call Deputy Goforth’s wife to express his sympathy. He said in a statement that Goforth’s death is “unacceptable.” Gee, do ya think?

Come on, Mr. President. Re-dial your political radar. You need to use the bully pulpit of your high office to call attention to attacks on police officers who take an oath to protect and defend communities against the very people who would shoot them in the back.

 

Heroes do wear blue

Chris Martin is a blogger I follow and he has hit one right on the sweet spot regarding police officers.

http://chrismartinwrites.com/2014/12/22/the-true-heroes/

He calls the good cops “true heroes.” His hook, of course, is the hideous shooting death of two New York City police officers by the goon who was retaliating for the choking death of Eric Garner in Staten Island — and the grand jury declining the police officer involved in that tragic event.

So the goon took matters into his own hands and shot the officers as they sat in their car in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of NYC.

Martin writes eloquently about how society attaches the word “hero” to movie stars and athletes. I’ve said much the same thing over the years. He notes that good cops and teachers don’t get paid enough, particularly in relation to the aforementioned movie stars and athletes. He’s so very right.

Of course, Martin takes care to note that the bad police officers give the good ones a bad name.

Sure enough. But you can find bad seeds in every walk of life. I’ve run into bad shoe sales representatives. You’ll find bad grocery store clerks, bad plumbers and electricians, bad computer techs. Heck, I once even called out a rude barista at a coffee shop here in Amarillo.

Bad cops? Bad firefighters? Bad airline pilots, for heaven’s sake? Well, when those individuals perform badly, then all hell breaks loose — as it should.

But police officers put their lives on the line every single day. They might not step directly into harm’s way with every call they get on their radio — but they could.

I’m thinking, as is Martin, about the families of the policemen who were gunned down the other night in NYC. So, I’ll repeat the advice he writes in his blog: “When you lie down to sleep tonight, say a prayer for the police officer patrolling the dark streets in order to protect the innocent.”