08
Oct
07

The police, force and the media

On Glenn Beck’s radio show this morning, he was speaking about the Florida police officer who hit the 15 yr old girl in the face after she bit him. Yup–that’s what happens when you bite people.

The longer I worked at the job of police officer (That’s all it is to me–a job. Not a calling or something sacred) the more I realized that I did not possess the same rights as the average citizen. For the most part I had far less. Each year, I noticed that officers were under more scrutiny. The stress from this alone was enough for many to wish that they had followed other career paths. The second guessing was incessant. Most of the officers, including myself, found that it was better to do nothing. Avoiding trouble was rewarded in that there were no complaints filed, no lawyers knocking on the door with a civil-suit and no injuries from fighting with out-of-control drunks.

Is this what you want from your police force? That’s what America is getting, because, as with a nation’s government, America gets the police it deserves. America wanted me to drive around in a cruiser with a cup of coffee looking really serious, wearing body armor, carrying a gun. I wore the garb of a warrior, but needed the politeness of a Wal Mart greeter. I saw officers spit on, have bones broken, stabbed, exposed to deadly diseases–but in almost 8 years of work, rarely saw a criminal go to the hospital because of injuries incurred while battling police. They kicked the windows out of our cruisers, screamed the most vile words of abuse at us and we took it like professionals in the vast majority of instances.

More and more, crime IS paying. When a nation fails to protect its police, it is undermining the very foundation of all democracies–rule of law. And that’s what is occuring at multiple levels; a complete disrespect for the law and its arm–the police.

Our children should be taught in high school civics their “rights”, so police won’t have to hear “I know my rights.” No, you don’t son, you really don’t.

In the last few weeks, we have the taser incident at Florida University, and we have
the incident of the officer slapping the 15 yr. old. In both cases the police are presented as abusive. But it just isn’t so. Here’s something that needs to be taught in civics: The police use of force continuum. Its goes like this:

1) Police Presence. Officer simply shows up at the scene. Hopefully people stop acting like idiots.

2) Verbal Commands. Officer tells the drunk guy at the bar to leave and reminds him to take a cab.

3) Hands-On. The police officer can grab a person to enforce a lawful order, such as, “Sir, leave the bar now.”

4) Non-Lethal striking and weapons. Police CAN hit. If someone struggles, the officer can strike with baton, he can kick to large muscle groups, he can pepper-spray or taser. So now you know that Taser Boy got what was coming. The officers asked him to leave. He didn’t. They grabbed him by the arms. He struggled and broke loose. They wrestled him to the ground where he continued to struggle. He rode the lightning. That’s the way it works. Sorry

5) Lethal force. The police can shoot anyone posing the threat of serious bodily injury or death. Many, many people that the police could legally shoot, are subdued by other means.

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