The maddening reality that a cop could be sent to perform a welfare check at a residence, and ends up shooting the home-owner to death has got to be the dubious optimum of the débâcle that American policing has become.
Before we talk about the un-reality of this, we must not forget the inevitable but obligatory attempts at character-assassination which these police departments embark on when they unlawfully murder innocent unarmed people.
Both-Shem-Jean had weed-dust in his home after Amber Guygher gunned him down in his own home, remember that? Of course, after information started to emerge that Jean was as clean as a whistle, cleaner than the cops and those who supervise them, they abandoned that tact.
The image of a gun surfaced in media reports after Fort Worth cop Aaron Dean gunned down Atatiana Jefferson in her own home. The idea was to lie that the decedent had pulled a gun. It is both legal to own guns in Texas and to open carry. So having a gun in her home had nothing to do with what the cops did. But they are stupid and criminal and so they decided to bring the narrative that there was a gun.
To the credit of the police chief and the mayor, they lashed out against that attempt at smearing the unfortunate young lady.
Continued pressure and attention to these events today no doubt brought swift action in this case as Aaron Dean resigned before the department could fire him and he has since been charged with murder.
But it was hard for us to have missed that attempted smear, it is one of the go-to plays in their playbook. Criminalize, murder, demonize.
Police officers are called upon to do all kinds of things, and be all things to all people, I get that. I happen to know a little something about that having served a decade as a police officer in a tough country, Jamaica.
I cannot imagine a scenario in which I could have fired a gun at someone inside a house even if the person inside was armed with a gun, [while making a welfare check]. (And yes, we did many).
(a)The person inside the house may very well be the homeowner, it is the thing that any officer in that situation must first think about. You were sent there to ensure the safety of the homeowner for God’s sake)
(b) Even if armed the person inside may have a right to be armed. © Under what circumstances does the police show up without announcing “Police”, then shoots someone inside, without knowing who the person is, or whether he/she had a right or reason to be there?
We should not get caught up in the nonsensical excuses of the police.
The call was a non-emergency welfare check call.
This means that the officer was not told that there was a burglary in progress, (not that that would have given him a reason to employ lethal force killing a burglar). Burglary is not a death-penalty case.
And so the idea of the call, even though cops have to be careful at all times, was about checking on whoever was in the house. The lights were reportedly on and the door was partly ajar after 2;:00am.
Neither of the two cops thought enough to approach the front door and announce“Police, this is a welfare check” and see what happens?
No.….….….….…..Just shoot at whatever the hell moves and be done with it. Never mind that it is supposed to be a welfare check.
What police apologists, would have you believe is that the job of an officer is so darn dangerous that you must give them the benefit of the doubt. You should suspend reality and good judgment a supplant your objectivity with their interpretation of reality.
You must give them more and more latitude to do their jobs, that’s what their apologists say. Unfortunately, that latitude has now given the police so much power and immunity that they have literally become the greatest threat to the lives of people of color, and pretty soon to everyone else.
It is the tragic irony but there are more than enough apologists who will tell you about how dangerous their jobs are.
Well let me tell you something, I have met countless cops who have told me they have never been in a situation in which they have had to pull their service weapon.
On the other hand, pulling, a service weapon does not mean that an officer is obliged to use lethal force.
After all, an officer has to ensure that he protects his life first, he is no good dead to anyone. Given a night-time situation in which the circumstances are unknown I have no problem with an officer being prepared.
To the average person who has never been a police officer, the hyperbole about the sky-high danger of everyday policing gives police license to be reckless and wanton.
The scene is set, an officer is shot or almost run over by a perp and the entire brass and their union come out, flanked by their civilian bosses who continue to give them more and more power to kill you, while taking more and more of your rights away.
And don’t forget that the courts are there to rubber-stamp whatever they do, no matter how egregious, they may even throw in a hug and a Bible to boot.
On and on they go about what police face every day, in their quest to keep you safe[sic].
So they take more power and you are no safer, because the power they take is never about you, it is to satisfy their fragile egos, not to ensure your safety, because their jobs are not about your safety it is about keeping you in line.
But that is not exactly what is killing all of these Black people. It is outrageous that any person can be killed on the streets by police officers who are supposed to serve and protect, when they are unarmed and have committed no crime.
Now multiply that a hundred times in your head, that a person could be in the sanctity of their own home and be murdered by agents of the state?
Agents of the state; because that is exactly what they are, the minute they approach a member of the public their hands go to covering their weapons.
Maybe they should not be given weapons at all, because research shows that if you give a man a gun he will try to find a reason to use it.
(Psychology today.com) Research also shows that drivers with guns in their cars are more likely to drive aggressively. A nationally representative sample of over 2,000 American drivers found that those who had a gun in the car were significantly more likely to make obscene gestures at other motorists (23% vs. 16%), aggressively follow another vehicle too closely (14% vs. 8%), or both (6.3% vs. 2.8%), even after controlling for many other factors related to aggressive driving (e.g., gender, age, urbanization, census region, driving frequency). Recent research replicated this finding in a driving simulation experiment. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/get-psyched/201301/the-weapons-effect
In recent times many publications have started paying attention to these unlawful killings and some have started to keep a record of them, because your government doesn’t. Gee, I wonder why?
The Los Angeles Times in August reported that about 1 in 1,000 black men and boys in America can expect to die at the hands of police, according to a new analysis of deaths involving law enforcement officers. That makes them 2.5 times more likely than white men and boys to die during an encounter with cops.
This is not a problem, it is a crisis, it is an existential crisis. And there is no real political leadership. Not from the federal, state, nor local levels. This state of affairs suits them just fine.
The Black Lives Matter – affiliated group Mapping Police Violence, disputes the idea that police only kill people when operating under intense conditions in high-crime areas.
Mapping Police Violence found that fewer than one in three black people killed by police in 2016 were suspected of a violent crime or armed.
Simply put, the option to pull the trigger has precious little to do with the stress associated with working in a violent high crime area.
As a cop working the tough neighborhood of Arnett Gardens, sure I would be on edge if a young man walks up to me in that neighborhood, but I would be less inclined to be on edge if that very same young man approaches me in Cherry Gardens. But it does not mean that simply because I was in a heightened sense of awareness in Arnett Gardens I would be more inclined to shoot that young man.
Not so for the American police, Black is Black and that color deserves the very same disrespect wherever they are found, regardless of their innocence or guilt.
The undeniable truth is that no cop would fire a weapon inside a person’s house in a Lilly-white neighborhood. The devalued quality of black lives and the impunity with which they are allowed to treat people of color with violence and disrespect are the major reasons that we end up with all of these innocent people losing their lives.….. even in their own homes.
They are taught to disregard the humanity of people who do not look like them and to shoot and go home to their families.
There are people who will argue all day about the dangeous nature of the job even though they never donned a uniform or even done a ride-along.
What they relate to are the stories told them by police unions.
I know all too well how dangerous the job can be, I was shot in the line of duty.
Instead of being gung-ho about shooting people, my law enforcement experience taught me just how sacred the trust placed in me to be judicious with that power was.
Over the years I wrote a series of blogs imploring police officers not to shoot simply because they can get away with killing someone.
Doing so distorts and destroys the very reason and meaning of good policing.
Over the years police officers would plead with suspects to drop their weapons. They would only resort to lethal force when it became absolutely necessary and clear that the assailant meant to do harm to someone.
Today, in a situation in which there are dozens of cops fifty feet away from a knife-wielding person, (even of clear unsound mind) police open fire, killing that person!
They then claim that the person posed an existential threat to officers who had no choice but to gun him down.
What would have happened to that disturbed person, if we did not allow police officers to carry guns and shoot people with them?
It’s all lies .….….….They know it and you should too.
There has been evidence over the years that police departments are not training their officers to de-escalate situations, in fact, the opposite is true.
Cops arrive on the scene and as soon as they arrive the danger level in whatever was occurring immideately escalates exponentially. This is giving conscientious people pause, “do we even call the police knowing that they may simply kill whoever is being a little disruptive”?
You may wonder at what is happening and think to yourself, “how can the police be allowed to operate this way, who supervises them”?
To begin with, many of America’s police departments operate as laws unto themselves. Police departments and their unions operate along the margins and they flout the rules with impunity.
They are given wide latitude to do as they please and they operate with impunity.
They refuse requests for documents until forced to by a judge. Prosecutors are so chummy with the unions they become almost a part of the police apparatus, rather than the other way around.
Some say they are close to the police because they depend on the police to bring cases. For prosecutors and some judges, it’s more like they depend on the police unions for endorsements and monetary support in the political campaigns.
This problem is far greater than the average person imagines, and those elected to look after the people do not care, because they are not at risk of being gunned down in the streets or in their homes by police.
God forbid that they would step forward and speak out and having to face the wrath of you guessed it.…. the police unions who believe that no one should question them.
What obtains in America today is a culture that encourages and actively participates in police misconduct and allows it to flourish. That runs the gamut, as prosecutors and police departments flout the laws thereby helping to create the arrogance and sense of impunity with which some police officers and even entire departments operate.
In an eye-opening Article October 15th, (USA Today) detailed damning evidence that across the country prosecutors are not following the laws.
in letting the defense have evidence of officers’ improper conduct.
According to the report, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1963 that prosecutors must tell anyone accused of a crime about all evidence that might help their defense at trial. That includes sharing details about police officers who have committed crimes, lied on the job or whose honesty has been called into doubt.
People are being convicted and spending decades in prison because prosecutors and police departments are failing to follow the laws.
Over the years hundreds of people are being released from prison after evidence turns up showing that they were improperly imprisoned or that police or prosecutors have acted improperly in order to secure their convictions.
The investigation found:
- Thousands of people have faced criminal charges or gone to prison based in part on testimony from law enforcement officers deemed to have credibility problems by their bosses or by prosecutors.
- At least 300 prosecutors’ offices across the nation are not taking steps necessary to comply with the Supreme Court mandates. These places do not have a list tracking dishonest or otherwise untrustworthy officers. They include big cities such as Chicago and Little Rock and smaller communities such as Jackson County, Minnesota, and Columbia County, Pennsylvania.
- In many places that keep lists, police and prosecutors refuse to make them public, making it impossible to know whether they are following the law.
- Others keep lists that are incomplete. USA TODAY identified at least 1,200 officers with proven histories of lying and other serious misconduct who had not been flagged by prosecutors. Of those officers, 261 were specifically disciplined for dishonesty on the job.
See the article here; https://www.usatoday.com/in-depth/news/investigations/2019/10/14/brady-lists-police-officers-dishonest-corrupt-still-testify-investigation-database/2233386001/
Sure, they want you to believe that these incidents are merely isolated incidents, fixable by removing that one rogue element. Not true, it is a systemic culture that breeds this contempt and lack of respect and it’s not all the fault of the police.
This is a matter that the Federal and state legislatures should tackle if they wanted change.
It has to be tackled in the way judges operate, and it most definitely rests with prosecutor and police departments.
The attitude of the police officer who treats a citizen like crap because he was given a gun and badge and six months training, comes from what he was told he can do and get away with.
(1)From briefing sessions in which street crimes unit commanders devalue the lives of entire communities, giving license to their underlings to exact vengeance on entire communities.
(2)From the infiltration of the departments of neo-nazis, white supremacists, and skin-heads.
(3)From the militarized Israeli training many American cops are receiving in the state of Israel.
(4) From the over-population of police departments with military veterans who have done several tours in combat zones.
(5)From the acquiescence of police departments which allows rogue cops to rack up dozens and dozens of disciplinary actions and refusing to fire them, thereby endangering the public.
(6)And from Judges who see them lie under oath,( a felony) in their courtrooms, and do nothing about it. The average person who lies under oath commits perjury and may be sentenced to up to five(5) years in prison.
(1)having taken an oath before a competent tribunal, officer, or person, in any case in which a law of the United States authorizes an oath to be administered, that he will testify, declare, depose, or certify truly, or that any written testimony, declaration, deposition, or certificate by him subscribed, is true, willfully and contrary to such oath states or subscribes any material matter which he does not believe to be true; or(2)in any declaration, certificate, verification, or statement under penalty of perjury as permitted under section 1746 of title 28, United States Code, willfully subscribes as true any material matter which he does not believe to be true;is guilty of perjury and shall, except as otherwise expressly provided by law, be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both. This section is applicable whether the statement or subscription is made within or without the United States. https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1621
Mike Beckles is a former Jamaican police Detective corporal, a business owner, avid researcher, and blogger.
He is a black achiever honoree, and publisher of the blog chatt-a-box.com.
He’s also a contributor to several websites.
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