Skip to main content

When Police Become Bullies, What Then?

I set down my tablet and look to my editor, best friend, confidant, and girlfriend. She's in her own little world, binge-watching one of her favorite shows on Netflix. It's her way of de-stressing after the day's work.

I tell her that I want to tell a story. It is a story borne from anger, inspired by events revolving around Michael Brown and Eric Garner. It is a story of blood, violence, and in my opinion, what must be done to stop our country from truly becoming a totalitarian state.

I know what she will say before she says it. Subconsciously, I know I tell her these things because she's going to set me straight, even if it means telling me what I don't want to hear. Write the story, she says, but don't publish it for a year.

The fact is, I'm angry.
I'm angry as an American citizen.
I'm angry that within six months, two black men (that we are aware of) have died at the hands of police and grand juries have found that neither officers were criminally responsible. According to the "law", they did nothing wrong.

I am angry about the message that sends, that police may do anything they want to anyone they want without fear of prosecution. That if they choke, shoot, or beat an unarmed civilian in the street, they will not face criminal charges for those actions.

I am angry about where that might lead, when a police officer may take things too far and someone chooses to defend themselves, to fight back.

Police abuse is not limited to race, despite what the media would have you believe. Over a month ago, my girlfriend was accosted by law enforcement to the point of tears. She was berated, yelled at, and had personal items shoved in her face. This is a woman who's never broken a law in her life. She was pulled over for not having a license plate on the front of her vehicle.

And I am angry.
And I say things need to change.
Not through riots or more acts of violence, but methods that force members of law enforcement to be accountable when situations like this arise.

Methods such as body-cameras to verify all actions of an officer on shift.

Methods such as criminal prosecution when an officer clearly steps over the line of duty to demonstrate that police officers are held to the same standard of law they are supposed to enforce.

Methods such as a unified code of conduct for every police officer in the United States that must be upheld, practiced, and enforced to such a degree that behavior such as what we've witnessed recently becomes a thing of the past.

You can only push something so far before it begins to push back. Police officers cease to be effective when they become bullies, and eventually, people stand up to bullies.

Badge or no badge.

I'm angry that it might come to that.

I pray it does not.

Thanks for reading.


Lee Capp said…
Not hard to tell what direction the country is headed in. Oscar Schindler (Schindler's List)could have told us in a second. He lived the nightmare. I do not believe that this is merely a matter of race, as you point out. It is more about domination, control and totalitarianism. It is a battle for the soul of America, for that is surely what we are most in danger of losing. I am not sure body cams would help much. They would not have stopped the Nazis. Eric Gardner was murdered in front of cameras, yet not indicted. We need Federal charges for violation of the victim's civil rights, and sure and certain punishment for these rouge "cops" that are killing citizens in the streets. They bring great shame to a sacred profession that once actually did protect and serve. If we cannot get such action from the U.S. Justice Department under a President Obama, and Attorney General Holder, when will it happen? As you said, if there are not changes soon, they will be more blood in the streets . . . perhaps a great deal of it. Just as there was in Germany, those many years ago.

Popular posts from this blog

The Long Road Home

I will end you tonight. No, wait. That's not where the story starts. The story starts two and a half years before this, when Michelle (referred to as Michelle for legal reasons because SATAN was too heavily trademarked) reached out to me by Facebook. She mentioned that we played the same Facebook game and she wanted to say hi. I had never, in fact, even heard of the Facebook game. But I was freshly broken out of a relationship and she was pretty with a good body so I said "Hurr, okay." Conversation ensues. She tells me we came up in the same place. We did not come up in the same place. We spent one night in San Francisco talking. But I really wanted to sleep with her. So, "Hurr, okay." Fast forward a few months. I've left Missouri for the beautiful Pacific Northwest. I've settled into the ass end of Lynnwood, a suburb of Seattle. The apartment was so bad that the landlord wrote the mold on the wall off as "crayon coloring

America: A True Story About Hatred and Unity

I wanted fast food tonight. That was all. I found myself at Burger King to pick up my wife's order. I was a few cars deep when I spotted the Confederate flag. I surreptitiously snapped a few photos. This was going to be a very different story. When I pull out of Burger King, it turns out there's more than one. In fact, there are four trucks, each flying variations of the flag. I have to go around the front of them to avoid an accident. They're parked right in the middle of the road. As I drive around them, each person in the vehicle makes it a point to ensure I see them. I do. They see me too. When I get to McDonald's (which is in the same lot), I learn that they're not taking debit cards at the moment. Terrific. I wanted chicken nuggets and instead, I get a run-in with the new Confederacy. So I make my way back to Burger King, again appearing in full view of the trucks. I place my order, get it, pay, and pull out. Then one of the

Wave Rocketbook Reviewed

I love writing by hand, and I love notebooks. I'll often devote entire budgets to them and when Officemax has one of their twenty-five cent sales, I'll buy them out. I often draft by hand, finding that the scene comes together more purely when it flows from a pen rather than a keyboard. So when DailyDot advertised a durable new type of notebook that you could use over and over again for the cheap price of twenty-five (thirty after shipping) US Dollars? I'm down. The Wave Rocketbook is meant to be elegant in its design and simple in its execution. The instructions come on the bag itself, and only the pen and notebook are included. The pen feels like any other, so you have to be careful not to mix it into your collection or you will end up marking your notebook with the wrong pen (like I did). The ink is erasable, which is a bonus. A place to put the pen would've been nice, but it clips easily, if not securely, into the ringed binding. The paper is thick and