Saturday, September 27, 2014

Sowing What We Reap

To be fair, our local law enforcement personnel work hard, face many dangers and do induce peace and order on the streets of America.  I myself am always respectful to an officer whether meeting him in informal or serious encounters.  That said,  I am increasingly concerned about the militarization of the police along with the the marked increase in aggression they are using on our people.  These are products of our endless and fruitless "war on drugs"  Prior to the 1970's serving a search warrant with a battering ram and stun grenades, in the middle of the night was unheard of.  Now, it is routine.

I also suspect that the training these officers are receiving are "cue" based; see the cue and act!  If they see a weapon, act!  It doesn't seem to matter what the other behavioral actions are, react on the cue.

Earlier this month Officer Sean Groubert approached Levar Edward Jones in Columbia, SC as Mr. Jones was exiting his car at a gas station.  If you watch the video you will see how extraordinarily touchy Officer Groubert was following what had to be hyper paranoia training.   Mr. Jones's reaching back into his car to retrieve his driver's license, as per Officer Groubert's instructions, caused the officer to assume that a weapon being drawn.  Before Mr. Jones has even completely turned around Officer Groubert is shooting.

Patty Konie was coping fine in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina.  She was in her home, on dry land with plenty of food and provisions.  The cops came through with an unconstitutional order to remove everyone.  They admitted that they had no actual legal basis to remove the citizens of New Orleans from their homes, but would use strong persuasion to get an agreement with "no" not being an option.  Patty was trying to demonstrate to these men her capability of survival when she showed them, passively, her handgun.  At the mere sight of the gun they attacked her.

York, SC Deputy Tarrance Knox shot and injured a slow moving 70 year old man whom he pulled over earlier this year.  The man's offense was to reach into the clearly visible bed of his pick-up truck and pull out a cane.  Deputy Knox feared that it was a shotgun.

Worst of all was the killing of John Crawford III in Dayton, OH, August 5, 2014.  The linked video shows Mr. Crawford walking and talking on his cell phone while shopping in a Wal-Mart.  Though he is carrying an air gun, which he selected from a Wal-Mart display, no one in the store seems concerned.  On the basis of a vague call to 911, the police stormed in and shot Mr. Crawford dead.

Patty Konie was tackled for simply showing the cue, even though she was calmly talking to the officers.  Mr. Jones was shot because he moved purposely.  Tarrance Knox and the Dayton cops shot simply because they saw the long thing in those men's hands.  See the cue and act has brought us unnecessary pain and death.  Our police forces must stop acting like an occupation army and start acting like members of our community.

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