Why do we like superheroes so much? My theory is that while Batman may brutalize a confession out of a henchman to stop the Joker’s terrorist attacks, he isn’t beating the heck out of a mentally ill homeless guy simply because he feels disrespected. Iron Man won’t chase him down, choke him, and pile on his chest with the rest of the Avengers. Even Aquaman won’t join in a group beating without asking someone if the guy even did anything wrong in the first place. Why do we like superheroes so much? Because we have so few real heroes in the real world.
There are so many among the police force that are doing their jobs with honor, and they don’t deserve to be lumped into the mix with the arrogant, power-obsessed pigs that need better training simply to make a rational choice. Those officers need to be washed out today, because they do not deserve the distinction that their brothers in blue do. Every cop’s creed is to protect and to serve the public’s best interest. Not some corporation who wants to bust their union. Not some paranoid racist with a pistol. And certainly not their own hubris.
Kelly Thomas, I truly hope justice prevails, but I know that it’s already too late for that.
In this scenario, the man is beaten to death because he can’t put his hands behind his back, which is quite difficult when you have two men chocking you, beating you, and sitting on top of you. Just listen to these people at the scene: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ljYNgLnpxM
Here’s more of what they saw. Note, the lady in the thumbnail above is one of the people on the bus. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYJi3lgXLBU
This image is difficult to look at… but this is what you could look like if you don’t comply to the orders of an enraged cop. http://www.extremumspiritum.com/images/2011/09/kt.jpg
Another terrible example of how better training could have made a difference is the Oscar Grant incident. The officer thought he was tasing the young man and shot him instead. Some have made the suggestion that this was an act of cold-blooded murder, but a jury disagreed. And I’m inclined to agree.
If you watch Maragarita Carazo’s video – which does not dip when the shot goes off – you can clearly see all of the officers jump back and react in shock and horror. Start at 4:45. You’ll even see the cop that took the shot looking down at the gun in his hand incredulously. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2LDw5l_yMI
It seems the simplest and most logical solution. The theory that he just got tired of dealing with him and pulled his gun is illogical. Incompetence, yes. Execution, no. Again, better training and a greater respect for “non-lethal techniques” that can kill would have saved a life. It also would have made Mehserle a better policeman.
Of course, it doesn’t excuse the killing. It doesn’t excuse the excessive force. It doesn’t excuse the officer sitting on his back after he was shot either.
Bottom line, in this nation a person has certain inalienable rights. One of those is that they are to be innocent until proven guilty. If we allow our police to simply beat on a man without probable cause, provocation, or even a reason, we allow the system we have set up to protect to Constitution to trample upon that hallowed document. Certainly our forefathers did not declare our independence to merely create conditions where we allow those with implied authority to act without prudence or wisdom.
Remember this simple fact, a common fact about serial killers is that they are attracted to jobs in law enforcement. Generally they are weeded out of the system before they put on a badge, but it becomes obvious under scrutiny that there are persistent traits that infect the rank and station nonetheless. When we allow trigger happy lunatics to get away with their incompetence by subscribing to the cult mentality that protects even the most despicable and heinous acts, we aid and abed in giving away our rights and crippling our culture.
We have senior officers spraying helpless, innocent, unarmed women in the face with pepper spray out of what seems to merely be boredom. We have LAPD officers looking over their shoulders to see if they’re being watched before taking out their adrenaline rush on someone’s body. We have Coronado cops that look at a woman with her hands and feet bound, a rag shoved in her mouth, hanging by a noose from a rich man’s home, and calling it suicide. And we the people only have a voice if someone has high quality footage of it.
And there are states trying to make it a crime to film the police.
Do not let your voice be silent. Do not let Kelly Thomas and Trayvon Martin and Scott Olson and The Kent State Four and countless others sink coldly into their graves in vain. While we have breath, let us stand up to tyranny and oppression so that our children may live in a more free world than we do. For nothing else, let us set the bar higher for the weakest to honor the strength in the men and women that wear their uniform with distinguished pride.
Good cop (I love 1:55): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FqI4NnbRM4c
Good cop dealing with bad cop: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2w8Nyp5DkN4
Just for fun… here’s some cops – probably good cops – doing something really dumb. It’s in Russian, so let me explain what you’re watching. The first car is the wrong car. The second one is the right one. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THamXpWhPsE&feature=related
This video is exactly what I’m talking about. Well, kinda. They’re Christian 9-11 Truthers, so. . . Don’t worry about their beliefs and just watch for the message of the particular video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njb6X-nmW2M
“I may not agree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Voltaire’s words should be truer to none more than our military and police force. And no more so than the those forces that wear the stars and stripes. So I will leave you with one final video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmEHcOc0Sys