Well, one thing is for certain, I’m not a prolific writer. But, with all the wonderful things happening in NYC these days, I had to write a short comment on the goings on. My take? You can be against violent and stupid behavior when it’s performed by police, or towards police.
In this ‘debate,’ it seems everyone is handling it like a sporting event of some kind, with people pointing to the poor behavior on the other ‘team’ as justification for the poor behavior on their own ‘team.’ And, as usual, I think everyone is full of shit. Ignore the broader context for a moment, let’s just concentrate on NY.
First, Eric Garner gets killed. To put Garner’s death in perspective, the ‘crime’ he was suspected of was selling untaxed cigarettes; cigarettes which had already been taxed at every stage of production prior, some seven hundred ways from Sunday and back again. Further, there’s also a trial going on right now about a massive ticket fixing scheme, where relatives and friends of cops were routinely ‘let off’ with no punishment of any kind whatsoever for infractions of equal severity, and even greater, than what Garner was accused of.
So, for anyone suggesting Garner got what was coming to him for ‘resisting’ arrest, fuck you, you’re a moron. Anyone who suggests it’s okay to kill Eric Garner in the process of arresting him for a ‘crime’ that’s at the same level as those they routinely let people skate on as a ‘professional courtesy,’ so long as the person knows someone on the force, is a fucking psychotic. Anyone who doesn’t see that double standard is so shockingly stupid it boggles the mind.
Further, after being caught on tape basically murdering Garner, the officer in question does not get indicted. Now, assume for the sake of argument that reasonable people can disagree as to whether or not Garner was murdered. And, granting that, that the lack of indictment was a ‘reasonable’ outcome; it could have gone either way. The thing you most certainly do not want to do, as the police force in question, is then run around acting all butt hurt when the people who did think an indictment was warranted point out that ‘reasonable’ people think you got away with murder. And, when the mayor suggests that there’s the merest possibility of a hint of a problem with excessive force used by the police on minorities especially, and that perhaps there’s the minutest chance in a billion that officers might benefit from training on how to de-escalate rather than escalate situations, you just fucking deal with it. You do not act even further butt hurt, and send out your whiny ass spokesman, this insufferable fuck named ‘Lynch’ of all things, to start bitching and moaning about how rough your fucking job is.
All told, I think the police handled this badly from start to finish.
And now, for reality…
The cops are nothing but a legally sanctioned gang. They rarely protect and serve, and according to the supreme court aren’t even required to protect or serve anyone in particular. They spend most of their time shaking people down for money for ‘violations.’ Some time is spent on trying to solve murders and robberies, I guess to maintain the illusion that they’re there to help, but looking at the stats it seems the bulk of police duties revolve around ‘revenue generating’ activities, taxation by citation, and finding ways to seize property via asset forfeiture.
Every citizen is a criminal, and it’s literally impossible to walk down the street without violating some law on the books. The popular saying is Three Felonies A Day, and it’s true. There’s nary a single human being you can turn and look at who hasn’t broken some local, state, or federal law in the last 24 hours. What’s more, anyone who doesn’t think there is a problem with police brutality has never been on YouTube, or read much. There’s endless stories and videos pouring on to the internet daily of cops caught red handed, doing everything from threatening people for recording them, which is perfectly legal in almost all places, to harassing them, to stealing, up to and including beating people into comas and killing them, or gunning them down in SWAT/drug raids, sometimes at the wrong house. What’s more, police aren’t required to report their kills to the FBI. The low 400ish number thrown around for police kills for the year is for 4% of precincts reporting. If that’s the average, then the police actually kill over 11000 people a year. A couple of face book pages have popped up in the current climate dedicated to tracking down police kills, one has already amassed more than 1800 reported police kills. So, the official number is, shall we say, self serving and flat out wrong.
Now, blacks are more often than not the target of the brutality, but this is not a race issue. The issue is blue vs everyone else. It is about power, and the fact that the law is the exercise of power. Now, power is somewhat tilted in favor of white over minorities, but that doesn’t mean they’re immune. It just means they’re later to the game. Eventually, when the need for revenue and the insolence toward ‘rights’ and other pesky things like ethics and morality reach a fever pitch, the brutality will bleed over into more affluent, usually white neighborhoods. Then people who have been dismissive of minority complaints will get the point, as it starts to be their loved ones beaten beyond recognition and shot in raids on the wrong house for potentially possessing an illegal plant.
If cops want respect, they need to end the butt hurt and try a few new, revolutionary steps:
1) Stand up against ridiculous laws. Much of the animosity toward cops is due to their enforcement of arbitrary political edicts. Now, that’s all laws in reality, but there are those most agree with, like laws against murder, and those that are questionable, like those against victimless crimes. Lots of people say, “reasonable people can disagree,” about those latter ones. Well, if reasonable people can disagree, then it’s only the extremely unreasonable people that would fine people, throw them in cages, and even kill them to enforce those laws. If reasonable people can disagree, then the law should not be on the books, period. And, if cops didn’t have to enforce bullshit laws, there would be far less animosity towards them from all quarters.
2) Turn in bad cops. This blue line/blue wall of silence crap has to end. If you are truly there to serve and protect, then do so, and turn in the seemingly endless number of psychotics in your ranks. Stop this paid vacation shit, and turn over the process of review to independent grand juries.
The police are not infallible, they need to own up to that. Nor do they get to live by a different moral, ethical, or legal standard. They do not deserve ‘special’ rights that let them walk away from crimes that would land anyone else in prison. People often say the trust they are given entitles them to ‘leeway,’ but that’s horseshit. In what world are the people who are responsible for enforcing the law not bound by it at least as much as anyone else? The answer is easy; that world is a police state, where the primary job of the police is the oppression of the people, as opposed to the protection of those people. If a law can be disregarded, or selectively not enforced, it is not a law, it is the arbitrary edict of the political class, and the fact that some ‘special’ people, specifically their enforcers, are not subject to those ‘laws’ is an implicit admission that they aren’t legitimate laws to begin with, but a means to control and steal from the people at every opportunity.