I’ve heard it all before about ‘how the police put their lives on the line to protect and serve the citizens of the U.S., and that if I’m not a criminal, then I have nothing to worry about as far as law enforcement officials are concerned, and how police are underpaid and under appreciated for what they do’. Cry me a river!
The average citizen does not have to give cops a bad name, they are doing a hell of a job giving themselves one. Police brutality is rampant, right along with corruption. It is out of control. Cops all across this country are out of control. When you give someone a badge and a gun, there should be accountability when they obviously misuse and abuse both. Instead, we have excuse after excuse. We have wrongful death lawsuits that are paid by taxpayers on the rare occasion when the police are held accountable for their misconduct(to put it mildly). Shall I point out that if we look up statistics, we will find that the majority of victims of police brutality are, drum roll please…African American? No surprise there. However, there are other ethnic groups who are not immune to police brutality.
We all remember watching the brutal beating of Rodney King at the hands of the LAPD. It turned my stomach. In fact, after the first viewing, I could watch it no further. Yes, Rodney King was drunk and led the police on a high speed chase, but the beating he received was beyond unreal. I understand and realize that we have bad people or should I say, we have people who do bad things, commit crimes. Is that not why we have a ‘criminal justice system’? Are they not supposed to ‘get their day in court’? If they barely make it to court due to police brutality, where is the justice in that? If they never make it to court due to police brutality, where is the justice in that? And so we come to this:
Skulls cracked with batons, flashlights, fists, feet and knees. Bodies shot with one, 10, 50 and 100 bullets. Police brutality is not only a constant presence in the United States, it is thriving and escalating in no uncertain terms. A quick search of “police brutality 2011” on YouTube shows the extent to which this outrage has become commonplace.
From 2009 to 2010, reports of the number of victims of police misconduct jumped from 4,778 to 6,826. Although the numbers rose overall, the two biggest trends remained: The top two forms of police misconduct were excessive force (18.2 percent in 2009 and 23.8 percent in 2010) and sexual misconduct (11.9 percent in 2009 and 9.3 percent in 2010.)
May 5: Iraq war veteran Jose Guerena was shot to death by Prima County Sheriff SWAT officers over 60 times.
May 30: Several police officers in Miami shot and killed 22-year-old Haitian-American Raymond Herisse in a hail of 100 bullets and then rampaged through the streets, confiscating and smashing the cell phones of onlookers who had recorded the incident.
June 17: Philadelphia resident Eric Crawley rushed to his sister’s house when he found out she was involved in a domestic dispute. An hour later he was dead, having been shot by police.
Let us turn to some recent cases in San Francisco. In the month of July, two people were killed in less than two weeks at the hands of police.
On July 3, the reports came out of a “wobbly drunk” being shot at the Civic Center BART station.
The second incident occurred July 16 when 19-year-old Kenneth Harding Jr. was shot by the SFPD. Harding was running away from officers attempting to stop him for a $2 fare evasion. In the weeks following his death, the SFPD continued to change their story. The most recent one is that he shot himself.
As you watch the video of Kenneth Harding writhing on the pavement while the cops involved stand around him, guns drawn, you see thugs watching a young man bleed to death, offering absolutely no assistance.
source:pslweb.org-what’s behind the epidemic of police brutality?
Otto Zehm was a mentally disabled man from Spokane, Washington who died on March 20, 2006, two days after being beaten, tasered multiple times, hogtied, gagged and sat upon by seven Spokane Police …
70% of the victims of fatal police violence in Chicago are Black.
The NYPD’s Stop and Frisk policy which statistics show has targeted hundreds of thousands of Black and Latino men for searches and pat-downs without cause.
Obviously, I could go on and on. But lest I forget, I did mention, corruption:
Crime fighters gone rogue:Source StarTribune.com
Former Strike Force officers are now the focus of an FBI corruption probe and previously undisclosed allegations of misconduct against some of them, including Ryan, still are emerging. Over the past two months, the Star Tribune has reviewed hundreds of documents and interviewed seven former Strike Force officers to find out what led to the unit’s demise — Minnesota’s worst law enforcement meltdown in decades.
…so, WHO are the BAD guys because according to the above, criminals are the arresting officers or should I say, cops have taken to dispensing their own brand of justice before ‘justice’ is even allowed to be served.
This case really got to me.
Otto Zehm(1970-2006) was a mentally disabled man from Spokane, Washington who died on March 26, 2006, two days after being tasered multiple times, and improperly restrained by seven Spokane Police Officers. Zehm committed no crime and on May 30, 2006, the Spokane County coroner ruled the death, a homicide.
On March 18, 2006, Zehm-who worked as a janitor and did not own a car-had gone on foot to an ATM at his bank to withdraw money from his account. Two young women, who were in a car at the ATM when Zehm arrived, erroneously reported to the police dispatch by phone.
Zehm next entered the convenience store that he routinely visited to buy a soft drink and fast food. Video from the convenience store security cameras show that within sixteen seconds of the first officer entering the store, the officer had run up to Zehm, whose back was initially turned to him, twice ordered him to “drop the pop,” and batoned Zehm to the ground-the first of at least seven baton strikes used on Zehm. Within another sixteen seconds, Zehm had also been tasered. In addition to multiple beatings and taserings, Zehm was improperly hog-tied by police and placed on his stomach for more than sixteen minutes. Furthermore, the police requested a non-breather mask from paramedics at the scene and strapped it to Zehm’s face. The non-rebreather mask was not attached to oxygen. Zehm stopped breathing three minutes after the mask was placed on his face. When ruled a homicide by the county coroner on May 30, 2006, the cause of death was reported as “lack of oxygen to the brain due to heart failure while being restrained on his stomach.” No illegal drugs or alcohol were found in Zehm’s system. Otto Zehm’s last words were, “all I wanted was a Snickers Bar.”
And so I dedicate this to Otto Zehm and to all the others just like him.
Another senseless murder was brought to my attention.
A grave miscarriage of justice. I thought that I should mention.
A nameless, faceless victim of police brutality.
Dead on arrival, no hospitality.
He left his janitorial job and went to get some cash.
At the ATM is where he kept his stash.
This was deemed suspicious and a phone call did take place.
Government sanctioned thugs got up in Otto’s face.
They beat him down and tased him and did not give a damn.
Innocent Otto Zehm received a body slam.
He was hogtied and muffled and therefore, could not breathe.
Just reading all about this should really make you seethe.
The thugs we call ‘police’ put Otto in a hearse.
We can’t control the bastards, nor put them in reverse.
‘Protect and Serve’ the public is what they’re paid to do.
Yet, they kill so many innocents, this could be me or you.
The cases where they’ve gone to jail are just too few to name.
They’re high on drugs and power and to them, it’s just a game.
Now, a man is dead and do we really care?
He died for no good reason, his eyes a sightless stare.
All he really wanted was a plain old Snickers bar.
And yet, he’s in a morgue with his organs in a jar.
I weep for Otto Zehm, who went to an ATM.
Remember Otto Zehm, be thankful you’re not him.
Shelby I. Courtland