In today’s Dallas Morning News, Jacqueline Floyd sets up the premise that we can not let fringe element either in society on the street or rogue officers in the police departments warp our sense of right and respect for law and order.
My argument with this is simply the police are not the problem. Not in and of themselves. Crooks are not the problems. Crazies on the street aren’t either. We know all of these exists and the police are trained in how to handle them for the most part. What is at question is the Justice system.
I believe the biggest support for the Ferguson families and for the man who was strangled in NYC by the officers, is not so much for the victims, but rather against a very misaligned justice system that seems to constantly let the police off the hook. I can see the conflicting reports in Ferguson creating doubt. (But now the DA has been put under new legal light in his handling of the case and it seems that there wasn’t even a fair Grand Jury hearing….that adds to my argument about the warped system) But take the case in NYC. Video shows the police taking down and choking the individual. Why? He was selling cigarettes? We as a society killed a man over selling cigarettes? That is what the Grand Jury’s finding equates to. And that is what has people so outraged.
Hearsay evidence not listened to is one thing, but a video of the attack is something else. And it happened again the other day in Cleveland and in Milwaukee, as well. Both on video tape and again with grand juries looking the other way.
Now two twelve year olds, being taken into custody for carrying merchandise (by the owners request) out of a store are stopped and handcuffed. One, who is trying to tell his side of the story is manhandled and a cop who pulls up after the entire event has been going on, sucker punches the kid multiple times. The cop wasn’t even part of the original action. An assistant district attorney in NYC was quoted as saying, the video will not be enough to punish these guys. (It clearly shows all the action.) But the Chief of Police didn’t wait. Just as in the Milwaukee case, the officers have been removed from the force. Now the union is squealing because they want due process. And if it goes before a grand jury they will NOT get due process. They will get a railroad job to a no bill.
I believe people are afraid to prosecute the police for the fear it will weaken our law and order. Nothing could be further from the truth.
A rogue cop is just as dangerous as a wild felon. The difference is that one hides behind a badge and the other is looked down by society to begin with. And that is where the article in the Dallas Morning News stops. I think, it should go further. Our justice system is as much to blame in this as rogue cops. The grand Juries who have released these cops back to our streets are sending a message as biased as that of Al Sharpton and his demonstrators. The message is it is okay to kill on our streets as long as you have a badge. We are going to look the other way.
I think that is wrong and dangerous.
The grand juries in Saint Louis and on Staten Island did all of us (Justice included) a huge disservice. Cleveland and Milwaukee followed suit. They turned their back on the law. On Justice on reason.
I support the police. I have friends who are officers in the force and we speak of this all the time. And they are as divided on it as society in general is. But even they cannot look at the video of the choke hold and believe a Grand Jury turned its back on this.
“They got a get out of jail free card, today,” said on of them to me recently over breakfast referring to the NYC case. “Ferguson may have been different, I don’t know. But New York was a black and white/open and shut case. They just missed it.”
Not my words. That is a cop speaking.
Justice not served. That is why people are anxious.