Monday, January 12, 2009

Hypothetical Situation...

This is going to be purely hypothetical, and any similarity to a real life occurrence is completely unintentional.

THE SCENE:

Several officers are called to a fight at a local business. The report says that there are four to six people fighting and causing others to cheer and or join in.

THE RESPONSE:

Six officers arrive and dive into the melee attempting to stop the group from fighting. The group begins to spread out loosely, but nobody completely leaves the scene. The majority of the group stand around yelling and taunting the officers with phrases such as "Fuck the POLICE!", "Y'all ain't shit!", and "Whatchall doin to him? That shit ain't right!"

While the crowd continues yelling, several of these "innocent bystanders" pull out their cell phones or camcorders and begin video taping the encounter. None of them have the sense, however, to stop yelling obscenities at the police while they record their own voices.

The officers, meanwhile, detain five of the main agressors as they try to figure out the situation.

THE PROBLEM:

As the officers attempt to handcuff the detained subjects, for everyone's safety, one of the subjects appears to comply with the officers' orders and prones himself out on the ground. He continues to shout obscenities at the officers and tells them how he's going to sue them for false arrest. As the officers try to handcuff the man, he holds his arms straight, and refuses to be handcuffed. The man is still prone, and two officers place knees on the back of his shoulders to gain additional leverage in an attempt to get his arms to his back.

The crowd, seeing this, begins to shout louder. All they know is that the police are handcuffing this man, and they see the knees on the shoulders so they begin to scream exccessive force. They have no idea what is being said between the officers and person being handcuffed because they have never stopped yelling "Fuck the police!"

The subject continues to resist and a Taser is deployed, allowing the officers to handcuff the now suspect. Vehement cries of excessive force erupt from the crowd, and every cell phone in the place is now trained on the officers.

I have not mentioned race yet, because it really doesn't matter up to this point. Now, the person in handcuffs is black.

NEWS AT ELEVEN:

That evening, the video from the closest or clearest cell phones is all over the local news. Local "activists" howl about the injustice to the "young brotha" and the NAACP calls for the firing and prosecution of all involved officers for excessive force.

THE ISSUE:

When the general public sees a news clip about an arrest, and they assume they know everything about a given police action, they often begin to make gestures of their displeasure. They do not wait for the inevitable administrative investigation. They feel the police administrators will exhoerate the officers regardless of what happened. They don't trust the police any farther than they can throw us (which is not very far, by the way).

God forbid an officer should draw the wrong weapon, and shoot the person instead of Tasing him. A tragic mistake, yes. A career ending mistake, definitely.

THE POINT:

When the general public sees any such police action on the news, they need to make sure they know all the facts before they cry murder or excessive force. I can't charge someone with murder just because I saw it on TV. I have to investigate and obtain more information before I can claim murder.

Unfortunately, a large segment of our local population is uneducated or poorly educated, and cannot come to such educated conclusions. As a result, any action that looks even remotely excessive will be decried as excessive.

This was all hypothetical, of course. To quote another blogger many of you know,

It never happened...

11 comments:

Gigi said...

LOL..I feel like my entire life is a hypothetical situation.
As much as this frustrates us "normal thinking" people I don't think we are ever going to get through to them. It's sad.

copswife said...

I have no idea, because I was not there. But this is EXACTLY what I was thinking of when I first saw the cell phone video of that shooting. What you see, from a distance and on a grainy video, ain't necessarily all the story.

PS word verification: yolabars! A new candy bar I must try!!

fuzzys dad said...

The sheeple take their lead from the drive by media. And so call leaders of what ever group.

Tara said...

IT is a shame.. and orgs like the NAACP should educate their followers on due process instead of instigating. If these so-called "leaders" would lead properly then we wouldn't have this mess..
Also, shame on the media. They NEVER show the entire story. I'm to the point now that when i see stuff here i write the managing editors and such and complain about their unethical news reporting. eventually it will get through if enough people bitch and their ratings drop.

Firelady said...

All I'll say is that it amazes me that the first people to cry racism (regardless of any color, nationality, etc) are usually the biggest racists.
Too many get their wanna-be law degrees from watching COPS, CSI, and the like. I believe most officers would hesitate to use greater force with a camera crew right there. But, stupid people will do stupid things and they bring "it" on themselves.
People are ignorant. If ignorance was bliss, many must be estatic.

Another funny word verification: imporky At least I'm working on fixing that.

Old NFO said...

This just keeps reminding me of Reginal Denny- Good video, but because the perps were black, they got off scott free. Let an LEO commit even a MINOR infraction (which this was), and the LWL scream bloody murder. One wonders, hypothetically of course, what would happen if LEO's just stopped enforcing the law in selected sections of town? Any bets the screaming would change tone?

Grover said...

Hypothetical videos of the hypothetical situation scare the heck out of me. 200 + people against four or five officers. Hard to make out their duty belts, do they even carry a taser?

I feel sorry for the victims family. Even if he was a scumbag, he didn't deserve what happened.

I feel real bad for the cop, he has to live with this mistake. Also will likely face a sizable time behind bars. You know they don't want another Rodney King Riot, so they will pop this poor guy for Murder 2, not the Manslaughter 2 or less that he should face.

The Dispatcher and Her Officer said...

In response to your hypothetical situation, I pose another. Officers respond to the local chain resturaunt for a report of a group of black youths, about 12 persons total ranging in age from 16-21, of which only half paid for their meals. A manager for the chain resturaunt has positively identified about 6 of the party located in the next door fast food resturaunt, where they are just taking up space, and not making any purchase. The manager is forthright, and states these are the ones that paid.

Hypothetically, those youths were detained and questioned about the incident and identity of their friends. The youths are disrespectful, uncooperative, and hurl insults to the police such as, "why are you picking on the blacks?" "All you mf'ing cops are racist pigs!"

Something that never happened was one officer loosing it. He never told them that he was sick and tired of the crutch of racism. That none of the people in the resturaunt had ever been owned, and had no right to the embitterment of a culture. That when they go to the store, and they are out of Pepsi, it isn't because they are black. When the electricity get shut off for nonpayment at their homes, it isn't because they are black. They get questioned by the police, it isn't because their black, because believe me, I can think of a million other things I would rather be doing than dealing with your sorry disrespectful asses.

No, this never happened... Officer

The Dispatcher and Her Officer said...

Did you ever notice... The quickest way to stop a conversation is to bring up the 'R' word?

I find it sad that our citizen's don't have a better vocabulary and personal ethics in place to rise above throwing the 'R' word whenever they want to end a conversation or get out of a tough situation they caused. Doesn't work with me!
-Dispatcher

The Bus Driver said...

Just found your blog. Love it!!

This reminds me of a situation I experience on the bus. Being a white school bus driver in a southern town with a good mix of races, I see my share of "discrimination!!!!" hollaring.

One of my favorite incidences occured one afternoon when I was driving one of the 4 buses that cover the "project/low income/ghetto" areas. This is not done intentionally as the towns bus routes are done by numbers of kids in an area and not by color, but the kids on those buses are primarily.....for lack of a better word.... Black. Most of the time ALL of the kids on these buses are black. I was having a difficult time with one kid and I told him to relocate himself to the front of the bus. He goes on and on about how I'm discriminating against him and just picking on him because he's black.....on an all black bus.... yeah... riiiigghhhttt.

Officer "Smith" said...

That's probably what his parents have taught him all his life. If someone messes with you, just claim discrimination.