The realities of police brutality
By: Mark Eubanks
In 1833, Philadelphia organized an independent, 24 hour a day, police force. In 1844, New York City had two police forces; daytime duty and the night watch. During this period, police departments were headed by police chiefs, appointed and accountable to political bosses. Corruption was commonplace.
Today’s law enforcement agencies and departments are highly specialized organizations, with ongoing training to prepare to meet a great variety of problems and situations. Today we have federal, state, county, and municipal police. The world, our world, has gotten to be a most dangerous place, and we all are dependent on peace officers from every organization for our “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” This is the reason that police forces were set up and I quote:
1. To prevent crime and disorder, as an alternative to their repression by military force and by severity of legal punishment.
2. To recognize always that the power of the police to fulfill their functions and duties is dependent on public approval of their existence, actions and behavior, and on their ability to secure and maintain public respect.
3. To recognize always that to secure and maintain the respect and approval of the public means also the securing of the willing co-operation of the public in the task of securing observance of laws.
4. To recognize always that the extent to which the co-operation of the public can be secured diminishes, proportionately, the necessity of the use of physical force and compulsion for achieving police objectives.
5. To seek and preserve public favour, not by pandering to public opinion, but by constantly demonstrating absolutely impartial service to law, in complete independence of policy and without regard to the justice or injustices of the substance of individual laws; by ready offering of individual service and friendship to all members of the public without regard to their wealth or social standing; by ready exercise of courtesy and friendly good humour; and by ready offering of sacrifice in protecting and preserving life.
6. To use physical force only when the exercise of persuasion, advice and warning is found to be insufficient to obtain public co-operation to an extent necessary to secure observance of law or to restore order; and to use only the minimum degree of physical force which is necessary on any particular occasion for achieving a police objective.
7. To maintain at all times a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and that the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen, in the interests of community welfare and existence.
8. To recognize always the need for strict adherence to police executive functions, and to refrain from even seeming to usurp the powers of the judiciary or avenging individuals or the state, and of authoritatively judging guilt and punishing the guilty.
9. To recognize always that the test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, and not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with them.
It seemed like a good idea and most cases it is, but with these rules came power. The constitution of the united states says, that you have a right to defend yourself from anyone. And also you have the right to bear arms.
Even after the constitution was created for our rights, the supreme court, (the law of the land) say that we have a right to resist a unlawful arrest.
Where officers do not conform to the ‘law of the land’ they have no authority and the right to resist them exists. A Public Officer, as with a citizen, who unlawfully threatens life or liberty, is susceptible to be injured or killed; for by such acts ‘they draw their own blood upon themselves’ As stated in some cases, ‘where a peace officer has no right to make an arrest without warrant he is a trespasser and acts at his own peril.” 6A CJS., “Arrest” Section 16 page 30; A sheriff who “acts without process,” or “under a process void on its face, in doing such act, he is not to be considered an officer but a personal trespasser.”Roberts v. Dean, 187 So. 571, 575 (Fla. 1939). But between 1939 and now, the laws have changed dramatically. State v. Selgado, 413 P.2d 469 (N.M. 1966).
So now you have men with power who are abusing it, and in so many words, they’re untouchable. I haven’t heard about many police officers losing their jobs or going to jail because of their abuse. The first report of abuse was recorded on December 25, 1951. Roughly fifty Los Angeles Police Department officers participated in the beating of seven Latino men at a police station. In 1986 Michael Zinzun had a scuffle with the police and was left blinded but later won a law suit against the department for 1.2 million dollars. On March 3, 1991, Rodney King was beaten and humiliated on camera by four officers of the law and was later rewarded 3.8 million for a civil suit.
And who are these most vicious attacks on? The blacks and the latino.
In 2010 there were 4,861 unique reports of police misconduct involving 6,613 sworn officers and 6,826 alleged victims. Most of those allegations of police brutality involved officers who punched or hit victims with batons, but about one-quarter of the reported cases involved firearms or stun guns.
In Queens, a strip club patron at a bachelor party preparing to get married the next day ended up dead after a confrontation portrayed differently by each side. The police claimed that he ignored their orders to stop and believed he was going for a gun; his friends who were with him insisted that they didn’t even say a word, and just started shooting 31 shots, 11 rounds, and 4 shots between each of the three police officers. The officers were acquitted of any charges. How did they go from serving and protecting to you do what I say do or I will beat you or even kill you?
The police seem like they are the biggest gang, like they are a mob or the government. And yet instill 95% are justified by their actions they acted in protocol guidelines and the Supreme Court upholds it. But these incidents only happen in the urban, poverty neighborhoods. The blacks and the Latinos, suffer from these assaults more than any other race.
Most people are scared to be in certain neighborhoods because of crooked police. I for one have been a victim of police brutality because of my skin color and because I stood up for myself. And this hasn’t happened just once.
You use to be able to walk the streets in peace and you might run across a mugger or something, but now you have to fear that the next time you have an encounter with the police. It might just be your last day on earth.