Cops are here to protect you by looking in on an upset young man who locked himself in a room with a small kitchen knife, then drilling a hole in the wall and spraying pepper spray to force him out from the room when he wouldn’t come out voluntarily, then shooting him to death when the pepper spraying forced him out of the room, because he brought out the small kitchen knife that he had taken in with him.
All for his own good, of course. It became necessary to destroy Scott Rockwell in order to save him.
Cops are here to protect you by using handcuffing and arrest to put an end any argument. Even if you’re a firefighter who’s busy trying to rescue an auto accident victim.
Cops are here to protect you by dumping you out of your wheelchair onto the jailhouse floor, and breaking two of your ribs. Just to make sure you weren’t lying, when you told them you can’t stand up because you’re paralyzed from the shoulders down.
Cops are here to protect you using
pain compliance, for example hitting you with 50,000-volt electric shocks at least three different times to make you do what they tell you to do, even when you pose no threat of violence to anyone, when you already have your hands cuffed behind your back, and when you are already surrounded or even pinned down to the ground by three armed professionals.
Cops are here to protect you by pinning a 13 year old boy to the ground and choking him for the crime of skateboarding. Then grabbing a teenaged girl in a chokehold for trying to walk away from the scene. Then wrestling down another teenaged boy who tried to protect her from getting manhandled. Then arresting the lot of them on the grounds that failing to immediately obey a cop’s arbitrary orders is a violation of city ordinances against
Cops are here to protect you by threatening a 14 year old boy with
backtalk, threatening to
smack your mouth for
attitude, wrestling him to the ground to steal his skateboards, screaming in the boy’s face for being addressed as
dude, and then turning around to threaten another teenager who happens to be filming their professional conduct.
Cops are here to protect you by trashing your college art project and threatening to beat the hell out of you for using public space in ways that confuse and enrage them.
Please note that if you or I or anyone else without a badge and a gun acted like this, the people around us would more or less universally conclude that we’re belligerent and dangerous lunatics. In fact, if you or I or anyone else without a badge and a gun acted like this, and it was caught on camera, we would soon be in jail for on a charge of assault and battery. When someone with a badge and a gun acts like this, and it’s caught on camera, with a very few exceptions, the worst that ever happens is that they might get fired. The most common response from the powers that be is either to do nothing at all, or else to give the pig a paid vacation and a verbal reprimand. Meanwhile, state legislators propose laws to withhold records of the abuse as classified information for reasons of state security. Fellow cops and freelance sado-fascist blowhards can all be counted on to make up any excuse at all, even in defiance of the clear evidence of their senses, in order to get the pig off the hook, no matter how obviously out-of-control the cop may be and no matter how obviously harmless or helpless his victim.
The mainstream newsmedia writes stories with clauses like this:
The skateboarders, who were violating a city ordinance, are claiming police brutality and some say the pictures back up their claim.
The video shows a 13-year-old being held to the ground by his throat. It also shows a girl being held in what appears to be a chokehold.
— KTHV Little Rock: Video Brings Controversy To Police Department
Other cops say things like this:
Hot Springs Police Department spokesman McCrary Means says,
If a subject becomes confrontational, the officer has a right to defend himself. There are certain steps: first of all a verbal command. Like I said, if that subject becomes combative, that officer needs to do all he can do to get that subject under control.
— KTHV Little Rock: Video Brings Controversy To Police Department
Please note that Hot Springs Police Department spokesman McCrary Means believes that police officers have a right to grab you and beat the hell out of you in order to defend themselves against a verbal
And freelance police-enabling blowhards write in with letters like this:
In regard to the YouTube video in which the Baltimore police officer seems to go overboard in his actions regarding a teenage skateboarder, I’d point out that teenage boys typically resent authority, often continue to do the wrong thing even after repeated instructions to stop and are, in general, a minor menace to society until they grow out of their teenage years.
When they’re doing something wrong, you can ask them to stop over and over again, and they’ll often simply ignore you until you get loud or otherwise assert your authority.
As the uncle of two teenage boys, I have no doubt that the officer reacted in a normal manner and that he should not be subject to disciplinary action.
When YouTube recently showed a video of a teenage skateboarder being manhandled by a Baltimore police officer, public reaction was swift and severe.
Mayor Sheila Dixon called him a
bad apple and the officer was immediately suspended.
I find this rush to judgment without a complete investigation disturbing, especially as the alleged victim had little more than his feelings hurt.
Police officers put their lives on the line every day, and the lack of public support for these men and women, especially from the mayor’s office, is an embarrassment.
Might it be possible that these kids were just punks harassing a veteran officer? And if these upstanding skater dudes were so in the right, why didn’t they file a complaint against the officer?
Let’s hear the whole story before destroying the career of a dedicated public servant.
E. Mitchell Arion
If E. Mitchell Arion hasn’t watched the video that he speaks so confidently about, then why keep talking about it when he doesn’t know what he’s talking about? If, on the other hand, he has actually watched the video, he must believe that this hollering uniformed thug is in fact a
dedicated public servant whose precious career needs to be handled with kid gloves, even though he watched Officer Salvatore Rivieri going up to one of the people he is supposedly
serving, screaming in his face, ordering him around, insulting him, telling him to shut up, threatening him, grabbing him, wrestling him down, shoving him back down to the ground, robbing him of his private property, lecturing him, and getting up in his face about the proper titles to use when the kid addresses his putative servant.
It takes an awfully special kind of
dedicated servant to treat you like that.
(Hat tips to Lew, Balko, Anthony Gregory #1, Anthony Gregory #2, Bill Anderson, Anthony Gregory #3, Anthony Gregory #4.)