I don’t know who the idiot is screaming in the background, something about “drop the qualifiers” and “cop lives matter” but palease let me turn down the TV so I don’t have to listen to the moron. Oh, there it is, the moron’s name is “Ron Hickman” and he is the Harris County, Texas Sheriff. I knew he wasn’t from around here, God knows, he ain’t no rocket scientist. Wait a minute, another moron is spouting off, some bitch saying there’s a war on law enforcement. She’s not a rocket scientist either.
In the months since Ferguson, we have seen countless police shoot and kill unarmed (black) men, and virtually the entire country has stated that the consistent excessive use of force is not ok. And yet, the response from law enforcement has been the same old excuses. Oh sure, under enormous public pressure, they did some restructuring in Ferguson. But everywhere else from New York, to Cleveland, and even Huntsville, the law enforcement response has been totally wrong, and totally lacking in contrition.
In New York, when police were shot and killed, they took the occasion to trample over the underlying problems, and the “black lives matter” movement, in a haughty show of arrogance and defiance punctuated by displays of pomp and circumstance at the funerals of the dead pigs. In Huntsville, one precinct actually threw a community pity party for themselves while also chiming in about the importance of cop lives.
Law enforcement agencies across this country, even in the last few days, have announced and gloated over their efforts to engage in communication with the community, started public relations campaigns to explain their job, and gone out to meet the children on the sidewalks, so the younguns will know – the cop ain’t the boogie man. They have done everything – except admit they are doing something wrong, and show contrition. (WARNING !Dangerous rhetoric!) I have news for you Mr. Policeman, if you think the war you started is going to end by making nice, you are batcrap fucking crazy.
That loudmouth smart-ass, Ron Hickman, is the perfect example. His deputy gets shot at a gas station, and before a suspect is even apprehended, Hickman KNOWS it’s because the shooter was black and the deputy was wearing a uniform and it’s because of the “dangerous national rhetoric” about militant law enforcement. He KNOWS already.
Well, from my perspective, I see some different interpolations right off the bat. Everybody knows, everything about big economics and the stock market gets a “blood signing.” So, right away I thought, the price of oil hit rock bottom at $40 a barrel. Sho nuff, oil has now rebounded, and I guess while fracking won’t be so lucrative for a while yet, oil prices won’t be going down anymore either. “Sign it!” Goforth’s blood at the Texas oil country gas pump.
And then, they arrested a guy named Shannon Miles who has previously been ruled legally “incompetent.” Right away that made me think about the case, right here in North Alabama, of Farron Barksdale, who killed two Athens police officers when the Athens police department had repeatedly refused to act upon his complaints of community harassment. I wouldn’t suggest that the individual officers deserved the death penalty, however, after reading the stories about Farron’s possible motivations, I have no doubt whatsoever, the Athens police department was pretty much asking for it.
I have to wonder if Shannon Miles had experienced the same kind of harassment by the community and by the police, simply because he has some intellectual or psychological challenges. It occurs to me that if Shannon Miles is the guilty culprit, that he may not have thought of the situation in terms of his “blackness,” or the deputies “whiteness.”
In fact, maybe Hickman was exactly right on one point, in a round about way. Maybe Shannon Miles saw his opportunity to make a statement on his lack of politically correct “uniformity.” Maybe, he perceived the uniforms of law enforcement to be an unconstitutional statement in defiance of “All men are created equal.” What Shannon probably saw was a neo-nazi uniform who had failed and refused to answers his calls when he was being harassed and discriminated against – and maybe he believed that the Harris County Sheriffs department was pretty much asking for it. (WARNING !Dangerous rhetoric!) They probably were.
As a matter of fact, having reviewed most of the situations in the Huntsville metro area in recent history where law enforcement officers have been shot and killed, it’s impossible not to come to the conclusion. Whether the individual officers deserved it is debatable, but that the departments where “asking for it” and “had it coming” seems rather obvious.
In all these cases, the patterns are the same. The officers, and departments, display a judge and jury mentality. (The Kangaroo court system exacerbates this phenomenon, but that’s a different column.) Or perhaps more accurately, they are guided by combative attitudes as they go about their job in an absolute militarized manner. I have said in the past, new recruits for the police department probably shouldn’t come from freshly returning veterans. A lot of police officers are veterans, and I strongly suspect that they fail to understand the difference between fighting a war against an a common enemy, and patrolling a neighborhood that doesn’t look like their own.
The bimbo said there’s a war, and she might be right. Well, maybe law enforcement should stand down. But there’s also an ego problem in the police departments. I took the picture above in 2013. The photo is a panorama composite of two shots taken seconds apart with my cell phone, so it’s a little quirky down the middle. It is, however, an accurate representation of more than 25 police cars that descended upon East Five Points on what was otherwise a quiet Saturday afternoon in October of 2013. Read The Story: [ High Speed Chase The Heat Is On ]
A slow speed chase had broken out that day, and after the perp driving nearly 30 mph through the neighborhood finally had his dad on the scene, he pulled over. When he left the vehicle he was immediately pepper sprayed, cuffed, and taken away. I never did find out what the man eluding the police had done, and frankly it really doesn’t matter. The excessive force is obvious at face value, and the pepper spray was clearly unneeded.
In this example, the oversized, militarized, ego of a bunch of juveniles with a junior high school mentality is blazingly obvious. In the first place, where do 25 police vehicles come from in a city like Huntsville on a quiet Saturday afternoon? There couldn’t have been another cop covering anything anywhere in Huntsville for a 20 mile radius. If any convenience store was being robbed, shots being fired in an apartment, or a bank being robbed, I can only imagine that several of the officers in the photo would had to have left their little game of catch and go ten or fifteen miles to whatever scene of a real problem there might have been. It is a display of extraordinary irresponsibility by everyone in HPD. It was a game to them. They weren’t going to let this guy get away no matter what – their egos depended on it.
Therein lies the crux of the continuing problem. The lack of contrition by law enforcement is arrogant, defiant, and wrong. And nothing but snot nosed ego. It is also the genuinely dangerous component in the equation, because, law enforcement is perpetuating an unnecessary war.
No one is suggesting that crooks, thieves and criminals go unpunished, or that they operate with impunity. And I don’t agree that the problem should be defined as “black” as much as it should be defined by class – and the cold blooded violence of poverty. The onus to be professional, to follow the rules, to respect individual liberty, and to be beyond reproach, however, is not on the crooks and thieves, it’s on law enforcement. (Notice I say “beyond reproach” because law enforcement cannot be “above reproach.”)
© 2015 – Jim Casey
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