There's been a lot of discussion lately on the militarization of the police force. Randy Balko got everyone interested with Rise of the Warrior Cop, including the mighty ABA which let him write a pretty good summary in their monthly magazine.
Of course, plenty of folks have been concerned about this for a long time.
What's curious for me is how the warrior cop has become acceptable in the court. Example: Officers go to investigate a domestic, find someone injured and intoxicated, rather than clearing him from the area before engaging in a search with a warrant, they just go around looking at his things, despite the fact that it obviously upsets him. And next thing you know cops are fighting with a badly injured drunk. When asked about it, the officers say, "I'm just trying to protect myself and the other officers." Ok. That's not really an answer to anything. But the judge nods sagely.
Or you have cops visit a home at 3 AM, barge inside and harass the naked occupants. Excuse: "They could be dangerous, I don't know what's going on in that house." Ok. So don't go in. "Well, but they could come out and attack me." Riiiiiight. Did you have any reason to think they were dangerous. "Every day I'm in danger." Fuck.
Judge: Yup. Scary out there.
No. No it isn't. Well, yes, but not all the time. There is no reason to take the guns blazing approach to EVERY FUCKING SITUATION.
So recently Police State USA posted this: http://www.policestateusa.com/2013/police-taser-man-to-get-him-off-a-roof-choke-drag-him-face-down-across-a-staircase-killing-him/
Which was, upsetting.
Then in Idaho, we get our own: http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2013/aug/26/man-shot-killed-cda-police-identified/
I can't get over the calm. These folks are upset, but it's like they feel they have to make a logical argument. Like there's a discussion to be had here. "Well, you see, when a man has a knife to his own throat, there's no reason to shoot him to death."
Yes. That is true. Assuming that's the case, you don't need to explain. The scenario explains itself.
Hell, I don't even know why they'd need to shoot a guy holding a knife. They have tasers. Why use the gun? Who was in danger of gross bodily injury or death? The guy himself? So you kill him?
None of this is new. Cops have been killing blacks, poor whites, and whatever other undesirable minority for as long as they have been around. But now we have it on video. And the response remains: shrug.
Thug cops are being replaced by warrior cops and the end result is: nothing changes. And the few good cops that believe what they do is about protecting everyone, even the law breakers, remain an endangered minority.
It would be cheaper for everyone if police were properly trained so that we could avoid things that lead to massive lawsuits.
There, I made the argument everyone can agree with. Money matters. The current situation is bad for money. Do it for the money.
The dead poor will sort themselves out.