There's a difference between leeway and carte blanche.
I get what they do, but it's not a license to kill.
The thing is, police need to have the authority to take a dangerous subject down by any means necessary...and that sometimes means killing the individual.
The police force would be a joke if they had their hands tied and weren't allowed to act in the manner they do.
Yes, there are bad cops that abuse their authority. And those must be dealt with accordingly. You can't handcuff the entire police force because of the bad cops.
and btw... < 30 officers died as a result of criminal actions in 2013, nationally... but around 500 "felony suspects" were killed by police. Seems clear the police are more dangerous to us. And many people thing the 500 number is exceptionally conservative.
That's not really a fair statement.
How many of the 500+ suspects were a legitimate threat to someone and had to be put down?
I'm going to guess the vast majority.
Sure, in a perfect world, a police officer would never have to kill anyone. But this world is far from perfect, with a lot of dangerous criminals out there who, quite honestly, probably deserve to have their heads blown off.
Police have to deal with a LOT of shit...every single day. Now, I don't want to sound like I am making excuses for the cops who make bad decisions. But sometimes cops have no choice but to kill someone...and sometimes, unfortunately, they screw up and maybe kill someone that didn't have to be killed.
Those incidents need to be treated on a case by case basis.
Look at this article from the Salt Lake Tribune
where their research suggests that police kill more people than gangs, drug dealers, or child abuse.
The article also states this:
Nearly all of the fatal shootings by police have been deemed by county prosecutors to be justified. Only one — the 2012 shooting of Danielle Willard by West Valley City police — was deemed unjustified, and the subsequent criminal charge was thrown out last month by a judge.
And in the case described in the article, the kid refused to take his hands out of his pocket and started to lift up his shirt. All while a cop had a gun pointed at him and screaming at him to take his hand out of his pocket and put them in the air. He refused. Did he have to shoot the kid? I dunno...I wasn't there. But the kid was pretty much asking for it.
This isn't about F the police, it's about accountability and the rule of law. There's this assumption that the cops are the good guys, and like any assumption it should be regularly challenged.
I wouldn't disagree with that. Any killing needs to be reviewed and challenged. But here's the thing... they already are. Anytime a police officer shoots someone, they are put on paid leave while it is investigated...at least that is how I understand it. And any time their weapon is discharged, there is also an investigation.
Keep in mind also, that most cops go years at a time without firing their weapon. In general, the cops ARE the good guys. The vast majority of cops are stand up guys.
How many "incidents" do you think happen in a day involving a police officer nationwide? That includes traffic stops, 911 calls, suspicious activity, domestic complaints, etc, etc....everything.
It has to be a ton...probably tens of thousands of cases every day nationwide. But we only hear about the ones where something goes wrong and something happened that maybe shouldn't have in regards to excessive force used by a cop. And even then, in most of those cases, the victim was resisting arrest, or blatantly disobeying a police officer's request.
I think we all have to step back and understand that while a police officer is arresting a suspect whom they deem dangerous, if they lose their grip on their hands or let up from a knee on the back or "take it easy on him", the suspect could potentially get free, overpower the cop and maybe kill him. That is what is in the cop's mind. The cop is fighting for his life as well. Just because the suspect doesn't have a weapon, that doesn't mean anything. One punch to the face could knock out a cop and then who knows what happens.
I'm going to guess, that 99.999% of the cases where an officer is arresting someone and the suspect listens to the cop and does not resist arrest and are cooperative, there is no real issue.
Even in the choke hold case in NY, the suspect wasn't listening to the cops and resisted when they tried to handcuff him. Does that justify his death? Absolutely not...I thought that one should have wen to trial. But on the other hand, if he would have just obeyed the officer like he should have (since he was technically committing a felony and was being arrested), he'd still be alive. Same thing with Michael Brown.
The police absolutely must be held accountable for their actions. But those being arrested also need to be held accountable for their actions...they need to listen to the police officers or else they may face being subdued by force...and that is when accidents can happen and something can go wrong.
In short, don't put yourself in that position and you probably won't get shot or choked or whatever. But if you resist arrest, then things could escalate into something far worse and I don't think it's necessarily fair to automatically put the cop on trial for what happens...which is where the grand jury comes into play. Yes, investigate it, find out what happened and then decide if it needs to go to trial. If the cop was just doing his job, then he shouldn't have to go to trial for that. That sets a bad precedent.
I mean, do we want the police to effectively "serve and protect" the community, or do we want them shouting "Hey, stop that!" while shaking their head side to side and waiving their finger back and forth as they drive by in their cruiser?