The conflict of the United States’ people vs. it’s own police force is a match up one would hope to never exist.
The event’s of Ferguson, Missouri have recently drawn national attention to the issue of lethal force application, in the case of Michael Brown. Anyway you look at it, this is a tragic case of someone losing their life. The reports from all sides mention criteria that he had possibly just stole something from a convenience store, there was a struggle, that he was surrendering when the officer fired, but no witness’ statements include a consistent account of Cooperation. Here in lies the issue and the question, who is at fault?
Let’s start at the base, police officers are given a great deal of power, not everyone can handle this. Many people who become police officers have excellent intentions to keep the streets safe, but others may be fulfilling a need to feel important (little man’s disease or Napoleon complex). This needs to be taken into account that not all cops are heroes and not all cops are bigots, but once you create a you VS. them scenario, you subject yourself against the entire police force and usually the judicial system sides with their own.
Yes, as Americans we have rights, but in the heat of the moment these are often violated, even if they are violated, no one has ever won a fight against a cop. It’s like arguing a referee in a sport, rarely and never has a call been overturned because you argued, the only situation is video or eye witness evidence, which comes after the fact. Your only chance at success (albeit relative success) is complete cooperation. (video taping encouraged, as this could help you later)
This being said there are countless cases of police brutality, unnecessary force, and a violation of rights, but many cases could have been avoided were there not instigation or passive resistance. Many situations that were related to police brutality start with a citizen yelling “Leave me alone” “I didn’t do anything” or “get off me”, yelling will not lead in any positive direction. These officers do not back down, they do not listen to reason, they feed off actions.
Police overstepping their boundaries will not cease to exist, but you are not special when it comes to an officer’s job. Officer’s see hundreds of people everyday, while we see cops and become weary of their presence. Many times the appropriate action is taken by an officer, and he may have protected his or other peoples lives in doing so. The attitude of “fuck the police” is not sustainable, and will not have great dividends.
The underlying message of all this is do not have an ego with the cops, it will not work.
Racism is real.
Injustice is real.
Corrupt systems exist.
Give your greatest effort to not walk into these traps.