Thursday, April 9, 2015

the policeman is your friend


"The problem seems to be a subculture

that promotes a wrong, misplaced notion of loyalty over doing what is right, and protects wrongdoers who promote




and the


even evil,

exercise of power over the weak and defenseless.  It's a culture that needs to be focused on and changed."


-- the above assessment from an Asheville, North Carolina, lawyer commenting on the Walter Scott shooting in South Carolina. ...

Other Reader Comments:

-- John Smith, DC

The really sad part about this is the cop would have gotten away with murder if a bystander hadn't videotaped the cop's crime. 

The PD just rallied around him for 4 days before the video was published by the NYT.  How many innocent people have been executed by cops with no fear of being brought to justice.

-- RDA in Armonk    NY

The Scott shooting not only makes you wonder how often police tell the truth but how often they get away with murder.

-- bnc    Lowell, Ma

How many other victims of this cop's planting evidence are now in prison and should have retrials?

-- Mud Hen Dan    NYC

I have practiced law for nearly 40 years.

If I am ever a juror and the only evidence is the uncorroborated testimony of a cop, ......the defendant walks for lack of credible proof of guilt.

They have no one to blame but themselves for squandering the huge bank of public trust afforded them.

-- MG    Tucson

It's a sad state of affairs when we fear for our lives from our police force more than we do from criminals.

The police should not be judge - jury and executioner.  Drawing and firing their weapon should be their last resort and only if fired upon first.  If they fear for their lives, they shouldn't be a cop.

-- David    Portland

This is a nation-wide police culture that has given itself the right to be judge, jury and executioner and then lie about it,

and the message that we need to internalize as a society

is that police statements are of no more veracity than that of a typical defendant.

--------- This is not an anti-police position, it is simply common sense and these videos prove it to be the case. 

Obviously, our police forces need to be reformed from top to bottom, but until that time people need to stop assuming that what the police say about anything is even close to the truth.

-- Terry Report . com    Maryland

We also task the police to be constant "bill collectors" in cities and towns where riding the backs of minorities and the poor provides funding for the local govt.  (What could possibly go wrong?!)

There are many examples of police misconduct, but they don't come to national attention because that's "local news."  We've been worrying about Iraq when we should have paid attention to N. Charleston and Ferguson and the whole corrupt process of jailing and killing here.

-- Brian Sheller    Columbus, OH

The practice of enforcing the law seems, unfortunately, to have become the business of enforcing the law.

Asset forfeiture and federal grant money have had a perverse effect on police department decision making.  Violence against the non-violent has been 'incentivized.'

-- Doug    Mid-Atlantic

We need to disarm the street cops.  Too many of them have proven themselves undeserving of the trust, and the moment they get into a scuffle with a non-compliant suspect, the issue arises of them (sensibly) fearing that they'll lose control of the gun.

{end, sample Reader Comments, New York Times}


I keep trying to make sense of this:

When Richard Nixon was President, criminals ran wild in the streets.

With Barack Obama as President, police run wild in the streets.

Is it Republicans who are "soft on crime"  ("It's society's fault" ...)


Democrats who preside over a creeping "police state" ("It's society's fault" ...)?

----------- (%#!*, is it any sort of accomplishment to have now lived long enough to hear the "Society is to blame" explanation invoked to explain misconduct by civilians and, now, by policemen??)


Do we get what we vote for?

Or do we vote against what we've been getting?


James Wolcott's book Lucking Out describes 1970s-era New York City:

--------------------[excerpt] ---------------- The IRT stop closest to my Ninety-second Street apartment was a convenient four blocks north, but those four blocks often required

nimble footwork and ninja awareness

of impending action. 

So much of New York did. 

Most of the parks were safer walking around than through.  (I was warned about venturing into Riverside Park, where, I got the impression, dead bodies were always being discovered after having rolled downhill the night before.) 

Entire neighborhoods were considered no-go areas where you never knew

what the hell might fall from the fire escapes,

and even sections of town that didn't resemble standing rubble had stretches that you avoided, had you been properly briefed.

Otherwise, you'd be walking down some leafy block, moderately carefree, turn the wrong corner, and find yourself staring down the barrel of a hostile street, forced to either retrace your steps or run for your freaky life like Cornel Wilde in The Naked Prey

...It was at the newsstand at the southwest corner of Ninety-sixth that I picked up the copy of the Daily News with the arresting headline


and it was the perfect spot to receive notice of impending collapse. ---------------------- [end excerpt]

{excerpt:  Lucking Out.  My Life Getting Down And Semi-Dirty In Seventies New York.  By James Wolcott.  2011.  Doubleday - Random House.}


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