When Reddit user Denyborg posted the following title – “This is why the police can’t be trusted to investigate themselves…” – I thought it might be highlighting problems during investigations of police which are almost never conducted by unbiased independent parties. I thought it might be a situation like this one where investigators defend an officer caught lying during the process – the officer abused his power to harass and even steal the online identity of a demonstrator – and they all enjoyed a good brotherly laugh.
No, his reason for posting a concern about police investigating themselves is much more poignant and cause for alarm. Imagine my surprise when it actually linked to an article by Duane Wolfe, a retired cop writing to other cops on Policeone.com.
The article entitled “5 common use-of-force myths debunked,” is just that – a treatise for debunking the idea that there is such a thing as too much force during an encounter with a suspect. Unfortunately, while the term “suspect” is used to conjure up imagery of an escaping bank robber who might be armed – in actuality, any citizen is considered suspect.
That’s why his five “myths” could be construed as troubling to a rational mind who might ponder what causes a “peace officer” to brutalize or draw guns on someone they’ve just pulled over. If this really is how the majority of police think, then it decimates any illusions of safety in their presence.
Here are the bullet pointed myths he’d like to rectify:
- Myth #1: Officers must use a minimal level of force to overcome the suspect resistance.
- Myth #2: You may only use one level of force above a suspect’s level of resistance.
- Myth #3: Presence and verbal commands are the two lowest levels of use of force.
- Myth #4: Force continuums work, or even make any sense.
And the kicker:
- Myth #5: That ‘Excessive Force’ is really a thing.
He expands on the fifth note:
If five officers would say the force was reasonable, it should be judged reasonable. If five officers would say it was unreasonable, it is judged unreasonable. If four officers would say it is unreasonable and one officer was to say it was reasonable, it should be ruled as reasonable.
Well, that certainly is comforting… It’s not like the brothers in blue would ever cross a line to protect another from scrutiny. See: Watch as Investigators Protect Police Chief Lying on Film Check my previous articles or look for more – they lie on reports with no repercussions after caught falsifying them.
If you think the mentality of that remains with him only – guess again. Seattle cops sued the city because they felt the crimps on excessive force were – *cough* – unconstitutional…. Not to mention, Wolfe is accurate in describing that officers can fall back on a Supreme Court case: Graham v. Connor. You should read it too. If my eyes don’t deceive me, it really appears there is no such thing as excessive force on behalf of police. You can read 16 other ways SCOTUS has allowed unfettered police use of force here.
Currently – and at least 20 years too late – the corporate-run (mainstream) media and late night comedy/political shows are starting to point out growing problems with police corruption like indiscriminately blasting away family pets, using tasers on vulnerable people for minor infractions, literal highway robbery through civil asset forfeiture, rape, and the lack of data surrounding just how many Americans are killed by their police force each year.
Meanwhile, primetime television has kept another myth burning – that the men in blue are heroes who endanger their lives to keep you safe and must make quick decisions which sometimes leads to casualties of innocents. How unfortunate…but, you gotta break a few legs…er…eggs every now and again.
Police officers, like anyone else, have a right to self-defense against harm. Obviously, this is not what I’m referring to here and this is not where force is applied most of the time. They should not be allowed, nor should they want to, apply Graham v. Connor to slam and taser pregnant women, shoot and kill subdued and unarmed boys because they are impatient, slam a girl’s head into the pavement and leave her dead in handcuffs, have five officers kick, punch and pile onto someone they wish to arrest or beat anyone subdued and in handcuffs. A person in handcuffs and on their way to jail has a right to remain unmolested in the process.
In most people’s minds, this would be the worst possible time to encourage more use of force and deem that it can never be too excessive.
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