Monday, November 21, 2011

Good cop. Bad cop.



Several of my extended family members serve in law enforcement.

I also count among my friends other folks who wear a badge.

Some of their finer moments include, my aunt arresting perps in her bathrobe; my cousin being among the most sensitive officers sent out to comfort bloodied and traumatized victims who've survived gruesome crime sprees; an extended family member was the first female Montana Trooper shot in the line of duty.

Nearly everyone in my family hailing from the previous generation is a veteran.

One friends became HIV positive aiding a patient in distress. These are all honorable people. Sometimes they've had to make awful decisions in the line of duty. They've put their lives on the line for others.

But when corporations make large donations to the sway the will of law enforcement and these agencies become more responsive to corporate lackeys than the public; when first responders act not as servants but actually aid the rich and powerful in further circumventing the law; when the first responders we all rely upon are dispatched to create barriers to lawful expression of constitutional rights; when the head of a large tax payer funded university demands that cops clear away protesters for her convenience--and these same people who I thought are afforded this constitutional right to protest as part of the rules we all agree are important to our representative democracy are pepper sprayed instead, then I am sickened.

I've got no beef against law enforcement as long as the ultimate expectation of public service remains clear and that their mission is to protect and to serve and that their duty is first and foremost to the most vulnerable, regardless of race, gender, social class, sexual orientation and religion. WE ALL BLEED RED.

Recently in Spokane a complete loser of a human being was convicted for his part in murdering an innocent civilian who had done nothing wrong. The law officer used excessive force. He lied to investigators. Only upon federal intervention did the truth surface and would his conviction follow. Yet 75 police officers found themselves smarter than the jury and saluted their fellow officer in a spirit of vocal opposition to the findings of the jury.

This same department was responsible for the murder of two Pend Oreille County Sheriff's several decades ago and it continues to operate above the law.

Look at this video. This is what things have come to. These kids are not crazy. They are not degenerates. They are, like the 84 year old woman who was pepper sprayed last week in Seattle, human. They bleed red. They are still guaranteed certain rights. And their numbers, in police action after police action all across the country, are growing.

This is the spring of the 99.9%.  Let's hope that the violence found here is the end of these sorts of police actions.

For more on OWS/OAS and the escalating police violence jump to:

http://www.salon.com/2011/11/20/the_roots_of_the_uc_davis_pepper_spraying/singleton/

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