Thursday, August 14, 2014

Something Is Terribly Wrong Here

There is something terribly wrong in this country.  Well, actually, there are a lot of things wrong in this country but what I want to focus on here is the police.

The shooting, by police, of an unarmed teen in Missouri is just the most recent display of police power gone to the lunatic fringe of our society.  As of this morning, the name of the office who shot him has still not been released.  If anyone else had shot this teen, the name would already be in every newspaper in the nation.

I’m not going to go into the racial aspect of this whole thing – even though I believe it to be a huge underlying problem.  What I am going to talk about are the police forces and officers themselves.

When I was a girl, the police either were plain-clothes detectives or wore regular blue uniforms, neatly pressed and looking good.  These men (mostly men), some of whom were closely related to me, were easily recognizable in marked squad cars and walking down the streets of our town.  They carried  pistols holstered in squeaky, well-cared-for leather and their badges were on full display on their chests.  We thought of the police as our protectors and mediators in disputes.  Sometimes they arrested people for breaking the law.  This was all expected.

Today, a reporter sitting in a McDonald’s at this computer is told that he is trespassing and is pushed and shoved and arrested and carted off to jail by police wearing what can only be described as camouflage military combat gear and carrying assault weapons.  

They travel in packs in armored vehicles resembling hardened military tank-like vehicles.  Their demeanor is that of the belligerent, immature, testosterone-doped, uneducated bully with the unbridled power of the law shielding him.

These combat-ready bullies stay on the edge of anger where the slightest tic can push them over into brutality.  Women are beaten about the head in broad daylight until they are completely senseless and, perhaps, damaged for life.  Teenagers are shot dead in the streets.  Homes at wrong addresses are entered, without warrants, and ransacked.  Peaceful demonstrators are maced and beaten.  Pets are shot dead by these criminal police.

Yes.  I said criminal police.  Who would have thought that, in the United States of America, these type crimes would be committed by our own whose job it is to protect us?  The big question today is, how are these police officers selected for the job?  What kind of scrutiny are they put under before they are handed a weapon and a badge?  What kind of psychiatric examinations are they given to weed out the power-mad bullies among the candidates?  What safeguards are in place to rid the ranks of these bullies once they are already years on the force?  What mindset is it that requires tanks and assault weapons against the very people they are supposed to be defending?

I don’t have the answers to these questions.  But I know this:  our civilian police forces should NEVER look in any way military.  They should not be carrying military weapons.  They should not be driving military vehicles.  They are there – they SHOULD be there – to protect and defend us.  NOT to harass us.  NOT to beat us.  NOT to falsely arrest us.  NOT to deny us our rights.  NOT to shoot our pets.

There are some things really wrong in this country.  And one of the really wrong somethings is our collective civilian police force that has become nearly indistinguishable from our military.

Thanks for your Time

~ AngelMay ~