I wrote this post months ago, a few days before I watched the shooting in front of my house and hesitated to post it because it feels like a personal angry rant… and because I’m scared of what the cops might do if I criticize them too vehemently. But the other day I noticed a headline saying that the Seattle police are looking to use less violent techniques after the death of yet another innocent dude, and instead were going to use more “verbal judo”, which, to us layman, means “lies, deceit and manipulations”. I’m sorry, but it’s hard not to think that their pledge to be less violent is just another example of “verbal judo.” So here’s my post:
One of the reasons I don’t watch or read much news is the fact that almost every time I do, I hear about some person who was beaten or otherwise seriously harmed by a police officer. I find it too depressing to see these things, knowing that most of the people I know support them in some form or another.
On my birthday last year, for example, someone actually told me, “The only people killed by police are people who deserve it.” I’m not sure if they realized how that would affect me. I’ve actually come terrifyingly close to being killed by cops on four occasions, three of those times without ever having committed anything that could arguably be considered a crime.
And I keep seeing these types of things whenever I happen to see or read the news. A few weeks ago I was waiting for my lunch in a little diner and the news was on. First I saw a story about a guy who was suing the police after being ‘stomped on’ by a police officer and having racial slurs shouted at him. A few minutes later I saw that another officer had locked himself in his house after killing his wife and kids, the standoff finally ending when he killed himself. Then today I read a story about a woman who quit her job to take care of her husband who was paralyzed in a mistaken police chase. (In trying to find this news story to confirm this, I found some others under the keywords ‘mistaken’ and ‘police’: “NY police tell parents that son is dead — he’s not“, “Police: Yakima farmworker, mistaken for gang member, shot“, “Jury Awards $55,000 To Woman, Child For Mistaken Drug Raid — Police Broke Into Wrong Apartment“, “1 year after officer tackled him, man is bedridden, wife is caretaker“, “Marines, Police Die In Mistaken Battle“, “Mistaken Identity — Disciplinary Measures Urged For County Officials Who Denied Medication” I wasn’t able to find the one I was thinking of, but came upon all these on just the first page of my first search. It’s no wonder that every time I see the news I see another example of police doing something horrible.
People who watch or read the news on a regular basis must be inundated with these kind of stories, yet no matter how many horrible things we hear, we always turn a blind eye, and continue to see police as the good guys. Some days knowing this is too hard for me to deal with.