This is a site providing a daily news feed of police brutality and misconduct. You can see that every single day in the US there are twenty or thirty different stories of police officers doing awful things. Everything from beating up their wives to falsifying evidence, tazering children or having sex with kids. Here’s some examples just from yesterday (March 18 2012).
- Edinburg TX cop gets probation in official oppression plea for shaking down a motorist in order to get his customized cooler full of beer.
- Collinsville IL cop shown manufacturing cause to search motorist’s vehicle in home video made by that motorist.
- Yakima WA police are accused of intentionally misinterpreting state law as an excuse for keeping a police sergeant’s misconduct and the investigation into it a secret, and it isn’t the first time they did so.
- Youngstown OH cops are accused of cuffing & arresting a grandmother in front of her grandchildren without charges.
- NYPD officers shown on video slamming an Occupy medic head-first into a door window, breaking the window while arresting him for unknown reasons.
- Orlando FL cop suspended w/o pay for unspecified period of time for throwing a woman to the ground on video, breaking her teeth in the process.
- Newark NJ cop accused of hitting mentally ill man in the chest with a running leap punch before he died.
- Del City OK police are being accused of a coverup after witnesses claim they fatally shot an unarmed teen in back while his hands were raised.
So my question is, where do these stories come from? Are they just crowd-sourced? I have a feeling this is not an exhaustive list and there are even more stories that never make it to this site because they just can’t keep track of every paper and community in the country.
Then take into account the basic idea that only a tiny percentage of criminals are ever caught for their crimes. I’ve read that statistically the average child molester assaults dozens of children before ever getting caught. Some research indicates similar numbers for rapists. I know from personal experience that the average drug dealer can make hundreds if not thousands of deals without ever getting busted and without even taking basic precautions. I’ve read interviews with police who claim the numbers are similar for murders. There is no reason to think police brutality and misconduct is any different than any of these other crimes, except for the fact that police are in a much better position to hide their crimes and understand how to get around the laws far better than the average criminal, and because the majority of victims and witnesses are too terrified to come forward.
For every article of police abuse and misconduct posted here, I think it’s reasonable to assume there are a hundred more that go completely unnoticed. As I’ve said before, this is not an issue of a few bad apples and being more vigilant about reporting misconduct. This issue runs far, far, deeper. If we ever want a peaceful society we must make a fundamental shift in the way we think about and deal with criminal behavior.