Saturday, April 11, 2015

Crimes and punishments in the news.

Videos showing shootings, beatings and officer involved fights have broken out all over the digital media. Yesterday on April 10th, 2015, a video taken by a news helicopter in San Bernardino County shows Sheriffs deputies involved in questionable actions in the take-down of a fleeing suspect. Do these videos show an increase of police brutality or is it the availability of video functions on personal electronic devices that has brought the everyday actions of law enforcement officers to light?
What is the message we should take away from these videos? Do we need to now fear our citizen police force? Is the motto "To serve and Protect" meaningless? Is it simply a question of race? Do police officers of non-white racial backgrounds get accused of these same types of actions?

Police departments all over the United States in an effort to be more transparent to public scrutiny have opted to use digital recording devices to capture the daily actions of the police officers entrusted with public safety. In doing so, the hazards of everyday police work and its dangers have been brought to light.Citizens are also guilty of abuse. Yelling, screaming, and physical abuse, including murder of police officers has been captured by the video devices. What can we conclude is the real reason of these increasingly deadly interactions?

Mental fatigue and stress might be the answer. Everyday we get a little closer as a society, everyday our work puts more pressure on us to produce. Problems at home and dis-enchantment could be the cause as well. The marketing used to get us to do more, and to be more productive seems over whelming. The latest and greatest gadgets that we need to have to live a contented life.
Maybe the answer is that we need to step back as a society and as individuals. Maybe we need to put in some good old fashioned porch time (whether we have porches or not) Turn off the computer, the television, and the other gadgets and gizmos that distract us, have a glass of iced tea and take a deep breath, take the kids, the dog,or a ball to the park. How many children know how to play 'kick the can'? 'Hide and Seek'?

We do not live in a Utopian world or country for that matter, and everyone is vulnerable to a bad day.
It seems not one of the law enforcement individuals at this latest occurrence was inclined to rein in his partners. What was the message transmitted to the subject of their actions? Next time you'll submit to arrest? Or, like Yosemite Sam used to say to the animal after whacking it half to death, "When I say whoa, I mean whoa!"? Was the subject a repeat offender? Did he do something that wasn't on video that caused the retaliation? Does it matter?

There is one thing we can be sure of. We are innocent until proven guilty, and if this citizen is proven to be criminal, his sentence will change from "law breaker" to "victim" and quite possible because of future litigation, he will become wealthy enough so that he will no longer have to break the laws of the land to survive. He may even look back on this 'beating' as the best thing that ever happened to him.  I do not believe that this is the message the officers were trying to convey.

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