A Girl and a Bad Cop

We’ve all seen the video now of the young teen girl in a bathing suit being thrown to the ground by a cop with a bad attitude. There is a report that the police were called because black kids were in their local pool. Why would a cop go in with that attitude he showed for a dispute over who could use a pool?  The kid who took the video is white. The officers walked close by him several times and ignored him completely. The bad cop (hereafter bc) actually took down the two black kids who were standing closest to him, and left him alone. Why was he filmimg? Because, shhhh!, they were his friends. Yeah, that’s right. The white kid was friends with the black kids. There is indeed hope for the future. But not because of cops like bc.

There were several other cops there and they only interfered with bc when he pulled his gun on two kids who were trying to help the girl on the ground. The kids ran, and the other cops ran after them. One has been charged with interfering with the police. Those two young men were brave and compassionate to their friend who was being abused by bc.

And what was the young lady’s offense? She was running her mouth. Which is such a major crime that the Founding Fathers gave us all a Get Out Of Jail Free card for something called free speech. She had every right to “run her mouth” because no crime was committed here until the cops came along. Then the racist handcuffing of black kids only, and initially only black boys happened. She was the only girl handcuffed and bc did it, after slamming her face into the pavement and kneeling on her bare back.

I’ve been mad about the killing of young black men that seems to have reached epic proportions over the past year. But this one absolutely curdles my blood. That girl is a child. She asked her friends to call her mother. The handcuffed boys had committed the crime of being black and male. There was no evidence of a crime having been committed and the black kids were rounded up as if they were a criminal mob. Why can’t we get cops who see people as individuals? Who don’r see evil by color of skin? Who actually enforce laws as written, and not how they think the laws should have been written? Who understand that their job is peacekeeping for all of the people?

I spent several years early in my career as a public defender. There were a few bad apples in the various police departments I dealt with, but nothing like we’re seeing now. Can it be that all these cops have responded this way because the feds have given them excess military equipment? Is it simply that the cops have been militarized and picked the enemy because of prejudice or a long history of the judicial system failing the African American community? There ought to be mandatory daily training and discussion about this problem in police stations all over this country. The prosecuting attorneys should take part in sensitivity training, since they in general haven’t looked too good in this either. Ferguson where the prosecutor gave the wrong law to the grand jury, ensuring there would be no indictment. Staten Island where a video showed an illegal choke hold and the grand jury did nothing.

This has got to stop. If this is what happens in a free country, how free are we? And don’t get me started on torturung (Chicago, Abu Ghraib and Gitmo) or spying on us as if we’re all threats to the security of this country (thank you, Edward Snowden).

What do you think? Please comment!

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