Police Brutality, Psychology, Terrorism, and Anonymity

Collectively, police inflict more terror to Americans than terrorists do according to the 2004 National Safety Council report, which showed that Americans are 8 times more likely to be killed by a police officer than by a terrorist. (1) This information was highlighted by News Blaze in 2009 in a report that also determined that:

“You are 17,600 times more likely to die from heart disease than from a terrorist attack”

“You are 11,000 times more likely to die in an airplane accident than from a terrorist plot involving an airplane”

“You are 6 times more likely to die from hot weather than from a terrorist attack.”

Despite these facts, the threat of terrorism is said to be our biggest threat by our political overlords who want to continue the racket of war. Imagine if we spent as much money helping people and combating police brutality as we did terrorism. The world would be incredibly better if we did.

We will have spent about 1 trillion dollars of taxpayer money “fighting terrorism” by the end of this year to reek terror on nations we deem as “terrorist”. Criminals and innocent people in America are often treated like domestic terrorists and we have police states in very populous states like New York.

If you’re not well acquainted with the reality, take a look at this video of just a few of the many recent examples of police brutality in America:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuU1tpi8f7g&feature=player_embedded

Courtesy of Truth Be Known Revolution on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TruthBeKnownRevolution

 A No-Brainer Suggestion to Police:

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Cops need to understand that their presence alone can often be threatening. They are armed individuals who have the license to use force when they deem it is necessary. When I see a cop who I have never met, I feel essentially no different than when I see a person in average clothes carrying a gun. I don’t feel safer, and I know few people who do around police. Most feel more nervous because some cops feel their job is simply to find and arrest people they believe are guilty of criminal behavior, and they forget about the part of their job that requires them to serve the people.  You don’t see police handing out food to the hungry on a regular basis, but this is just one of the many ways police could serve the people in a positive way. They should befriend the poor, the sick, the addicted, the elderly and minorities, and not prey on them. They should emulate the actions of Larry Deprimo (in the picture above) who bought a homeless man without socks or shoes a pair of boots on a cold night. But most police do not, and if they did, Mr. Deprimo would not have made headlines for doing what he did.

Being under the kind scrutiny some police create can be demeaning and stressful, even if you’re completely innocent. My life has never been saved by a cop, but I have been issued plenty of tickets by them; I have also been harassed and abused by them, and I have seen many individuals in the US and around the world beaten, arrested and killed by police in countless news articles and videos.

Police need to recognize that they have no reason to be antagonistic with the general public. If they appear hostile or harass for no reason, they are not doing their job because they’re supposed to be the protectors of society, not its villains. The motivation to become a cop should be a desire to protect and help people. Instead, the main motivation is fear, hate, and lust for power and money. There should be no reason to fear them if you aren’t breaking the law.

There are many ways police could change their appearance to be less threatening, hostile and provoking of hostility. The riot gear and twelve gauge shotguns don’t belong in public sight unless there is a serious emergency, (and protests are not emergencies). They have a responsibility to protect people’s constitutional right to assembly and protest as well, so they should never interfere with protests. Police should want to look non-threatening to everyone because if they do they will be more likely to instigate friendly relations and peace. If police actually upheld individuals rights and helped them with what they need, be it directions or medical attention, instead of harassing and harming nonviolent people, they would become society’s friends instead of their foes.

Individuals only need to pass a brief psychological test and a background check and have a GED or high school diploma to join the police force in the United States. They then go through four months of police academy and after successful training they have the license to detain, arrest, and even kill individuals with impunity and earn about $55,000 a year doing it. As a result, some very prejudiced, violent people become officers.

There are five results for the police psychological exam: fit for duty, unfit for duty and in need of extensive treatment, no diagnosis, unfit but treatable,  and invalid evaluation. The last is a result of a lack of cooperation or inconclusive test results.  Those who are deemed unfit are allowed to reapply and they then know how to pass, which allows them to do so even if they have exactly the same mindset.

If we have police at all, (which I don’t believe we should) police candidates need to be at least more thoroughly screened for prejudices, violent tendencies, and poor judgment before becoming cops. There are probably a few honest people in the police force who do join because they want to protect and serve the people, but they are becoming harder and harder to find as many legislators and police chiefs demand higher “quotas” (revenue from tickets) and arrests from officers.

Most cops believe they have a right to question anyone, for any reason, at any time. This has even been legislated in some states with “Stop and Frisk” Laws. (See here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/13/nypd-stop-and-frisks-15-shocking-facts_n_1513362.html and here: http://www.nyclu.org/content/stop-and-frisk-data.) Police define reasonable suspicion, and so they can question anyone and courts usually rule in their favor when complaints are filed about wrongful detainment or fines. People found innocent after reopening a trial (usually  because of a new piece of evidence that surfaces) and who have spent years in prison also aren’t offered  reparations or even apologies.

The same rules don’t apply to police. We, as citizens, can’t ask cops (much less FBI, DEA or CIA operatives) what they’re up when they’re staking out a house. They often don’t recognize their need to follow the exact same rules that citizens do like obeying the speed limit, not running red lights, and most importantly not “disturbing the peace.” Some also don’t honor their responsibility to give their names when asked or even their badge numbers, and riot squads are granted even more anonymity. They are often virtually indistinguishable since their gear makes them look like faceless grunts. But when individuals in the Occupy or the Anonymous movement try to hide their identity with harmless masks or bandannas, they are viewed as potential criminals.

Putting on a mask doesn’t make you more likely to be a criminal. It only means you prefer to be anonymous and there are many reasons why one would want to be anonymous. The right to privacy is vital in any kind of free and democratic society, but the government should not enforce its rules with essentially anonymous police forces. All government agencies and officials (if they exist at all, which again, they shouldn’t) need to be completely transparent, because they are supposed to be public servants who represent the interests of the people and we, the People, have no way of determining they are actually doing their job if we don’t know what they’re doing or their mere identity. The Anonymous movement rightly recognizes this, and I believe this is at the core of their movement. Their petition to film cops on duty everywhere is smart because it imposes the same kind of surveillance individuals are subject to on cops, and because cops are supposed to the “upholders of moral order”, they should have absolutely no problem with this.

If governments stopped trying to profit from war and “crime fighting,” we would have so much tax payer money left over that we would be able to solve virtually all of our domestic economic and social woes. We need more compassion in police forces if they exist at all, and crime needs to stop being treated like a game of Monopoly. Peoples lives are at stake and this is not something to take at all lightly. If economic disparity and the institutional wrongs in society were corrected, the will for crime would dissipate as well, and no one, even reactionaries, wouldn’t be calling for police.

Footnote:

(1) News Blaze: NSC Study Shows You are More Likely to Killed By a Cop Than a Terrorist. February 21, 2009. Link: http://newsblaze.com/story/20090221100148tsop.nb/topstory.html.

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