November 16, 2006

Contrary to what the 'Law and Order' addicts think...

...police systems work because those they are policing consent to be governed. Incidents like this make the populace less, not more, content with police governance; as a result, the effectiveness of police goes down, not up. This is how police forces lose their ability to police through direction rather than force, and this is how law and order give way to repression and violence.

Because if, for example, I was there, the only thing keeping me from beating one of those cops' fucking head in would be the threat of immediate force. It sure wouldn't be respect for the fucking law.

Is that what those cops want to face every time they look at one of the civilians they're supposed to 'serve and protect'?

Here's a hint. If someone asks you for your name and badge number, and the thought makes you angry/ashamed/frightened - maybe you shouldn't be doing what you're doing. If it just makes you resentful, that's one thing - but if you find yourself threatening them with force for doing so, you've crossed the line into not just part of the problem, but the fucking source.

Posted by jbz at November 16, 2006 1:42 PM | TrackBack


I've heard it suggested that the first use of the taser may have rendered him temporarily unable to stand up, at which point his "refusal" to stand up was actually an *inability* to stand up, and the continued use of the taser by the police was counterproductive. Then again, I don't see a need to resort to a taser even once when simply removing somebody from a building. A taser is simply the wrong tool for the job.

For me, it's not the fact that incidents like this take place that reduces my faith in the police; it's the fact that the officers involved never face any serious disciplinary action. If someone not wearing a uniform were to handcuff and torture someone in public, in front of myriad witnesses and cameras, they'd go to prison. If someone wearing a uniform handcuffs and tortures someone, and they're found not to have been justified in their actions, they're simply told not to do it again. These people need to face serious criminal charges, if not from the state government, then from the federal government. I'm still upset that nobody has yet faced federal charges in the death of Victoria Snelgrove. Maybe in 2009 things will change.

I think a large part of the problem today is that the police are often given carte blanche to use "less lethal" weapons rather than conventional firearms, nightsticks, etc., and the result is a complete lack of restraint on the part of some officers when using said weapons. They become a tool of first resort all too easily.

Posted by: Mark Gordon at November 16, 2006 4:37 PM
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