Anyway, I've been thinking about the two most recent cops-behaving-badly news stories, the one where an officer shot an autistic man’s black carer, and now the one about the teacher being body slammed by the police. There was no justification for shooting that guy in the leg. Leaving him bleeding for twenty minutes afterwards was so wrong I don't have words. I don't know if the conversation where the officer said he didn't know why he'd shot the guy was recorded, but I hope it was. I'm far less troubled by the guy getting shot (and deeply thankful it wasn't a fatal shooting) than I am by him having to wait for twenty minutes for medical help. The shooting could be an accident ("I was nervous and pulled the trigger without actually meaning to") but I can't say the same about it taking twenty minutes to get medical attention.
The situation with the school teacher gave me even more to think about. First -- let me be perfectly clear -- I don't think what happened to her was at all right. At the same time I compare what happened to her to what I've seen hundreds of times on Cops/Caught on Camera/etc. and it doesn't seem much different. On those shows I've heard people asking "Are you serious," the police wanting instantaneous obedience to their directives and reacting with force when the person doesn't respond the way or as quickly as the officer wants, and the police ignoring the detainee's questions. I've also seen people repeatedly lying to the police, not to mention actually shouting "I'm not resisting!" while quite obviously doing just that. I don't have a clue how anyone can tell the difference between a scared and confused person being slow to respond due to their fright & confusion and a person with evil intent being slow to respond because they are frantically thinking of a way to turn the situation to their own advantage.
I remember a situation that happened here in Detroit many years ago when the police busted an illegal rave. One of the participants was crippled and in a wheelchair. The office ordered him to put his hands on top of his head; the guy responded that his arms didn't work that way. The officer then took hold of his hands, said something along the lines of "Well they do now," and forced them into the position he wanted, tearing up the poor guys muscles and ligaments in the process. I don't know if there's a way to tell (from sensation) the difference between someone who is actively resisting (pulling back) and a medical condition. (I have no idea what the outcome of the Detroit situation; I just remember the guy was hurt and his friends were outraged on his behalf.)
I have no solutions to any of this. Only questions and sorrow.
This entry was originally posted at http://mrs-sweetpeach.dreamwidth.org/887091.html.