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Friday, June 12, 2015

Dear Police: If You Need to Git 'Er Done, You Need to Go!

Our society seems to be gradually losing its soul. Power seems to hold more value these days than human lives. Over the last couple of years it almost seems that we have come to not only expect that out of control police officers will be sent free, but many people have determined that they should. Society is being conditioned to believe that life is so invaluable as to willingly accept its loss over a loose cigarette or an unpaid child support order. We seem to have a growing number of people who first seek control and then exploit it with an enthusiasm that a reasoned person could never comprehend. It is as if there is a joy or a pride in the excitement of wielding power over another person. I won’t go into the myriad of possible causes because it is too complex for a simple piece, but the representations are all around us.

The video released this weekend shows that we may be making progress considering the events of the last few years where police officers had been either filmed or suspected of having murdered unarmed citizens. Although the video shows us a way-to-eager white neighbor trying to help the police ‘bring order’ to the situation, it also showed that some of the police officers were completely mindful of the fact that the rogue in their midst was taking it too far when he pulled out his gun. Of course, I would have much rather they stopped that officer before a little girl was slammed to the Earth by her hair and abused in a manner that a citizen would certainly find jail time for. But, at least no one got shot, this time. Jesus! That is an absolute tragedy isn’t it? I still find I’m holding my breath when I watch the video for the *nth time and hear her call for her mother and here I suggest that we should commend officers for not allowing this cop to open fire on unarmed kids. Sometimes I really think I need to commit myself when I try to rationalize the base of our society. Honestly.

The day before Easter an unarmed citizen of South Carolina, Walter Scott, was pulled over in a traffic stop and he took off because he had unpaid child support orders. He was filmed being murdered because he ran from a cop with an all too eager attitude to just kill the man, do the paperwork and go home for the evening. Americans were all over social media having an argument about whether or not it was wrong. Really? As a woman who never received child support, I would have loved for someone to have taken the warrants for my back pay seriously. But I wouldn’t expect anyone to die over it. Watching that video I felt the fear of this man running from gunshots. I watched the cop and couldn’t imagine what he could have been thinking, “I don’t want to chase after this man who I pulled over for a simple driving infraction, I’ll just shoot him until he’s dead.” Git ‘Er done, motherfucker.

We saw Eric Garner strangled to death last year and I have not been able to shake that vision. I am haunted by it. Mr. Garner never posed a threat to anyone. He was a single man surrounded by police officers. He begged for them to stop and there was no moment of reflection where the officer realized the man had been subdued and he needed to step away. One of the commonalities between the Walter Scott murder and that of Eric Garner is the fact that after they were both clearly dead, they were put into handcuffs. Was it to make it look like they were alive for anyone who was watching or was it still part of their need to dominate? Who gives a shit? Git ‘Er done, motherfucker.

In Cleveland last year a 12 year old boy, Tamir Rice, was in the park with no one around. The police pulled up and shot him. There was no warning given. This child had not even had an opportunity to register what was going on and they killed him. These police officers get a call about a “young man” in the park with a gun and they drove in with an immediate instinct to shoot him. That is not how they were trained to deal with this situation. There were several steps in the middle that they completely surpassed where they would have determined that #1 he was a child #2 the gun was a toy #3 he was a threat to no one. They decided to forego all of the training they were given and just drove up to murder this child. Git ‘Er done, motherfucker.

Maybe the fact that there were officers at the scene in Texas this weekend who were able to control themselves and (finally) sought to control the one who was taking things way too far is a sign that law enforcement is hearing society’s demand that it be the responsibility of the police officers to treat their citizenry with respect until they are given a reason not to? Maybe this will begin a change where their leaders demand that they offer respect to both the power and the weapons they are given in their job of protecting and serving our communities? These officers have been protecting and serving their own egos. Period.

I’m glad Officer Casebolt quit his job because he should have but the outcome of his ‘investigation’ in a state like Texas will offer us insight to the way things are heading. If there was ever a way to show the exact mentality we are fighting against, we were offered it this weekend.

Git ‘Er done, motherfucker.


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