Do people still refer to police officers at peace officers? I ask this question because the job of police officers seems to mimic that of a thug more ever day. Whenever I talk to people from my parent’s generation they often reminisces about the fact police officers used to be trustworthy people who literally attempted to keep the peace. Today the job of police officers appears to mirror that of a common thug, extort money from the populace (through fines) and use violence to ensure the King’s subjects do as they’re told. Needless to say with the transition from upholding peace to common thuggery means this story is not at all surprising to me:
A man tried to break into his neighbor’s home. When police officers arrived, he approached them, ignoring their commands to stop. The police used tasers, pepper spray and batons to wrestle the man to the ground, face down, then handcuff him behind his back. And while using physical force is the norm for an uncooperative suspect’s arrest, appearances do deceive.
The man, James Edward Wells, had just experienced a tonic-clonic seizure. In his post-seizure confusion, he mistook his neighbor’s house for his own and could not understand the officers’ orders. Shortly after the cops pinned him face down, Wells stopped breathing.
Emphasis mine, as always. What I find most appalling about this story is the fact the use of Tasers, pepper spray, and batons is considered a proper response when a person isn’t complying with the orders of a police officer. My understanding behind arming the police is allowing them to response to violence using similar levels of violence, not response to merely uncooperative persons with a fucking assault on their person.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s one thing to pin a potential burglar to the ground, handcuff him, and detain him for questioning. The problem comes from the fact a whole different world springs up when a lethal weapon (and let’s face it, Tasers are lethal weapons) is introduced into a situation where nobody’s life is currently being threatened. This entire situation would likely have been a nonissue had the officers responded with equivalent or a slightly higher level of force to which they were being subjected. Instead the state’s shock troops decided to go from zero to full retard in 0.8 seconds.
In the end the police should be held to the same standard everybody else is. That is to say if I couldn’t legally employ the use of force in a situation police officers shouldn’t be able to either.
A tip of the hat to my friend Vicky for sending me this story.