Penjihad's Blog

"To comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable"

Police After George Floyd

After George Floyd was murdered as a completely casual act by the Minneapolis Police, America was literally lit up by protestors. People of color, especially Black folks, had hundreds of years of brutality and oppression burst out in the form of uncontrollable crowds. Crowds wanted justice for Floyd and punishment for Officer Chauvin, the cop who murdered Floyd and his three fellow cops who just stood there, not intervening for all of the nine minutes during which Chauvin had his knee on Floyd’s neck, preventing him from breathing. Around four minutes after the knee was first applied, one cop checked Floyd for pulse and said he found none, yet neither he nor any of the other two officers, did anything to stop Chauvin.

How and why do these terrible things continue to happen at the hands of Police officers all across the nation?

What things need to be changed before a change in Police culture can be seen and felt?

At the basic training level, Police cadets are trained to be such a tight-knit team that they later conspire with each other to cover up and thus “protect” their fellow officers. This imprinting of a “family” concept in the minds of the impressionable cadets teaches them that their own officers are more valuable than the “Other”; civilians who are actually the bosses and paymasters of the Police, civilians who are meant to be protected BY the Police, not FROM the Police. This is what most likely prevented the three cops from intervening publicly in a fellow officer’s actions.

Though not part of the formal training, they are impressed with the highest regard for their own lives, not the lives of civilians. They are told that “out there” is a “War Zone” and they should do everything to ensure they and their fellow officers “get back home safely at the end of their shift”.

What happens on a “War Zone”? People are “soldiers”, “warriors” and they are not about to get ambushed by “The enemy” (civilians). Thus of course, people are “stopped” at the slightest thought (not belief, not suspicion) that “the enemy” may kill them. “Stopped”? I once asked. “You empty a magazine full of hollow-point bullets into the person, how is that merely stopping them?”. Well, the person so shot is not going anywhere is he? The points they aim for are the head, the chest and the groin, why the groin? That’s where the artery is, he bleeds out in a minute.

Yup. That would stop anyone.
The support for the “War Zone” mentality is so deep and so strong that when the Mayor of Minneapolis, Jacob Frey, stopped the department’s use of such training last year, the Minneapolis Police union announced it would make the training available free for any officer who wanted it.

“Officer Protection” is held paramount among the Police and taught at the trainee level. This allows officers to shoot anyone who THEY perceive as a POSSIBLE threat, not only to themselves, but to other officers as well. “Officer Protection” demands immediate action, not thought and talk, but action by shooting the source of the threat. Far too often, all the officer has to say is that he felt threatened or, he saw the victim make a sudden move or, he thought he saw a weapon…drawn or not, is not at issue as was tragically illustrated in the Police killing of a man who was kneeling when the Police approached on June 2nd 2020 in Vallejo, California.

The Police are taught to “Take control” of a situation and they do this by issuing “Commands”, commands that often have dire and fatal consequences if not obeyed. The Policy outlines an approved force escalation or, “Force Continuum”. The officer must issue commands to “STOP!” three times and if the person fails to obey, he may be shot. This is in effect, a free pass to kill; there is no room to argue, discuss or, ask questions.

In order to control the situation in cases where a civilian may be trying to argue the hows and whys of Police presence, the Police officer is also permitted to make the civilian target more compliant. Their training allows them to throw the person to the ground, an action that has caused severe injuries, paralyses and death in the past. They are also trained to stop a person’s air-flow by what is euphemistically called a “sleep hold” where the officer strangles a person by locking their necks in the crooks of their arms or, by using knee pressure on their necks which can kill as we know by Floyd’s death. In the earlier case of the chokehold death of Eric Garner at the hands of NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo, it took five years to just fire the officer.

If there are attempts at Police reform or, if officers need to be disciplined, the all-mighty Police Union takes a stand against such moves. Police Unions are extraordinarily strong, the Fraternal Order of Police is the nations largest union with a membership of over 2000 Police agencies. The unions support each other and when defending their members, they don’t care about guilt or innocence; they care only about defending their officers. In the case of the George Floyd killing, the Union stood up to defend the three other officers as innocent, as soon as charges were laid against them.

In the few Police departments that I checked, Police officers may not be screened for drugs or alcohol after they have joined the force, not even if they appear to be a little drunk. Nobody is checked for the use of steroids, a drug that builds lots of muscle but also creates violent impulses in its users.

Unions have also negotiated conditions where complaints against an officer may not be kept in file unless there is disciplinary action (which is seldom) so there is no past record to review in light of which, a complaint may be evaluated. Even if disciplined, the contracts require records to be expunged after a few months so the slate is wiped clean. During investigations of misconduct, the Police officer or officers, are allowed two days to consider their facts and consult with their lawyers; essentially, to get their stories straight and even then, it is entirely up to the officer to decide whether they agree to being interviewed for a statement to the investigators. Under such protections, it is small wonder that officers commit violence against the public with so little thought.

It cannot be ignored that Police union contracts are NEGOTIATED by acquiescent city or state leaders. Nothing in Police culture can change until Municipal leaders take charge and work to change the contracts that allow Police officers more leeway than civilians under the same circumstances. This is where individual and group action is most needed. Instead of demanding an end to Police Brutality, the demands must be for Police CONTRACT reform and civil rights leaders should be able to join in the negotiations or, at least observe them.

June 4, 2020 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , ,

3 Comments »

  1. One more important thing to add here is that the Israelis are now training the police. What you see in Palestine is now happening in the US.

    Like

    Comment by Jameel Hyder | June 4, 2020 | Reply

    • Yes, this practice of Israelis having our Police, FBI and military over for “training” that really teaches them to be cold-blooded killers and to hate Arabs and Muslims, has to stop. But first things first, if we throw everything at the reforms, nothing might get done. First we need to tame the unleashed Pit Bull and only then, can we say more needs to be done because it is not in keeping with the goals of having a civil, community Police that acts as our friends, not as “Warriors” in a “War Zone”.

      Like

      Comment by penjihad | June 5, 2020 | Reply

  2. #draftMichelle
    We would get all the police SUV off the streets.
    Have Bernie Sanders negotiate the SPD contract.
    Draft Michelle to be the Democratic presidential candidate.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Amit Shah | June 6, 2020 | Reply


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