America and its burgeoning police state

It’s pathetic how the bully always gets to make himself out to be the victim.  In the case of the city of Cleveland it tried that tactic but it didn’t work.  After killing 12 year old tamer riceTamer Rice Cleveland in an effort to defend itself against an impending lawsuit went on the offensive claiming “that Rice and his family bear responsibility for any damages, injuries, and losses that resulted from the boy’s shooting death at the hands of the police.”  It didn’t seem to matter to Cleveland that Rice was killed by an officer, Tim Loehmann who was unable, demonstrably so, to carry out the duties in his previous department that notations to that effect were entered into his personnel record.  The city of Cleveland either failed to check or ignored Loehmann’s previous employment and let the inept officer represent Cleveland on its streets.  The city had to deflect that disaster but pointing fingers at a 12 year old boy.

Cleveland mayor Frank Jackson
Cleveland mayor Frank Jackson

Thankfully, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson realized what a mistake that was and promptly apologized, saying “This is not the character or personality of the city of Cleveland to be that insensitive to the family or even the victim”. Sadly there are still too many people who think that black boys/men are by the nature of their being black responsible for their deaths at the hands of police.  Mike Brown, unarmed and 18 years old took an intimidating stance towards Darren Wilson and was shot at a considerable distance away; Eric Garner was assaulted by several police and was strangled to death and now Rice who a police union official said was a 12 year old in an adult body was shot one time within seconds after encountering police. This tactic seems to work in today’s America. Glad to see someone in Cleveland thinks it’s not appropriate and I hope a jury will see that too.

But I’m not encouraged by this bit of news coming from Arizona where a police officer who slammed a university professor on the ground because she didn’t react quickly enough to his demands resigned. His resignation comes after his employer placed him on administrative leave while it looked into whether he acted according to policy. Arizona State University intimated there were other behaviors or inappropriate conduct it was investigating regarding the officer.  It’s not clear but some reports say termination proceedings were in the works for him. What’s troublesome is officer Stewart Ferrin’s statement he

ASU officer Stewart Ferrin
ASU officer Stewart Ferrin

resigned because of “great financial stress and emotional anguish….(t)he lack of support, cooperation, and downright bias, coupled with an agenda to ruin my career, has become unbearable and I will not subject my family to this any longer”. Ferrin certainly got support from members of the law enforcement community which said it was ‘concerned there’s a bias against the officer and the officer was pretty much tried and convicted’; but once again there’s the claim by a person in power that he was victimized by the woman he assaulted and arrested and to many it’s a plausible excuse. A brief summary of this case

How unfortunate it is that people in power can so easily appear powerless to so many Americans.  Police are not victims and by the way the latest regarding police brutality comes from LosAngeles. “He’s got a gun”, “Drop the gun”  or some variation of that is probably a part of police training these days; shout that in an effort to justify use of force will be enough to make up for the absence of a firearm to some.

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