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The show of force

4c7fc8d7650020205d0f6a70670033cdThe events taking place in Ferguson Missouri are being watched by all states.. the national divide appears strong in some quarters of the country.. Racial tensions are exploding .. rage is developing like a summer heat wave of emotion and hate.. And charges of overreach are being hurled at Ferguson police over their use of Pentagon style weapons in the face of looters and protesters in the killing of Michael Brown.. Things progressed Sunday night into the chaos terriroty.. Governor Nixon is calling in the National Guard to secure a sense of order in a town consumed by anarchy and anger.. This latest turn of events taking place after a week and one day of protests, often coupled with tear gas and more..

However, though an important illustration of life and race relations in America at this time, the story taking place in Ferguson goes beyond just colors that are skin deep.. Something else is in clearer focus: Police actions throughout this nation..

There seems to be an increased presence of cops in Darth Vader gear, military style weapons, tasers and guns constantly drawn..

When my wife and I were traveling home on Easter with our son from a family dinner, we were actually pulled over by police for going 5 miles over the speed limit in a construction zone--an inactive zone on Easter Sunday.. The police offer gave us a near $200 citation (no points as illustration of 'kindness' on a holiday) .. But the way the officer acted was absurd. While I understand his job is dangerous and without any real moment of safety, to place your hand on your gun the entire time you're talking to a family on a Easter Sunday afternoon is a bit much. But continuing to do so while looking at my son, holding his Easter basket of candy and nickles, is ludicrous... my wife and I sort of froze in our seats as we saw him eye us up with the possibility of drawing out his weapon at any point, wondering if any wrong move may have equaled an uncomfortable moment or something even more dire..

Whether it's real or just perception, police action and the reaction from the citizenry is getting dicier by the day..

Even the biggest proponents of law, order, and police are uncomfortable with allegations of brutality, video evidence of brutality, and local police forces ditching blue uniforms for those that look more like a Central American army ..

This is not just a story of Ferguson.. this is a story that goes deeper. There are hundreds if not more websites and Facebook pages popping up daily to document what many deem as police abuse. Stories of such nature garner thousands of comments at a time..

The latest example I have seen making headlines: Ocala Florida police are defending their forces against charges of abuse after cops after a 30 second video made the rounds online showing Roy Sherman being tased and mistreated.. Cops released their own footage showing that there's much more to the story than a 30 second mistreatment, and that the altercations stemmed from resistance to cooperate and attempting to drive away from the scene.

And that seems to be the common denominator: For every example of mistreatment, police forces circle their wagons and release their own story. Their own point of view--a view obviously shaped by common criminals and high profile scum that they regularly have to deal with. Even in Ferguson, police seem to be standing their ground by showcasing a video of Michael Brown supposedly robbing a convenience store before police killed him for unrelated reasons..

The tension between police and the policed is not going away, however. Instead, with each passing day and each new cell phone camera videptaping arrests, the situation is being antagonized.

Meanwhile, FBI and state threat fusion centers are busy documenting the 'bad guys' .. The victims are often innocent. The police often over react. Things happen--bad things. Tasers..guns.. weapons of war.. All at the center of this debate.

Judging from the scenario still unfolding in Ferguson, there does not appear to be a relief from the allegations of police abuse, or police abuse, as well..

A national trend .. We all need to calm down.

140731_2802484_Caillou_the_Helper___Patient_Police_Grandpa__anvver_1_1100x620_316459587638My son used to watch Caillou, before his 3 and a half year old brain figured out it was a 'baby show.' But I recall one episode called CAILLOU THE POLICE OFFICER. Caillou is outside on a hot day and a police officer is giving parking tickets. Caillou offers the cop water and is told why the cop gives out tickets: Because cars park too close to fire hydrants and if Caillou's school catches ablaze trucks won't be able to hook up their water. Quick and easy solution--but of course that will never explain why cities have imposed strict fees on tickets and fines for not paying. The city of Harrisburg PA actually has seen three major restaurants shut down due to parking costs--patrons just want to avoid the meters. The Caillou episode also represents a peaceful scene of friendliness.

If only it was that way.

Gone are the days of a police officer walking the beat down a friendly street.. (unless those moments of tranquility were just confined to old movies and comedy shows to begin with).. Enter the days of war of the worlds. Police, armed to teeth with Pentagon gifts of battle, and the homegrown citizen, often angry and unemployed. Stretched to the limit by a troubled economy. Some black, some white.. some Hispanic.. some Muslim--but seldom the rich. The masses are increasingly cased by classes.. Rich vs poor is more common than people admit. The real color blind foe: Elitism and classism.. But the wealthy don't want you to know that..

Different strokes. Different folks.
Different standards .. different hazards..

The ties that bind us often blind us.
We're in this together..

All people. The police, included.. The quicker we realized that we are a nation united to stand the faster we'll prevent the divided fall.

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Comments

  1. what can we do? this seems like the time to do SOMETHING!
    Seattle police had to make CHANGES, seems like if SEATTLE could get busted for this there should be a NATIONAL movement to clean up ALL POLICE forces!
    http://www.seattlepi.com/local/article/Feds-findings-in-Seattle-Police-abuse-2407378.php

    it does seem to be worse nationally for people of color, seems like USA is becoming its own field for home grown terrorists if they are going to treat their people like their criminals?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Bring awareness and celebrate the goodness in the police force.. And make the good police realize they're on the same page as the good citizens. We seem to be lacking a sense of community throughout the nation regardless of where we look

    ReplyDelete

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