Editor, Ceres Courier,
I read your article, "Most videos expose stupidity, not cases of police brutality." I hardly ever comment on anything social, most of the time I think it doesn't matter, no matter what my opinion is it will not change anything. But after reading your article, it had me thinking of a few things. This is my opinion: That people with your attitude and way of thinking is part of the problem. You seem to blame the victim in all of your examples, if the victim would have just complied with the officer then nothing would have happened, they didn't didn't listen so this is the end result. I think you're really missing the point.
I always had a high respect for law enforcement, maybe because the fact that I'm a 21-year veteran of the military. But lately with all the police violence, over-the-top use of force they are becoming my least respected profession. When you have people in a position of authority, they are and should be held at a higher standard than the average person, or at least compared to the people they have that authority over. I expect a law enforcement officer to uphold the law and the oath that they swore to.
The case in McKinney, Texas, Officer Casebolt had every right to arrest anyone that he felt broke any laws. I don't think most people would get upset at that. But when a man, officer or not, has to manhandle and use that kind of force on a 14-year -old girl, that is the problem. It has nothing to do with color, or race. If my 14-year-old daughter was doing something she should have not been doing and was arrested, I would punish her as well when she got home. But if the officer who arrested her did what he did then that's another thing. If he can't handle a 14-year-old girl in a more professional manner than that, he doesn't need to be an officer.
Things like this remind me of when I was in the military. I was in a drill sergeant for about three years, and talk about having power over people. And yes we did have some drill sergeants who abused that power. I used to call it a "God complex." They get in that position, and they lose all sight of what they're really there for especially the younger guys in the mid-20s to mid-30s. See, I was fortunate enough to be older during this duty, most of the young men and women who were enlisting had parents who loved them as they went off to serve this nation by enlisting in military service. It was my job to train, teach, and prepare America's young citizens to be the best they could be; not to abuse my positon of power over them, even if they did enlist of their own free will. I'm trusted to perform my duties at a higher standard. I had recruits curse me, yell at me, call me names, etc. Not once did I physically assault any of them, although I could have in a few situations and been justified in doing so. I kindly followed proper procedure, and did my best to have them removed from serving, as they were not in my eyes fit for military service.
Law enforcement officers should be held at similar standard, and shouldn't be allowed to abuse their power. You should be able to question any law enforcement officer who is trying to detain you as to why you're being detained and they should answer you, and if you don't comply then they should use the appropriate force for an arrest, not excessive force.
Have you ever been stopped by a law enforcement official for something you didn't do? Have you ever been discriminated to blatantly? If you answered ‘no' to any of those questions, then you don't have a clue to what it feels like and even though you can imagine how horrible it must feel, multiply that by a factor of 10. If that was your 14-year-old daughter or niece or sister on that video, would you feel the same way? And honestly say, she deserve what she got? Have you ever had your rights violated just because someone in authority felt they could, and after they violated you they just walk away with no apology as if nothing happen?
I guess my point is this: A lot of law enforcement officers have the God complex. I don't know why, maybe they were picked on in high school, maybe they finally feel important in life now they hold a position that demands respect. The uniform and positon is respected, not the person; they have to earn that, but they don't see it that way. If you ask any officer do they know someone on the force that has the God complex, I'm sure they know one or several. See Officer Caseblot could not perform his duties in a professional manner like all the other officers that were called to the scene, because he had that God complex, if the situation really called for the approach he used, more officer's would have used it.
Stop trying to protect bad cops. Good cops don't need protection. That's why their good cops.