Friday, March 21, 2008

This Is Why I Don't Watch TV

I don't normally watch TV in the mornings. I usually listen to the radio, because my favorite station does something most other radio stations don't - they play music in the morning. What a concept!

Anyway. I turned on NBC this morning around 7:20 this morning to catch the weather and and see if Highway 141 was indeed flooded (and it was). I left it on while I got ready. After Today came back on, one of their stories was about federal investigators investigating police officers in South Carolina who were caught on their dashboard cameras hitting suspects. Not hitting with a hand or billy club - hitting with their CARS! The suspects were running from the cops and the cops hit the men. With their patrol cars. One cop was chasing a suspect through an apartment complex common area and children were having to jump out of the way. After striking a suspect, one police officer was taped as admitting he was aiming for him. In my opinion driving a car through an apartment complex is no different than running and firing shots at the suspect. You're putting innocent bystanders at risk.

Another story showed an officer in Baltimore who threw a teenager to the ground, and then started screaming in the teen's face because the teen called him "dude." Another clip showed an officer kicking and stomping a DUI suspect who was already on the ground.

Now, I do not want to open this up to a debate about how the suspect was fleeing so the officer could use whatever means necessary to bring him down, or the general disrespect some youngsters show authority, or that DUI is a crime.

The point to my story is this - Maddy was watching this story. She asked me why the police officer would scream at the kid, or try to run over someone. I said "it's an abuse of power." She asked what that meant. I asked her "if a cop says 'Freeze!' to you, what do you do?" She answered "I stop what I'm doing and freeze." I said, "that's power - the cop being able to tell you what to do. Some cops, not all, but some, tend to abuse that power and think because they have a badge or a gun, they can ignore not only laws but basic human rights. Yes, the guy running might have done something wrong, but that didn't give the officer the right to intentionally hit him with the car."

Because an abuse of power is what killed her sisters. The cop was going 126 mph which was against the law and in blatant disregard for the safety of others.

My God I'm so angry after seeing that story. The officer who hit one suspect was put on a three-day suspension. The officer who drove through the apartment complex was told to attend a stress management course. The officer who kicked the DUI suspect resigned.

Here's the story:


MP said...

I couldn't even BEGIN to have an intelligent discussion on the accident that claimed your daughters life; I'm VERY happy that it is getting the attention that it deserves. My heart breaks everytime I see or hear about it because to me it's no longer a "story"'s Kim's babies...

In regards to the police. I grew up in the city and knew many policemen. You are SO right..there are some that just abuse that power but doing illegal things. I'll never forget when the white cop shot a black kid just cause of the color of his skin (early 1980's) and the cops that do drugs.. Oh yea, that goes on. It's refreshing though that there are good ones out there and if I have an encounter I'm going to have faith that the person that is helping me takes his/her job serious and is not a power hungry idiot.
Hugs and Prayers..

Jaelithe said...

It's the power-trippers like that who MAKE kids disrespect cops, and MAKE people who haven't even committed serious crimes scared enough to try to run away.

I've met some really good cops, but I've also met some really bad ones. And the bad ones make it so much harder for the good ones to do their jobs safely.

News-Bitch said...

The sad thing about this is that police officers are supposed to serve and protect. The idea of service and abusing power are and should be mutually exclusive.

Witchy Woman said...

I think you did a wonderful job in explaining that to your daughter. It is a hard thing to do. I have a 9 yr old son that I have had to expain the legal system to and it is not an easy job. I do have to say what happened to your daughters has lots of people talking and not just the ones in that area. You and your family are in our thoughts.