Whenever some new person is killed by police in America, the media, police unions and elected officials have responded to each new incident with calls for restraint and that eahc incident should be individually examined, without reference to any other cases, in order to protect the rights of the police officer. In even some of the most documented and horrific incidents the tendency is to not only give the officer the benefit of the doubt, but to exonerate their actions. Read below and tell me who protects the rights of the American citizens killed by the police? Because my perception is that no one in authority does really want to protect the citizens from police excess.
“A total of A total of 1,205 people were killed by police in America in 2015 Since 1920, in the entire United Kingdom, 52 people have been killed by police.
Don’t bother adjusting for population differences, or poverty, or mental illness, or anything else. The sheer fact that American police kill TWICE as many people per month as police have killed in the modern history of the United Kingdom is sick, preposterous, and alarming.
Now let’s look at these killings in contrast to violent crime rates in the US. “according to official FBI and U.S. Department of Justice reports, the rates of violent crime in the U.S. are now at their lowest level in 40 years? Did you know that violent crime rates of 2010 were 1/3 the rates of 1994? Other countries are experiencing a similar decline. And deaths of law enforcement officers are at their lowest in 50 years according to this Boston Globe article.” link.
I note that in the last 20 years the murder rate in England has also dropped here.
The population of the US is 318.9 million , while the population of Great Britain is 64,3 million, one fifth of US population. Multiply the police killings in Great Britain by 5 and there would be 260 since 1920, compared to 127 police killings in the US just in July 2015 alone . One must note that for five decades the United Kingdom was plagued by violent terrorism by the Irish Republican Army and that particular domestic terrorism was far worse than any domestic terrorism that has taken place in the United States, including the San Bernadino murders. What is wrong with this picture and what does it say about policing in the United States?
I believe that policing in the United States has been overly influenced by military tactics and weaponry and that makes ALL U.S. citizens unsafe. Many believe that police killings are just about Black people and yes it is true that killings of people of color by U.S. Law Enforcement Officers is widely disproportionate to population. However, far too many “White” people are also getting killed by police at alarming rates and most of these instances have happened when there was no criminal activity involved. We have been training our LEO’s to act as they were an army of occupation, even though the place they are “occupying” is the United States itself. when we routinely send out heavily armed SWAT teams for minor offenses, or even evictions, we raise the possibility of unwarranted police killings.
Let’s look at one particular case from last years and the outcome of it in court:
“A Dauphin County jury has acquitted Hummelstown police Officer Lisa Mearkle of all charges.The jury began deliberating Wednesday afternoon before delivering its decision Thursday afternoon following the two-day trial. Mearkle, 37, shot and killed 59-year-old David Kassick in February after he fled from her attempt to stop him for an expired auto inspection sticker. The fatal encounter occurred in back of the South Hanover Township home of Kassick’s sister.
Mearkle shot Kassick twice in the back after shocking him repeatedly with her Taser. Chief Deputy District Attorney Johnny Baer argued that Mearkle wasn’t justified in shooting the unarmed Kassick. Defense attorney Brian Perry countered that Mearkle shot Kassick because be was reaching into his jacket and she believed he had a weapon. Mearkle testified Wednesday that she believed her life was in danger.”
The only difference between this case and a host of other cases involving people of color, is that the victim was White. Whether or not you think he deserved to die in these circumstances would be telling in how you feel about police killings. I believe that they are way out of hand and that too often cases such as these gives license for further police killings. My undeniable conclusion is that there is something very wrong with policing in our country and denying that reality is absurd. Am I wrong?