Police officers carry guns. If they did not carry guns – which they have to because the “bad guys” carry guns – they might have to carry swords. Guns were invented with one purpose in mind: to kill people deemed the enemy, with more efficiency than swords — and possibly cannons or even missiles. In what must have been the close combat of the middle ages, gun powder emerged – then, of course, just as cellphones got smaller and smaller – we now have the end of result of the shotgun, pistol and “assault weapon.”
- Catapults were once in vogue.
If, as we must all assume and respect, the uniform of the police officer should not synonymous with excessive force, than, in comparison why should any given officer be carrying an axe to smash the window of a car that also happens to contain children in the backseats? Officers must know and recognize the authority of the uniform, all the while recognizing that people might not respect – or might even fear – the uniform. We might as well give them military equipment and defund the ATF. Well, both of those things happened! All considering that the uniform entails the gun as well as the badge.
Judges hold the ultimate authority in terms of sentencing, juries hold the ultimate authority in terms of verdicts, prosecutors do not have to file charges – but everything starts on the streets. If more and more police officers – and in this piece I am discussing the now federal and NAACP events of Hammond, IN – recognized the equality of words and weapons in their needed defense of society, then our society would have no reason to live in reasonable fear of the badge, the gun or the uniform.
Anybody who has seen the video of that axe, which seems to have a dagger affixed, must have known that the glass could have wounded the victims, that the children in the backseat could have been harmed. This evidence should shame all cops who are so racist they cannot even recognize that children could be harmed; in part and in full that psychology and psychiatry fail to protect police officers from themselves by virtue of most department’s policies.
Those who seek to become police officers face psychological and psychiatric evaluations against the possibilities of violence motivated by either sexism or racism, although there may be different standards state-by-state. After all, our tax dollars provide the guns that have killed or wounded so many young Americans – be they White or Black American youth – who were doing nothing more than standing on the corner, or hanging out late at night.
In the end, anybody can raise a child – that’s a beautiful thing. But, parents in particular must more than anybody else realize how frightening the realities of a police officer using an axe to smash open a half-closed window. Why did these idiot-cops not recognize the power of words, not to mention what I would call the “fact of the uniform,” such that when encountering a reasonable fear of violence they could have used their words to diminish the situation? There were children in that car. There were children in that car!
No doubt, Hammond, IN will have to pay millions to this family and that would be appropriate. But, the NRA must have been thrilled to see that axe go through that window. They love the fact that if it wasn’t guns, it would have to be swords or daggers or even cannons and missiles.
In working for the Chicago Sun-Times, Peter learned the basics of journalism. The prose must be clear and the facts precise. He has worked in retail, customer service and sales as well, all of which made Peter want to return to writing — as he developed many opinions on issues ranging from LGBT equality to America’s economy. Peter’s journalism – as in what he believes journalism must and should be — will seek to clarify society through facts. Opinion pieces being something different altogether. From Pittsburgh, PA — and a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh — Peter knows how to speak his mind in clear and concise prose.