Police Brutality. It seems like we see YouTube videos posted constantly as evidence of police brutality but is that really what we are seeing? No one likes police brutality, not even the police. Believe me I know, I worked with them for 12 years. But yes, like any other career field you do get bad apples in the bunch, and it’s the good officers who suffer because of the small idiotic minority.
Most officers get through their entire career and retire never having discharged their weapon or used unnecessary force, but to look at all the you tube videos out there you get the impression that police brutality is the norm. However even the best cops may find themselves in a situation where force is needed, up to and including deadly force. That force is needed to protect the life of officers and the public.
The difference between a good cop and a bad cop is that a good cop uses force when he has no other apparent option. He is in a situation where his life and the lives and safety of others may be at risk . Hindsight is 20/20 vision as they say and looking back when things are calm and there’s time to thoroughly evaluate a situation may reveal other options, but he has all the time in the world to evaluate those options at that point.
The bad cop however often has what I like to call a ‘tin star mentality’. He’s a cop by God and thinks that badge puts him on the level of God. The authority of the badge goes to his head and intimidation, and use of force is his normal way of dealing with things. He is the one we need to worry about, luckily he is not most officers.
While videotaping the bad officer is a great idea, you rarely know if that video on YouTube is a bad cop playing God or a good cop pushed into a situation where he or she is left with no choice. I have yet to see a video posted that has captured the entire situation. Those cell phone cameras don’t come on until it has already escalated into use of force. You don’t know what the officer tried before it got to the point of using force because a ‘routine’ situation is never posted. It’s not interesting, it won’t go viral in an hour’s time. It doesn’t get interesting until the nightstick comes out, the pepper is sprayed or the taser is deployed.
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