Although, there is an obvious racial component to the recent viral situations of the overuse of force by police, I will refrain from discussing it in this post. I do not feel prepared enough to dissect that ball of wax, so I will keep mum about that, at least for now. So why am I posting at all? I think there are various strains of issues, regarding the police, that feed this fire, and I would like to examine them. I suppose I risk unpopularity, but do try to bare with me.
Everyone when being pulled over or stopped by police should be respectful and polite. People should know to keep their hands where the police can see them, and people should, in most circumstances, do what the police officer asks them to do. Just as well, they should respond to the officer’s questions and not be stubborn about it.
However, not everyone is going to do this. Maybe the person is oppositional by nature. Maybe some people just don’t handle having a rough day well. (Anytime you’re pulled over or stopped by police, you are probably having a bad day.) Just because someone is nasty or rude is not license for someone to be arrested or asked to step out of their vehicle. Police officers are professionals, and they should know how to deal with irritated, rude, or downright nasty people. In fact, they really should expect it. Even though, ideally, they shouldn’t have to deal with bad behavior, especially from grown adults.
My point? I’ve known officers, who have been talked backed to over a traffic citation, who threaten the individual with arrest. I’ve known cases where people were charged with extra crimes simply because they yelled at an officer. I’ve known places where this was a common issue. (Yes, I know crime is bad.) This is not okay. While, people should respect officers. Officers should not over step their authority. Speaking, insulting, yelling, or whatever the case is, like it or not, is free speech.
Furthermore, non-lethal violence should always be met with non-lethal force. Legally, where I’m at, I cannot use lethal force against someone unless they are using lethal force against me or someone else. I think this law should apply to officers. By all means if a police officer is chasing a suspect and the suspect is reaching for his pocket, taser the person. He could have a gun, and I’d much prefer no one die.
Now, I’m not trying to demonize most police officers. I do admire police, and I have respect for the police. You better believe I’m the nicest person a police officer will ever meet, who is pulled over for a one day old expired registration tag. Still, I think there are police who have let their authority go to their head, and that’s an issue we keep seeing over and over again. It’s a legitimate concern, and I think it needs to be addressed. Even criminals shouldn’t have their rights violated.