Thursday, November 22, 2007

Never Question Authority

This morning I woke up and sat down to teh emails and the googles, and BG had sent me this:

You Gotta Ask Me Nicely.

Tasers on Thanksgiving. Hell, they both start with a 't' so why not? A morning screed while I wait on sweet potatoes the size of my dogs (seriously, these things are going to take close to 3 hours).

The taser is everywhere, and each day brings news of a fresh incident. Diabetic coma? Don't speak the native language? In a wheelchair and mentally ill? It doesn't matter, you're getting tased. You will come under the thumb (or should that be fist?). You will submit. You will know, intimately, pain compliance.

These are only three incidents in a pile that grows ever larger. What's missing? That's right. Any meaningful consequences for the bully boy cops that do this kind of thing. Because they 'serve and protect'. Because they wear a uniform, and are part of the fraternal order given leave to wield any authority it wants. Who needs courtesy, or knowledge of actual rights/laws, when you have a taser and "post-9/11" mentality. You don't. You can tase whomever you choose, as long as you say the word 'reasonable' and/or 'suspected' somewhere. Then you can go to Hooters and impress the young girlies with your manly exploits.

How dare I criticize the boys in blue (that aren't wearing so much blue anymore, but rather black tactical gear). To be sure, lest those that are hard of thinking accuse me of vilifying ALL police, there do exist good police, and yes, it is a difficult job. But what percentage of these bully boys running amok and tasering people because they didn't "respect their authoritae" actually see any meaningful consequences? It barely registers on the scale.

Cut to another Drop Dead Gorgeous dramatization:

Gratuitous use of force? Brutality? Shit no. After some thorough investigating we determined that they were acting reasonably in the face of bad vibes. Bad vibes usually means a drunk and/or drugged terrorist. We've given them some paid leave to think about what they've done and how they might have done it better.
What people desperately need to think about, instead of making excuses for rotten, corrupt, ignorant, authoritarian bullies, are the consequences brought on by the lack of consequences. Lack of consequences for bad cops means that the good cops are driven out. A cop doing the job as it was meant to be done cannot survive in an environment where the mantra has gone from 'protect and serve' to 'coerce and enforce'. Every day that this goes on, and with every incident, a good cop gets fed up and leaves, or is pushed out due to his inability/unwillingness to 'get with the program', and the pool of scum creeps outward just a little more.

The argument is made everywhere that the taser is a humane alternative to the gun. Tasers are not a good thing because they are "non-lethal". They are just the opposite. The "non-lethal" (and it's weird how "non-lethal" has killed so many...) is nothing more than an excuse to inflict pain and anguish, and to assert control (justified or not) on a whim. Take some time and think about what kind of person desires to do these things. Replace a taser with a gun in any of these daily 'incidents' and just imagine what it would look like, what the outcry would be (and should be).

But now the collective head turns away, because after all, it's "non-lethal". Point-and-shoot, set it and forget it, not much different than the video shooters. "Non-lethal" means everyone watching can grab their remote, point-and-shoot, set it and forget it. It's difficult to decide which is more horrifying. The police that do these things or the media/mass mind that allows and even encourages (in many cases) it to continue.