Protests Continue – “So Far the Police Have Been Peaceful”

One of the more interesting news broadcasts this weekend began with “protests against police brutality continue through out the nation for the 12th straight day. So far today, the police have been peaceful.” Finally, they got it right.

The video of the murder of George Floyd made many people aware of the continuing targeting of African-American men, but the flagrant, even defiant, attitude of the police officers suggested a much more profound problem: these officers knew they were being filmed and continued to kill Mr. Floyd anyway because they felt sure they could get away with it.

The law has been perverted to make the successful prosecution of law enforcement officers virtually impossible, and that’s only IF any officer is ever charged. Police violence in response to peaceful demonstrators around the country further documented the issue.

Journalists filmed numerous incidents of police brutality toward peaceful demonstrators. In many instances around the country, including Detroit, peaceful demonstrations turned violent only after police initiated the violence. For example, in Minneapolis the original march to the precinct where the killers of Mr. George worked was peaceful until police in the precinct fired tear gas and two officers on the roof began peppering the demonstrators with rubber bullets.

The march broke up with enraged splinter groups going onto the site of the killing and looting and burning. In Detroit, the largely peaceful protest Friday evening became violent only after police began to randomly strike non-violent protesters with batons telling them “go back to the suburbs.” In New York City, police drove vehicles into protesters and were filmed numerous times beating, spraying and otherwise abusing peaceful protesters while mayor De Blasio claimed they were showing “great restraint.” Only after the media itself began to get targeted did they start to get it right – the violence by police was precipitating most of the unrest.

The video of 75-year-old Martin Gugino, being pushed to the ground by the police and left bleeding from a fractured skull, illustrates one reason why police violence is such a widespread problem that is very rarely investigated. The police said that he “slipped and fell.” A false report is a felony crime, but virtually never pursued by prosecutors.

The murderers of Mr. Floyd reported he had resisted arrest and developed a medical problem. None of them have been charged yet with submitting a false report. These officers knew there was clear video evidence, but also knew they were immunized from perjury. In my previous blog I anticipated the normal pattern after the Minneapolis incident: police would report he “resisted” and developed a “medical problem” while being restrained. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen this pattern. While many, if not most, officers are not perpetrators of criminal violence, the majority of officers in my experience enable killer cops with the “blue line of silence.” More like the blue line of perjury.

The problem doesn’t stop with the blue line of “omerta.” There is a culture of supporting criminal cops. Most of the officers who were present and stepped over the critically injured Gugino, resigned from the rapid deployment unit and were present at court to cheer the officers who were arraigned on third degree assault charges. It’s often said that the worst enemy of good cops are bad cops, but if the measure of a good cop is one who prevents or reports criminal assaults by other officers then good cops are very rare. It’s a culture shared by most paramilitary groups, but unlike the military however, they often feel a loyalty to each other rather than the Constitution. Changing the culture from “law enforcement” to being “peace officers” is one way to change the pandemic of police violence.

Comments are closed.

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: