Normally I try not to share or comment on breaking stories mere hours after the fact, being that most of the facts make their appearance in the coming days and weeks. But this is instead, a bit of a social commentary.
For the past while, I have been (like everyone else) pondering the issue of (in particular) american police brutality. It is a hard subject in which to tackle, being the huge number of considerations you have to take. The first, is the sheer amount of connectivity and recording ability now available to most any person. Not to mention the absolute bias and polarization resonating from both sides of the issue. Is it that police brutality is more prevalent then ever? Or is it that our ability to record and share anything with the world at will, is creating a huge inflation?
I suspect that it is a combination of both. The social media end further skewing the picture by often causing all police brutality videos out of all areas of the country to blend together mentally. Most do not see a few examples of brutality from all over (single samples), they just see one giant corrupted force. It does not help either that a police brutality video is often not checked for its age (I have people sending to me and flipping out over brutality clips being covered by TYT in their OLD studio!).
And this isn’t even taking onto account the recorded “brutality” videos that are deliberately to provoke a reaction. For example, one video showed a husband in a van with his kids in the back. His wife was driving, he was in the passengers seat.
The family had been pulled over presumably on account to the husband being spotted as being wanted.
The video begins (I suspect) near the end of the exchange. Being recorded from the back seat, you see the husband talking to the officers though a crack in the window, saying something about already showing his ID. Repeated requests are made of him to unlock the door and get out of the car, all of which he refuses to obey. Then finally fed up, the officers smash the window and taze the fellow to get him out of the vehicle. This pandemonium of yelling and broken glass scares the children and wife, who immediately start crying. After the husband is outside you hear very little from the officers, but a lot of yelling from the husband about why they did that in front of his children (and a lot of expletives). A few minutes later an officer reaches into the van (right past the recording cellphone) and calmly takes the keys, not betraying by facial expression OR action, any desire to impose his authority anything beyond necessary.
This was being passed around Facebook as a “disturbing” video that EVERYONE needs to see. The immediate reaction of many (and the desired intent!) was to get people to side with the victim, the father.
That is the narrative with many of these videos (the police are ALWAYS in the wrong). And often times, that can be argued to be the case.
But I had to call bullshit this time. From my prospective, the situation could have ended a whole lot sooner and with a lot leas chaos, had the man just opened the door. An arrest is made, and then all can get on with their day.
But instead, I suspect that he thought he had a bargaining chip in his favour, in the form of his children. He likely figured the police would think twice before doing something rash. And im sure they did. And then decided not to fall for the scheme.
I had a friend disagree, stating that they should have just allowed the family to drive home and THEN apprehended their suspect. But I had to disagree, being that he was in the wrong. He had his kids there, and he could have set a good example. Instead he pushed his luck, and got what he deserved.
This whole conversation around ferguson and the police in the nation is starting to get out of hand. There is no denial from me that there are increasingly more problem spots around the US, but the narrative has become far to negative. Not only is this “Fuck the police!” attitude a terrible pain in the ass for all those in the force with good intention, but it stirs a dangerous pot.
A pot that we may well in the coming days, find was a part pf the reason why 2 police officers died in cold blood tonight.
Bring light to the problem of police brutality. But dial it back.