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Thread: Police use excessive force, ER docs say

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Bellingham, WA, USA
    Posts
    733

    Let me explain something....

    Although I do not usually mention it because I don't want to be defined by it, I spent three years as a sworn police officer in a metropolitan police department. I was not a volunteer or a reserve officer (no disrespect intended to those who are), I was a full time officer. The reason that I have not mentioned it is because I have seen the pounding that WuzFuz has gotten from a couple of posters who don't believe he was an officer. I don't really care if anyone believes me or not; after all, it's the internets!

    Let me further qualify my point of view with the fact that all of my observations are anecdotal; they begin and end with me. That said, the reason that I have chosen (no, I wasn't fired) to end my law enforcement career is because I am a patriot. Now, before the flood starts let me say that I am not saying that LEO's are not patriotic. I am simply saying that my sense of patriotism was at odds with my superiors idea of duty.

    I hold the Constitution, and especially the Bill of Rights, as sacred texts. However, I saw my fellow officers twist, or even ignore, these documents on a nearly daily basis. I saw my fellow officers act belligerent, aggressive, and downright inappropriate on a regular basis.

    My colleagues, by and large, considered themselves above the law, and above the "civilians" that they were sworn to protect and serve. How many times have you seen LEO's speeding around town with no lights or sirens? How about parked illegally at what did not appear to be an emergency? Make no mistake: these things are against the law, and against departmental regulations. However, I am not going to quibble with the little things. It is the big things with which I have a problem. A few examples:

    How about the time that we responded to a local college dormitory for a trespass call. We found an intoxicated sailor (United States Navy) banging on someones door. After questioning, we discovered that the individual had no business in the building. The responding officer decided that he would arrest the man (I was backup along with a couple of other officers). The young man was compliant with our directions and allowed us to handcuff him without resistance. However, he did have what I guess Magicman007 would describe as a "smart mouth". He did made a couple of disrespectful comments directed at us. The comments were not obscene, and they were not at a loud volume (disorderly conduct), they were just smart--s comments. That actively serving member of the United States Armed Forces ended up "tripping", which was then interpreted as trying to run (resisting arrest). What if this stupid but harmless compliant drunkard was YOUR honorably serving son?

    How about the time I saw a fellow officer illegally search the car of a teenager at a traffic stop. No probable cause, no permission to search (not even one of our "trick" questions). I was forced to stand back and watch the Fourth Amendment get trampled on by a pair of 5.11 tactical boots. We did find some marijuana...... in the trunk.

    There was also the time that I saw a young man clothes-lined for "resisting", and then afterward his shoulders were yanked up so hard that one of his shoulders was dislocated. All while handcuffed. His resistance? Asking why he was being arrested (smart mouth).

    Let me say that I worked with a pretty good department, overall. We were not corrupt in the L.A., New Orleans, or Chicago way. That said, excesses occurred frequently. Why? Because they could. Remember, these are the men and women who are tasked with actual physical authority over you, your wife or husband, your mother or grandmother. It SHOULD BE a heavy responsibility. In response to Magicman, yes, I think that anyone who CHOOSES to become a law enforcement officer should be prepared for the occasional disrespect without becoming enraged.

    I, along with most of you, understand that a police force is a necessary and crucial part of our society. There are many good cops out there, and I appreciate them. Also, officer safety is always the priority, but not at the expense of our most basic rights. I think that the following is the example that all officers should endeavor to follow (except for the assault on an officer at about 0:17). He stays cool, calm, and collected despite the language, and doesn't shoot or beat the citizen after the clipboard shove.

    YouTube - Angry Driver Pulled Over
    Last edited by lukem; 03-04-2009 at 09:49 AM.

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  3. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Honolulu, HI & Salt Lake City, UT
    Posts
    2,797
    Boomboy:

    Glad you're here. I hope you're able to pick up some pointers as well as share some of your experiences. I won't give you beating unless something doesn't sound right. I appreciate your honesty and candor when speaking of your experience in LE. I work with a lot of LEO and hear a lot of horror stories. There are a lot of good LEO out there as most of them are honorable and noble people. It's unfortunate that the few that operate "above the law" give a black eye to the rest of them. What disturbs me as well is that there are some folks that want to play "internet LEO". Myself as well as a couple of others have been doing our best to "out" these questionable characters. I feel that we should all provide accurate information. I've seen some stuff posted here that would get a fellow firearms owner sme serious jail time. I do my best to correct the folks on here, and am working on being more "tactful".

    Welcome to USA Carry, happy posting!


    gf
    "A few well placed shots with a .22LR is a lot better than a bunch of solid misses with a .44 mag!" Glock Armorer, NRA Chief RSO, Pistol, Rifle, Shotgun, Muzzleloading Rifle, Muzzleloading Shotgun, and Home Firearm Safety Training Counselor

  4. All polls in and of themselves, by their very nature, are flawed. They ask for specific pre-determined answers to questions posed and leave no room for leeway, or explanation. In the book "How to lie With Statistics" this is one of the things it talks about. Now, that said, the miniscule # of incidents of abuse listed in this poll was about 2 incidents per ER Dr. per year. Hardly epidemic proportionally to the number of police, or arrests each year.

    Also, we all know that there are incidents which do occur, which are attempted to be hidden, or which are passed over by other LEO's and Dr's because of the professional scratch my back/I'll scratch your back theory. This does happen, it shouldn't but it does. When this happens it is an affront to both the police and to the public and ought to be prosecuted accordingly. As to respect, yes, it ought to run both ways however, too often now a days, this doesn't happen as it should. Some is the fault of the police themselves, or I should say - of a few police who hurt the rest. Some is because of youthful indulgence/drunkeness or having to prove oneself, and some is simply because there are those who could care less about anyone else, including police.

    Do I wish this were Mayberry, USA - Heck Ya! That was a good time when everyone respected everyone and abuses either way were few and far between. Things were settled quickly and no one felt a need for a speedy trigger finger. Today the lawlessness we see, as well as the excessive numbers of police/hiway patrol and sheriffs officers has given shift to this unfortunate set of circumstance. Along with the ever invasive press or cell phone users taking photos and videos on scene the built up adrenal rush of both perps and officers is seen all too often. This makes it hard for both sides of the coin to control themselves and their actions because all too often one little slip eliminates whatever good may have come from an arrest, and the perp will be back on the street.

    The best thing to remember is that everyone ought to be treated as if they are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. When the perp proceeds to resist then only the necessary steps appropriate to the situation ought to be used to detain or bring them under control.

    As for polls, the intelligent man reads them to know what is being said and doesn't use them to prove anything, rather, they go study the issue themselves and make an educated decision concerning the issues presented. The idiot just accepts what is portrayed in the polls as truth and remains ignorant.
    Other than this polls have there place but should never be used as the basis for any conclusion without first studying the issue for yourself.

  5. Thanks for your explanation Boomboy! That is exactly as I have seen it. I applaud your integrity and hope more do the same!

  6. Boomboy, I think you hit on something that is not stressed enough in police forces nationwide. An LEO has the ability (right or wrong at the time it happens) to deny a person's civil rights. This is a VERY powerful statement. It is one that needs to be reinforced to officers almost daily in my opinion. As an ED nurse, I deal with LEO almost every shift, and I can tell you that of the departments around here are pretty good at not using excessive force. There will always be the bad apples in every department, but by and large, the group I work with is pretty good. But again, it starts at the toip (or at least the top of the opperations department). The line supervisors here all have pretty much the same idea (it's where I got it from to begin with) and they train the newer officers to have the same mind set. It can be hard, but not impossible to keep the mind set that, as an LEO, you have the power to deny a person's most basic civil rights and that your actions can have LONG reaching consequences on their lives. Once this type of attitude is instilled in a department, I think MOST of the excessive force is negated.

  7. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    4,675
    Boomboy pretty much explained it the way I have always thought it was. As I said earlier, police brutality does in fact exist, but I still feel that doctors are out of their league in saying that prisoner injuries are the result of police brutality.
    Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.

    Benjamin Franklin

  8. #17
    Many of you may find the information on Officer Jack McLamb interesting. I got a chance years ago to here him speak. At that time he told the story of how he came one day to realize how he really did not know the constitution he had swore to uphold an defend and how many officers do not understand or follow it. He has been very pro active in speaking out against the NWO. I found a blog on him that I am posting.

    MySpace.com - Officer Jack McLamb - 64 - Male - KAMIAH, Idaho - www.myspace.com/officerjackmclamb
    By faith Noah,being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear,prepared an ark to the saving of his house;by the which he condemned the world,and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith Heb.11:7

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