I’m working on a quite serious case involving an innocent man accused of things he could not possibly have done. This impacts my ability to write the type of blog entry I prefer.
On the other hand, I looked briefly at the news today and I just have to ask again why we’re so insane as to believe that the more police officers we have on the streets, the safer we are.
I started off the morning by reading about a police officer attacking a teenage girl in a jail cell. Apparently, a 15-year-old girl isn’t adequately controlled in solitary lock-up unless she’s also had her head slammed into a wall, been kicked, hit, had her hair pulled, been slammed to the floor and cuffed. And, of course, it takes two police officers to do the job properly.
Still, she got off better than the guy who — as his last official act on earth — made the mistake of “being a non-English speaker stranded in a confusing place.” He was killed.
That task required five police officers.
I’ve said this before: on any given day, you can pick up a copy of the Fresno Bee and read about some instance of police officers committing crimes and/or otherwise abusing their power. I haven’t bought the Bee the last few days due to my above-mentioned workload, but this story from the website shows that the Clovis Police Department, which has held patient medical records for two years without filing charges after the computer containing them was seized for allegedly containing child pornography, believes it is not bound by the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”). However, the Code of Federal Regulations seems to say otherwise. (See, e.g., 45 C.F.R. §§ 164.508 and 164.510, to name just two.)
At least they didn’t beat or kill anyone to get the records!
In spite of stories like this, the idiots who run the Murray State News in Kentucky explicitly argue (2015 update: article link disappeared) that,
Too many police officers is something no one should ever complain about.
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These men and women are not at the donut shop shooting the breeze and just kicking back. These individuals adhere to a proactive mentality of preventing crime rather than sitting back and waiting until situations occur. Anyone who has spent anytime around these dedicated individuals understands how much time they invest in and the effort exerted to try and preserve this community’s safety.
The only people who are complaining about the amount of officers are the people trying to get away with something and ignorant people with little understanding of the dedication put in.
If you have a problem with the people who are keeping you safe at night you should stop complaining and take up a post.
Every day when I read the news, however, I can but wish that our officers were at the donut shop shooting the breeze and kicking back, instead of shooting citizens and kicking teenage kids. Their proactive mentality of kill or kick first, ask questions later does not make me feel safer.
I have no problem with mythical people who might actually keep me safe at night, but with officers like those I read about every day, I can agree with the editors of Murray State News about one thing: if things keep going like this, some of us may need to take up posts — and use them to knock in a few heads.