Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Badge Behind The Beating

Police brutality has almost become routine reporting. It seems as if every few months some cop, somewhere, forgets that there are cameras everywhere, and decides to beat someone within an inch of their lives.
I know what you're thinking, but Police Brutality goes far deeper than the victims race. There is actually a complex psychological pathology at work. An existence rooted in cultural conditioning and manifested in this kind of violence. 

Last week, a California resident was driving down the 10 Freeway, near La Brea Avenue, when he noticed something truly shocking a California Highway Patrol officer repeatedly punching a black woman he had pinned down. Unfortunately for the California Highway Patrol, most drivers nowadays have cellphones that have built in recording devices and the whole incident was caught on camera, uploaded onto YouTube, and sent to various press agencies. 

Fair warning: the video is hard to watch. It shows a woman being caught and held down on the ground along the side of the freeway, while a large officer punches her, repeatedly, in the face. She appears to try holding up her hands to shield herself. It was filmed by a passing driver, David Diaz, in L.A. Diaz got to the scene as the woman was walking off the road, only turning around when the officer yelled at her. 


“He just pounded her,” Diaz said,  “If you look at the video, there are 15 hits. to the head, and not just simple jabs. These are blows to the head. Blows. Really serious blows. And this is ridiculous to me.”

“He agitated the situation more than helped it,” he added.

In response, the CHP has said it’ll investigate the incident though they were quick to point out that it would be “premature” to conclude anything without knowing the full context. Even though the woman did absolutely nothing to provoke the savage beating. Nothing could merit bashing a woman’s face over ten times. In the meantime, at least, the punch-happy officer has been put on administrative leave. In a statement on Thursday the CHP said,

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) is aware of the video and we are looking into the incident. As a matter of policy, every time there is a use of force by our officers, there is a review conducted to determine whether the use of force was appropriate. That will be done in this case, however, since there is an ongoing investigation, it would be premature to comment on this specific video segment without reviewing the entire incident.

According to CHP Assistant Chief Chris O’Quinn, the officer in question was simply responding to a report of a woman roaming on the freeway; when he got to her, she was making her way down an off-ramp and wandering between lanes. The woman, who remains unidentified, is unharmed  they say but undergoing a psychiatric evaluation.

The fact of the matter is that regardless of how many disturbing videos are uploaded to you tube depicting police brutality, and no matter how much public outrage there is, police officers will continue to committ these atrocities. The question is...why? Before we get into the reason why it is important to understand what goes through the mind of many law enforcement officer's. An extremely reliable source has given me some insight into their thought process. From the very start of law enforcement training the emphasis is put on self defense instead of public protection. Of course there are numerous lessons on the application of the law, but the main focus is on ridding their cities or jurisdictions of a "criminal element". But the concept of a criminal element is highly subjective, meaning that what is considered criminal is actually left up to the interpretation of the officer and his ability or lack there of to demonstrate objectivity. In being given the right to decide, in essence, who is good and who is bad, and being given the ability to exercise certain liberties under the law, some find it difficult not to have a "God Complex". Those who have this complex take perceived defiance as a deep personal insult worthy of retaliation through violence either verbal or physical. The mind set of these men and women, whether conscious or subconscious is that they are not like any of the citizens that they have been hired to protect and serve because the very nature of their job's allow them to transcend normalcy. Everyone else becomes an outsider who is to be kept outside of their world. Lost, ignorant people who need to be protected and saved from themselves. 


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