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In Unit IV, we discussed how the police have been under a microscope due to the shooting deaths of unarmed African American males. Based on this information, do you believe that these are just unfortunate incidents or a pattern of bad policing? Explain your reasoning.
                                               CLASSMATE’S POST
I think this is a great question.  Honestly, I think it is a pattern of bad policing.  An unfortunate incident, in my opinion, would be a true “accident” and I do not believe the action was an accident.  With all the incidents from this year, my initial impression, especially from working in a law firm, was when did the police start thinking it was acceptable to discharge a weapon in the use of deadly force when the person was not aiming, directing, or firing a weapon towards the officer?  Another initial impression was when did we start to ignore the words of the person accused of a crime?  If we assume that everyone is innocent until proven guilty then why are we ignoring what people say?  Many of them say things like “Don’t shoot”, “I am unarmed”, “I will cooperate”, and, of course, “I can’t breathe.”  When was that just blatantly ignored?  I just do not see when any type of ground restraint was necessary unless the person was actively fighting a police officer.  I think a ground restraint and, worse, deadly force should be the last two restraints.  Plus, it places anyone on edge when you have more than two police officers that are pointing weapons at you or trying to surround you.  It is bad policing.  We represented a guy one time in which we received the body cam footage of his incident.  He stated, “I will be happy to cooperate, but I request a female police officer.  Please do not touch me.”  He stated this several times, but the police kept pressing forward.  “We have to pat you down and see if you have any weapons.”  He would say, “I understand that, and I will be happy to cooperate, but I request a female police officer.”  Then, without provocation, they took that as resisting arrest and two hulking male police officers pinned his arms to the top of the police car while another officer patted him up and down including searching his pockets.  He struggled and became very emotional.  Later, it was discovered that he had been sexually molested by his stepfather as a child and was very hesitant around men as an adult.  (We received a nice civil settlement for him by the way.)
I think it is bad policing because I do not believe every police officer is like that.  I think a majority are good, hard-working police officers who engaged in that career because of a true willingness to help others.  But police officers must realize that their mere presence can sometimes intimidate people as I am sure it is supposed to do.  However, some officers take that power and authority a bit too far and do not remember the purpose he or she is there for which is to serve and protect.  My other impression is “Why is it always an officer’s instinct to arrest someone?”  I wonder why we cannot engage in more de-escalation.  Why can’t we engage in counter-intuitiveness to the officer’s frame of mind to prevent bad policing?  I think there is a long way to go in this arena.


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