Letter Re: Kansas Bill

Sir,

This is response to the officer of 15 years. For the first time in the history of Las Vegas a police officer was fired. Why? All he did was use his AR15 to shoot an unarmed veteran sitting in a car, 7 times in the back of the head. But that is not why he was really fired. No charges were brought because every time a cop kills someone they use the “I did not intend to kill them, no intent no crime”, this defense only works for cops. He was fired only because the sherriff is trying to convince the county council they need to raise the sales tax to pay for more cops. He was asked about this officer at the first hearing, the request was turned down. So before the next hearing he was fired. Good news, the union says it will get him his job back.

Recently multiple agencies were recorded on tape assaulting a man they pulled over. Most of the officers stood by and watched as 8 officers beat this man to the ground, while holding him down another officer starts kicking him in the face. His crime, he went in to diabetic shock and swerved while driving. No officers punished, city settled out of court as they do for all of these crimes.

When these things happen, the police investigate themselves and it always turns out the same way, protect the blue line. So yeah, having more laws protecting those hired to serve and protect is not needed. We need, as with everything else, to actually obey the laws that are already on the books.

The cops have become more militarized, not just with equipment but attitude. You hear then refer to other citizens as “civilians” when in fact cops are “civilians” too. It may look like we live in a police state but we do not, yet.

Keep up the great work on the blog. – K.G.

HJL Replies: It is important to keep a balanced perspective here. I detest the militarization of the police (and the abuses of power that seem to follow along with it). Over the past 40 years, I have seen a movement away from the “beat” cop to more of an emergency response team. This approach to policing is forced by many things, including budget cuts, dependance on federal dollars, and even policies (like the war on drugs). We see a general decline in respect and manners in the public and it follows that since the LE agencies draw upon the public, there will be the same decline among their ranks. There no longer seems to be a reasonable relationship between LE agencies and the general public. I would agree that the “Blue Line” is an inappropriate response, but so is the behavior they are tasked to manage.

Many years ago, I learned a simple phrase in dealing with my children’s discipline that helped me raise them well. The same phrase could apply to Law Enforcement: “Discipline without relationship equals rebellion.” Without a reasonable relationship existing between LE and the general public, these sorts of incidents will continue to escalate regardless of what laws we put in place.

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