Recently, Quentin Tarantino and Jaime Foxx have spoken out against the brutality of the police. At one rally, Tarantino is quoted as saying “if you believe there’s murder going on then you need to rise up and stand up against it. I’m here to say I’m on the side of the murdered.” Those in attendance, and various media outlets, have interpreted his comments as suggesting police are murderers. Jamie Foxx seemed to support Tarantino’s comments.
In the past few years, we have seen many examples of police killing people for questionable reasons, and some seemingly getting away with it. It is these few incidents that have stoked the fire of anti-police sentiment. In these cases, I agree with the people who are shocked by these actions. In many of these cases, the actions of the police officer(s) range from misguided to so terribly wrong.
But it seems many are too eager to paint the entire police community with the same brush as the few that exhibit stunningly poor or racist judgement.
Here are some simple statistics for you…
As of 2013, there are 900,000 law enforcement officers in the United States. (I’ll focus on the United States because Canada is pretty boring when it comes to crime and such. Sure we have violent crime, but it seems America is waaay better at it).
In that same time period, there were 1.16 million violent crimes reported, according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports. That is actually a decrease of 4.4 percent from 2012.
The following is a list of killings by law enforcement officers in the United States…
Let’s do a simple test, using the stats for 2013. In that year, there were 337 killings by law enforcement officer. Some of those may have been “righteous kills”, where no one seemed to question the police officers’ actions. But for the sake of my argument, lets say all of them were cases of brutality gone too far. Even if we double the number to 674, meaning that there may have been two police officers involved, the percentage of police officers committing acts of brutality on people is less than 1%. In this scenario, if every killing by police officers in 2013 were taken into account, then doubled by the fact that perhaps two officers were involved, those officers are so few and far between that they don’t even make up one percent of the total number of police officer in the entire country.
Do police officers do terrible things? Yes. Despite their training, none of them are perfect.
Should they be held accountable for their actions? Absolutely! No one should be above the law.
Are all police officers to blame for the actions of a few bad ones? Definitely not!
People have the right to their opinions, as in any democratic country. But to attack and defame an entire community of individuals who are out there every day trying to do the right thing, to protect and serve their jurisdictions, their towns, counties, states and country is unjustified and harmful. If there are bad people within the law enforcement community, they need to be discovered and removed before they can do any more harm. They also have to create a mentality of zero tolerance for unnecessary brutality, shootings, and understand their actions better, so that when they act within a few seconds, they are saving their lives and the lives of others.
One thing I haven’t heard during all the talk about police brutality, and anti-police sentiment, is the inherent fear within the American mentality. The fear of authority. I don’t know how many episodes of COPS that I’ve watched, when the person ran from the police for something minor and stupid, something that would have garnered them a fine or a ticket. So why did they run? Because they were afraid.
What the hell are they afraid of?!
The ONLY time I’ve ever been “afraid” of the police, is when I thought I was caught driving too fast. And that’s not even fear. It’s more like regret.
So what is America afraid of? Whatever they are told to be afraid of. The media continually tells Americans what to be afraid of. Terrorism. Muslims. Foreigners. Disease. The Economy. People that are different. All of these things drive people away, inwards, making them isolated and unable to trust people. Those people want to know more, so they watch the news, which continually induces fear. It may not be as bad as when George W. Bush was in charge, but watch Fox News for while (if you can stomach it), and see all the negativity spewed. Politicians and businesses also do this, stoke the fires of fear, hoping that people will see them as the ones to save them from *insert threat here*. The police have become just one of the new threats to strike fear into people.
As for Mr. Tarantino, Mr. Foxx, and any other celebrity who speaks out against the police, I wonder who they will call when their mansions are broken into, or their expensive things are stolen? If they think the police are murderers, then surely they can’t be trusted with the spoiled, rich pricks’ toys.
That goes for anyone else out there, who slams the police. Sure they aren’t all good, but the ones that are, they are people just like you, trying to do their job. But whereas your job may be in an office, driving a truck, or whatever, their job is to protect you, and your home.
Think about that, when you are in trouble and need help. Are you going to call the police, or Quentin Tarantino?