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TEMA: Are police officers guilty until proven innocent?

Are police officers guilty until proven innocent? 13 Jul 2016 19:12 #9475

According to a report published today in The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), "a handful of disturbing videos depicting police shootings helped galvanize widespread hostility to law-enforcement officers, and cops began backing away from the proactive policing that stops crime but has been repeatedly denounced as racial oppression."

It is a fact that police shooting of suspects in 2015 reached 987 including deaths and wounded. Only 256 were black or Hispanic. According to the WSJ, statistics show that "police officers face an 18.5 times greater chance of being killed by a black male than an unarmed black male suspect has of being killed by a police officer". As said in the previous posting, police officers are constantly under high pressure and stress because they know that their lives are constantly in danger. Moreover now, when cries of "revenge" are the order of the day.

In addition, the WSJ mentions several studies proving how false it is the Black Lives Matter movement assertion about systemic, deadly police racism; among them a 2015 report drafted by the US Justice Department showing that "white police officers were less likely than black or Hispanic officers to shoot unarmed black suspects". This is corroborated by a Harvard University study ("An Empirical Analysis of Racial Differences in Police Use of Force") reporting that there is zero evidence of racial bias in police shootings.

It is very sad to hear an outstanding US leader, a black President, Mr. Barack Obama, alleging last week about "systemic racism in American law enforcement", thus contributing to exacerbate racial resentments. It is also sad that a presidential candidate, the wife of a former President of the United States, had the nerve to decry on CNN last Friday "systemic" and "implicit bias" in police departments. If she were so well-informed, it is her responsibility to show proof of her accusations.
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Are police officers guilty until proven innocent? 12 Jul 2016 23:41 #9474

Apparently yes, they are guilty as the Black Lives Matter movement proclaims, while calling for massive demonstrations all over the United States.

Black Lives Matter movement claims to be organized since 2012 "after Trayvon Martin’s murderer, George Zimmerman, was acquitted for his crime" as related in their Website. However, their website was not created until July 2013th. On the other hand, the fact is that Zimmerman was acquitted on July 13th, 2013. Well, it is quite possible the one-year difference of dates is just a typographical error.

This website does not give much information about this movement, other than their reasons to exist and a brief explanation stating that they are "a chapter-based national organization working for the validity of Black life. We are working to (re)build the Black liberation movement". However, the chapters of this national organization are not listed and their offices or HQ addresses or telephone numbers are nowhere to be found.

If people want to "get involved", they take you to another page to "find a local BLM chapter". The new webpage contains several buttons with the names of cities where those chapters are supposed to be. But it warns prospective applicants that "Before you Contact a #BlackLivesMatter Chapter: Please note that #BlackLivesMatter is a network predicated on Black self-determination, and BLM Chapters reserve the right to limit participation." [and] "Please be aware that BLM Chapters have varying membership policies, and may or may not be accepting new members at this time. Also note that membership requirements vary by chapter."

One may click in one of those buttons with a name of a city and the only choices the interested party finds are to enter his/her name, the Email address and a short message. No more.

The question remains - who they are, so you and I might be interested in joining them to advocate "Black self-determination"? Well, their website registrant information is not available in the Network Solutions WHO IS service and it just happens that if you try to enter in the "Who We Are" section of their website, you will only find three options: "About us", "Our Herstory" (no misspelling here) and "Principles". If you chose the first button, nothing happens, then you may try instead the link on a message below that says, "Understand who we are..." After that you are sent back to the explanation I referred to on the second paragraph of this writing. They also include a brief statement of their goals. But, who are they? Nowhere to find out. Perhaps the FBI already knows. But I don't. Do you? On the other hand, it would be interesting to know who are financing them? Politico Magazine let us know that this movement has organized more than 900 protests in less than three years. Such extensive efforts sum up to many millions of dollars, but nobody knows who their donors are.

On the second button (Our Herstory) you finally get three faces and three names: Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi and Patrisse Cullors. Nothing at all about who they are and/or what their backgrounds are. Only a long manifest centering on the principle that black people "should be free". How come! Are we supposed to understand that some black people are slaves? However, they go so far as saying that "Black people cry out in defense of our lives, which are uniquely, systematically, and savagely targeted by the state". Are they talking here about nazi Germany? We all have no choice but to search in other websites to get some coherent information. Well, according to Politico Magazine this movement was founded by Alicia Garza, one of the three ladies mentioned above, an American of Nigerian origin, but there is not much more relevant information.

Back to their website, the page on "Principles" start with this statement: "Black Lives Matter is an ideological and political intervention in a world where Black lives are systematically and intentionally targeted for demise. It is an affirmation of Black folks’ contributions to this society, our humanity, and our resilience in the face of deadly oppression." And they insist in their desire for freedom, which is quite confusing considering the reality of living in present day United States, well regarded as "the land of the free".

Free democratic societies have evolved by creating a constitutional system of law and order where everybody has the same rights and privileges before the law. And "everybody" means EVERYBODY! No one is excluded and no one needs special rights for being different. Human rights don't select people according to differences. It is true that no society is perfect and many abuses and injustices occur, but all citizens within those democracies have the ways and means to redress them and to demonstrate publicly and peacefully when the system is not working as desired.

Police brutality happens. In dictatorships and totalitarian states it is part of their daily life where most people have no way to expect justice. However, democratic societies have diverse mechanisms to sanction abusers and strictly apply the law not only to civilians but to members of the police force as well. Democratic societies also reject any kind of judgment before investigation and trial. Democratic justice is not perfect either, but it is quite better than mob justice or pseudo justice under a dictatorship. Public demonstrations such as the ones we are watching in the United States, crying for a general condemnation of the police forces and even in some cases inciting some sectors of society to "take revenge" are quite dangerous and certainly are a travesty of justice as well.

There are many legal and peaceful ways of protesting when a judgment is clearly a mockery of justice. And it is quite wrong to disqualify the police forces who are keeping our ways of life secure, often at the cost of their health and even their lives. They are subjected to constant threats and pressures and often to many temptations as well, with only a meager salary and other limited compensations well below those found in today's standard employments.

It wouldn't be an exaggeration to submit that more than 99% of police officers and detectives in any democracy do not want to have even one single person dead over their shoulders. They do not want a person killed in their consciences, even in the most justified of cases. So it is only logical and just to expect that society considers them innocent until proven guilty.
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