Posted by anonymouse on:
Abuse a man unjustly, and you will make friends for him.
A legal definition of EXCESSIVE FORCE says,
"A law enforcement officer has the right to use such force as is reasonably necessary under the circumstances to make a lawful arrest. An unreasonable seizure occurs when a law enforcement officer uses excessive force in making a lawful arrest."
"Whether force is reasonably necessary or excessive is measured by the force a reasonable and prudent law enforcement officer would use under the circumstances."
I am imagining the mental disposition of a member of the police department when they make a routine traffic stop. In this world, we all know, that unexpected things happen at unexpected times. A routine stop can potentially result in a shooting or a uneventful arrest. The officer has to be ready for any eventuality.
I have known one or two police officers in my life and I have noticed that they have, perhaps after a career spent dealing with the most difficult situations with unruly citizens, these officers have had what seems to me like a very negative view of human nature. They see the worst and expect the worst.
The adrenaline rush one surely experiences at the outset of an event with an unknown player with an unknown course of events, must be a considerable challenge for the officer. Given that, and given the uncertainty of interpretation, I can understand how misunderstandings or misapprehensions can sometimes result in mistreatment of the person who is being stopped and questioned. For this reason, police personnel need to be trained to evaluate while under a great amount of pressure. Being human, there will be mistakes.
About the 'routine' stop at Gelsons and the accusation against the SB Police Officer of 'excessive force', I think that the conversation we are having and the investigation that is taking place, are both good things.
Given that, the fact that these citizens took the time to investigate and pay attention is also important. Even though it is human nature to be curious about car wrecks and extreme events, we need always to be holding those with power over us, to some kind of standard.
Knowing someone is watching should be a deterrent to abuse of power. Sometimes adrenaline, anger and power are overwhelming impulses.
I commend the police for doing a difficult job and I commend these citizen-witnesses for paying attention and holding those in power accountable for their actions.
Thanks to http://www.albiapd.org/id5.html for the image