Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Crimes and Bullets

Tough subject.

There is now an ongoing story in our area about a young man that was supposedly talking of suicide who did not cooperate with police and was shot over 20 times (perhaps many more). They played the tape of the whole thing and it was awful. I remember three volleys of shots.

Now what's going on. We are not suppose to be in combat laying down cover fire.

Things are different from what they were thirty years ago. Back then a policeman could do as much with a good tongue lashing as today's cops can do with a tazer. It is now a different breed of citizen and a different breed of cop.

Back in the day children were children, adults were usually stronger and could control the younger generation. In our day, many children look like adults due to growth hormones, bodybuilding and the like. It is hard to tell a thirteen year old from a twenty year old.

Cops once knew the people they dealt with. An older cop probably knew who your parents were and you didn't even want him telling dad about your meanness. Cops were in the prevention business then. Nowadays, cops can only respond after a crime has been committed.

Drugs are another thing and in my opinion, the number one problem on the streets and in our homes. I remember the first story I heard about PCP where someone who would ordinarily be average strength was suddenly strong enough to overpower several police and break straps on a hospital gurney.

So cops are afraid of what they are going to come up against when they confront someone even for questioning. They are sitting on a hair-trigger either figuratively or literally. This makes citizens afraid, as they ought to be. A case of mistaken identity or mistaken house or misunderstanding during questioning can land a person in the morgue or hospital or jail.

Basically, we have a society that is afraid on both sides of the law which makes for a very dangerous situation. As someone said, we need to chill out.

I think the definition of aggressive behavior has changed too. Back when I got caught for speeding, I would always get out of the car and make sure the officer saw my hands. Nowadays you better sit still with your hands on the steering wheel. Back in the day, something such as speeding was resolved in a few minutes and everyone was on their way. Nowadays, the car is torn apart and it is not uncommon for anyone to be thrown on the ground at the whim of an overzealous officer.

So what's the answer? On the criminal side, there will be no solution until drugs are taken off the streets and stopped at the source. On the legal side, officers must win their respect back. They must learn again to treat law abiding citizens with respect. There are those of us who dislike drugs and crime as much as they do but all crimes do not deserve the death penalty.

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