A North Carolina lawyer named T. Greg Doucette has been collecting videos of the acts of police brutality against protestors from across the country. He has over 600 already and has received more than a thousand more that he is still processing. He is entering them into a spreadsheet database that you can search on. The sheer number of abuses is breathtaking.
The videos have a disturbingly repetitive style. There is a peaceful demonstration. Then the police arrive, often in riot gear and with military style assault vehicles, and then the violence starts as they attack the protestors with tear gas, rubber bullets, bean bag guns, and ‘flash bangs’ (the label given to stun grenades that temporarily disorient the target). The police say that these weapons and others such a tasers are non-lethal but when demonstrators pick up tear gas canisters and throw them back at the police, they are charged with “assault with a deadly weapon”.
Here is a video from Austin, TX where “police shoot a 16-year-old boy in the head and leave him for dead on the side of the road.”
It appears that the boy was standing on an embankment far away from the protests and just watching when the police shot him in the head with a bean bag gun and then left him for dead. Other demonstrators took him to the hospital where he is undergoing neurological testing.
Then there is this video of a peaceful, tree-lined, suburban street where the National Guard marches through behind armored vehicles like they were invading the place, ordering everybody to get inside and then shooting a woman who was on her front porch filming.
Just reading the capsule summaries of each incident is really disturbing. The sheer number of videos should convince anyone that policing in the US is hopelessly rotten, more like an occupying army crushing any dissent than a civilian force meant to “protect and serve” the public, as so many of the police department slogans boast.
They require a complete overhaul.
Marcus Ranum says
Policing is out of control and national guarding’s not policing! It’s more like an invitation to Kent State 2.0.
Serious question :how long is it going to be, how much more are the US public going to take of this, before they start getting organised and shooting back?
Most occupied populations would have put together some kind of insurgency or resistance by now. It’s not lack of access to weaponry that’s the problem, Bod knows.
Matt G says
Is this the Shining City on a Hill that Reagan was talking about?
Kent State deja vu. I haven’t heard this mentioned anywhere, but it seems to me that policing attracts a certain type of personality. Like the priesthood attracts pedophiles because it gives them easy access to potential prey, policing seems to attract bullies, sadists and fascists because it provides the opportunities for brutalizing people in the name of order and control. Not saying all cops are like that; they’re not. But the job provides fertile ground for those who are. I believe all police candidates should have to undergo in-depth and thorough psych evaluations to weed out these aberrant personalities. Then, they need to be given extensive training in de-escalation techniques and non-confrontational crowd control. Finally, they need to learn that they are part of the community, not outside and above it. Now it’s up to the public to make it happen.