I am a fan and a member of TYT, but given my recent workload I had fallen behind on shows. Because of this I only heard this story today, even though TYT ran this story at the beginning of September. It might not be fresh news, but I still think it is a very important story that I want to share, because it is so indicative of what we have been talking about for so long about police brutality in the United States.
That cop deserved a medal for excellent police work. Instead, he was fired, because he correctly identified the situation he was in and didn’t shoot the man that was trying to commit suicide by cop. He basically did, in real life, what we see in countless movies and TV shows, ones that glorify police officers, and yet in the real world such reasonable action will get you fired.
I wanted to post this story because, I think, it goes to the heart of the “a few bad apples” debate. The current situation with overwhelming police brutality in the United States is usually summed up by two schools of thought: “It’s the training” or “It’s a few bad apples who make everyone else look bad”. At least, the two schools of thought amongst those who even admit that there is a problem in the first place.
This story, I think, puts the final nail in the coffin of rotten apples. It shows how cops who do the right thing are punished, while those who shoot first and never even bother to ask questions are protected and rewarded. It shows how deep the problem is, and how far we have to go to make a change.
It’s not a matter of weeding out the few bad apples, or dismissing them as unrepresentative of the police force as a whole. Solving this issue is going to take a profound change of the system, the training, and what is expected of police conduct. It’s an uphill battle, no one denies that, but acknowledging what the problem is has to be the first step.