FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Shoot First Mentality of American Police

by

Few, if any, of the correct questions were asked in the grand jury hearing to decide whether policeman Darren Wilson would be indicted for killing Michael Brown.

The most important unexamined question is whether police are trained to use force immediately as a first resort before they assess a situation or determine if they are at the correct address.  Are the police trained that the lives of police officers are so much more valuable than the lives of possible suspects, or a houseful of people into whose residence a heavily armed SWAT team enters, that police officers must not accept the risk of judicious behavior when encountering citizens?  If this is the case as all evidence indicates that it is, then the police when they gratuitously murder members of the public are merely doing what they have been trained to do.  As police are trained to use violence as a first resort, the police cannot be held accountable when they do.

There are a large number of videos available online that show that the first thing that police do when they arrive is to use force.

No sooner is Michael Brown in the grave than Cleveland cops kill a 12-year old boy who has a toy gun that shoots plastic pellets.  The child is threatening no one–indeed there is no one else present.  The boy seems to be playing a fantasy game in his head.  A busy body calls the police. The police arrive and instantly shoot the kid down.

Here is a selection of videos and reports.  Some of the videos are compressed to save the viewer time.  They range from 59 seconds to the full 7:51 minute video, which shows the kid is just walking up and down the sidewalk.  All the action comes at the end. The police arrive and instantly open fire, making no effort whatsoever to assess the situation.

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/video-shows-cleveland-cop-shoot-12-year-old-tamir-rice-n256656

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2850234/Video-released-showing-police-shooting-Tamir-Rice-12-carrying-BB-gun.html

http://www.wkyc.com/story/news/local/cleveland/2014/11/26/tamir-rice-shooting-video-released/19530745/

http://nypost.com/2014/11/27/cops-release-video-of-officer-fatally-shooting-12-year-old/

Just a few days before Michael Brown is killed, Ohio police murdered John Crawford inside a Walmart store.  What had Crawford done?  He had picked up a BB rifle from a Walmart shelf and was on the phone with the mother of his two children, perhaps checking with her whether he could purchase it for the kids.  A busy body named Ronald Ritchie felt threatened and called the police. The police rush in and shoot Crawford.  The police claim that they ordered Crawford to drop the rifle, but the video shows  the police shooting Crawford on sight. The busy body Ritchie actually caused two deaths, as the incident of Crawford’s murder caused Angela Williams to die from a heart attack as she fled the store in response to the police gunfire.

Yes, you guessed it. The grand jury decided the police were justified.

Here is another video that demonstrates that policemen shoot instantly without cause.  This is a rare case in which the policeman was held accountable, most likely because the video prevented authorities from fabricating the usual story of police justification.

In this video, police shoot down an unarmed black man in the street.  After shooting Kajieme Powell ten times, the cops hold guns on the dead body while they handcuff a dead man.  Like an almost endless number of other such videos, this one shows that either psychopaths are recruited for the police force, or police training turns cops into psychopaths.

These two reports examine Officer Darren Wilson’s story of why he shot Michael Brown and conclude that Wilson’s story doesn’t make sense.  http://www.vox.com/2014/11/25/7281165/darren-wilsons-story-side  and  http://www.vox.com/2014/11/25/7287443/dorian-johnson-story   Most likely, Michael Brown was just another victim of the gratuitous violence that police are trained to use.  Darren Wilson’s use of deadly force was in keeping with his training.

The problem with the grand jury and prosecutor in Ferguson and everywhere else is that the real problem–the training of police to use deadly force as a first resort–was not identified as the cause of Michael Brown’s death.

The Ferguson grand jury’s decision is not an exoneration of Wilson’s use of deadly force. Anyone familiar with the American criminal justice (sic) system knows that any prosecutor can get or prevent an indictment from a grand jury.  Prosecutors are allowed to determine what evidence is presented. Prosecutors are permitted to bribe witnesses with money or dropped charges, and they can coerce false witness testimony by threatening a witness with charges.  Seldom does an indictment or refusal to indict turn on the true facts.

The US justice system is no longer concerned with justice, but with the careers of prosecutors, punishing the powerless, and protecting the powerful.  As justice has largely departed the justice system, it is hardly surprising that police lack any concept of justice.

Paul Craig Roberts is a former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury and Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. Roberts’ How the Economy Was Lost is now available from CounterPunch in electronic format. His latest book is How America Was Lost.

Paul Craig Roberts is a former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury and Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. Roberts’ How the Economy Was Lost is now available from CounterPunch in electronic format. His latest book is The Neoconservative Threat to World Order.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

February 22, 2017
Mike Whitney
Liberals Beware: Lie Down With Dogs, Get Up With Fleas
John Grant
On Killers and Bullshitters*
Peter Linebaugh
Catherine Despard, Abolitionist
Patrick Cockburn
The Bitter Battle for Mosul
Ted Rall
Sue the Bastards? It’s Harder Than You Think
Yoav Litvin
The Emergence of the Just Jew
Kim Scipes
Strategic Thinking and Organizing Resistance
Norman Pollack
Mar-a-Lago, Ideological Refuge: Berchtesgaden, II
Fred Donner
Nixon and the Chennault Affair: From Vietnam to Watergate
Carl Kandutsch
Podesta vs. Trump
Ike Nahem
To the Memory of Malcolm X: Fifty Years After His Assassination
Jesse Jackson
Trump’s Tough Talk Won’t Fix Chicago
Paul Donnelly
Betsy DeVos and the War on Public Education
Ebony Slaughter-Johnson
The End of an Alliance for Police Reform
Richard Lawless
Wall Street Demanded the Nuclear Option and the Congress Delivered
Liaquat Ali Khan
Yes, Real Donald Trump is a Muslim!
Ryan LaMothe
“Fire” and Free Speech
CounterPunch News Service
Bloody Buffalo Billboards
February 21, 2017
Sharmini Peries - Michael Hudson
Finance as Warfare: the IMF Lent to Greece Knowing It Could Never Pay Back Debt
CJ Hopkins
Goose-stepping Our Way Toward Pink Revolution
John Wight
Firestarter: the Unwelcome Return of Tony Blair
Roger Harris
Lenin Wins: Pink Tide Surges in Ecuador…For Now
Shepherd Bliss
Japanese American Internment Remembered, as Trump Rounds Up Immigrants
Boris Kagarlitsky
Trump and the Contradictions of Capitalism
Robert Fisk
The Perils of Trump Addiction
Deepak Tripathi
Theresa May: Walking the Kingdom Down a Dark Alley
Sarah Anderson
To Save Main Street, Tax Wall Street
Howard Lisnoff
Those Who Plan and Enjoy Murder
Franklin Lamb
The Life and Death Struggle of the Children of Syria
Binoy Kampmark
A Tale of Two Realities: Trump and Israel
Kim C. Domenico
Body and Soul: Becoming Men & Women in a Post-Gender Age
Mel Gurtov
Trump, Europe, and Chaos
Stephen Cooper
Steinbeck’s Road Map For Resisting Donald Trump
February 20, 2017
Bruce E. Levine
Humiliation Porn: Trump’s Gift to His Faithful…and Now the Blowback
Melvin Goodman
“Wag the Dog,” Revisited
Robert Hunziker
Fukushima: a Lurking Global Catastrophe?
David Smith-Ferri
Resistance and Resolve in Russia: Memorial HRC
Kenneth Surin
Global India?
Norman Pollack
Fascistization Crashing Down: Driving the Cleaver into Social Welfare
Patrick Cockburn
Trump v. the Media: a Fight to the Death
Susan Babbitt
Shooting Arrows at Heaven: Why is There Debate About Battle Imagery in Health?
Matt Peppe
New York Times Openly Promotes Formal Apartheid Regime By Israel
David Swanson
Understanding Robert E. Lee Supporters
Michael Brenner
The Narcissism of Donald Trump
Martin Billheimer
Capital of Pain
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail