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

May 24, 2017
Paul Street
Beyond Neoliberal Identity Politics
Daniel Read
Powder Keg: Manchester Terror Attack Could Lead to Yet Another Resurgence in Nationalist Hate
Robert Fisk
When Peace is a Commodity: Trump in the Middle East
Kenneth Surin
The UK’s Epochal Election
Jeff Berg
Lessons From a Modern Greek Tragedy
Steve Cooper
A Concrete Agenda for Progressives
Michael McKinley
Australia-as-Concierge: the Need for a Change of Occupation
William Hawes
Where Are Your Minds? An Open Letter to Thomas de Maiziere and the CDU
Steve Early
“Corporate Free” Candidates Move Up
Fariborz Saremi
Presidential Elections in Iran and the Outcomes
Dan Bacher
The Dark Heart of California’s Water Politics
Alessandra Bajec
Never Ending Injustice for Pinar Selek
Rob Seimetz
Death By Demigod
Jesse Jackson
Venezuela Needs Helping Hand, Not a Hammer Blow 
Binoy Kampmark
Return to Realpolitik: Trump in Saudi Arabia
Vern Loomis
The NRA: the Dragon in Our Midst
May 23, 2017
John Wight
Manchester Attacks: What Price Hypocrisy?
Patrick Cockburn
A Gathering of Autocrats: Trump Puts US on Sunni Muslim Side of Bitter Sectarian War with Shias
Shamus Cooke
Can Trump Salvage His Presidency in Syria’s War?
Thomas S. Harrington
“Risk”: a Sad Comedown for Laura Poitras
Josh White
Towards the Corbyn Doctrine
Mike Whitney
Rosenstein and Mueller: the Regime Change Tag-Team
Jan Oberg
Trump in Riyadh: an Arab NATO Against Syria and Iran
Susan Babbitt
The Most Dangerous Spy You’ve Never Heard Of: Ana Belén Montes
Rannie Amiri
Al-Awamiya: City of Resistance
Dimitris Konstantakopoulos
The European Left and the Greek Tragedy
Laura Leigh
This Land is Your Land, Except If You’re a Wild Horse Advocate
Hervé Kempf
Macron, Old World President
Michael J. Sainato
Devos Takes Out Her Hatchet
L. Ali Khan
I’m a Human and I’m a Cartoon
May 22, 2017
Diana Johnstone
All Power to the Banks! The Winners-Take-All Regime of Emmanuel Macron
Robert Fisk
Hypocrisy and Condescension: Trump’s Speech to the Middle East
John Grant
Jeff Sessions, Jesus Christ and the Return of Reefer Madness
Nozomi Hayase
Trump and the Resurgence of Colonial Racism
Rev. William Alberts
The Normalizing of Authoritarianism in America
Frank Stricker
Getting Full Employment: the Fake Way and the Right Way 
Jamie Davidson
Red Terror: Anti-Corbynism and Double Standards
Binoy Kampmark
Julian Assange, Sweden, and Continuing Battles
Robert Jensen
Beyond Liberal Pieties: the Radical Challenge for Journalism
Patrick Cockburn
Trump’s Extravagant Saudi Trip Distracts from His Crisis at Home
Angie Beeman
Gig Economy or Odd Jobs: What May Seem Trendy to Privileged City Dwellers and Suburbanites is as Old as Poverty
Colin Todhunter
The Public Or The Agrochemical Industry: Who Does The European Chemicals Agency Serve?
Jerrod A. Laber
Somalia’s Worsening Drought: Blowback From US Policy
Michael J. Sainato
Police Claimed Black Man Who Died in Custody Was Faking It
Clancy Sigal
I’m a Trump Guy, So What?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail