Helena officers use unwarranted violence (again) and commit homicide
In late June, I posted about a Helena Police Officer who shot Brian Temple in the chest for disrespecting authority and fleeing the police, even though he had committed no crime at that time. Helena, Montana is in the news again, after 41-year-old Roger Chandler was Tasered at least twice for being “unruly” and died as a result.
These two instances of police brutality have given the mainstream media the opportunity to concretely demonstrate their bias. Although I am frequently accused of bias, I am honest. I never claim to be presenting things in a manner that depicts both sides in a favorable light, nor do I claim to be neutral in my opinion.
In my post regarding the Brian Temple shooting, I interviewed the victim’s father, and read multiple news sources (i.e. government propaganda) for the very reason that I was certain there was more to the story than was reported by the news. With these stories, it’s never enough just to read the news because they tend to only quote police, prosecutors, other law enforcement personnel, and essentially act as the PR mouthpiece of the offending police department (and I am the one accused of “bias”).
In this latest Tasering execution, just as was the case with the shooting of Brian Temple, the news is quick to point out that Mr. Chandler had an “extensive criminal record.” Because, you know, that definitely means he deserved to be killed here. After all, police are totally supposed to serve the role of police, jury, judge and executioner. Haven’t you heard? Judge Dredd is no longer just a thing of fiction.
The officers involved allegedly received reports from neighbors that Chandler was screaming and had possibly kicked down a door. Later, officers purportedly learned Chandler may have pushed someone. The responding officers claimed they were concerned Chandler was harming himself, and Chandler suddenly was “acting uncontrollably” and “attempted to flee from law enforcement.”
“Officers felt he could harm himself or others because of his erratic behavior,” Sheriff Leo Dutton said. Dutton went on to say it was possible that Chandler had been using drugs (more here).
That someone should be painfully subjugated, tortured, and killed for his own safety and to prevent him from harming himself sounds absurd, but it is an excuse used over and over by police. For instance, an elderly cancer patient was Tasered for his own safety. A young child was Tasered for the purposes of effecting proper hygiene. In many states, it is illegal for innocent people to resist unlawful arrest because legal experts and courts believe people should be arrested for their own protection (more here and here.) The entire War on Drugs rests on the premise that people should be beaten, jailed and/or killed in order to protect them from drug use. Time and time again, police claim that beating, torture and murder are committed in furtherance of the protection and safety of an individual.
This was not self-defense. This was not defense of another. The police killed Mr. Chandler. They killed him using a weapon that has killed people on numerous other occasions. Self-defense is generally defined as the use of reasonable or necessary force to defend oneself or another. Tasering or killing someone in response to screaming and (possibly) pushing is neither reasonable nor necessary.
In other words, if these killers were not police officers, they would be in jail and they would be charged with homicide. But because they are police officers and have the benefit of the
injustice system and the propaganda machine news on their side, they have managed to portray this as some twisted act of heroism.
Finally, as was the case with Brian Temple, the true reason Chandler was violently attacked by police becomes apparent upon an honest examination of the situation. He was killed because he attempted to flee from law enforcement, and would not bow to authority. Police hate disobedience. They will secure humiliation and subjugation of a target at all costs – even death, because their end goal is obedience, not safety. If the end goal were safety, Chandler would be alive.
If this is too harsh of a conclusion, the other logical alternative is that Chandler was killed for using drugs, screaming and pushing someone and effectively, the penalty for being a petty miscreant in America is death. So there are the options – the cops are not in fact trained and employed to protect and serve, or America is a tyranny because it is legal for police to kill someone for screaming and using drugs with no recourse or penalty. Or both. Take your pick.