1101 people have been killed by police this year. I’ll say that again, One thousand one hundred one people have been killed by the police this year. While some of those are justifiable deaths, meaning someone was in danger, far too many were not. Police in the United States have killed people who held BB guns, failed to display a front license plate, burnt out tail lights, selling cigarettes or walking purposefully towards an officer. The list of reasons people have died at the hands of police is vast, inconsistent and heartbreaking. Though there are many things to discuss about why many of these people were killed, I won’t be breaking down any one case here. This post is going to talk about the inconsistencies in the process of charging police with crimes; primarily those resulting in death.
The inconsistencies between police and ‘citizens’ start from the moment a death takes place. While those who are not police officers are routinely detained, interrogated and prodded for alibis and motives. A police officer is given different treatment. Ray Tensing’s body camera shows that the day he killed Samuel Dubose he wasn’t cuffed, wasn’t taken to a police interrogation room, wasn’t taken to jail and wasn’t sent before a judge after spending even a night in jail. Nope, instead Tensing was taken to the hospital by another officer who never even took his firearm and was itching to give him advice (see video below).
Tensing isn’t the only cop who receives such treatment. Nearly every single police officer who’s accused of a crime is given beneficial treatment compared to that of a ‘civilian.’ Whether that’s in the form of having time to think, seek legal council or write their own statement of events. A police officer has a major advantage to covering their crimes and is often provided insight on how to by fellow officers.
Former Chicago Police officer, Jason Van Dyke – who shot a 17 year old kid 16 times, walked around free, as a cop, for nearly a year after his crime. Officer Daniel Pantaleo, who killed Eric Garner, was never charged, is still a cop and was given taxpayer funded bodyguards while the investigation into his crime took place. Others, like Darren Wilson – the man who killed Michael Brown, have been sent away to secret hiding spots for their protection. Does this ever happen to a ‘civilian?’
George Zimmerman wasn’t allow a taxpayer funded hiding spot while his crime played out in court. He sat in jail, without bond and until his trial concluded. Millions of other people sit wasting away in jail while they fight less violent (if violent at all) crimes.
It doesn’t stop there either. Once in court the favors continue to pour on. Judges set bail that can never be posted by a ‘civilian’, yet, they’re regularly posted by cops. Financial aid is given to officers that the ‘civilian’ would never get. Active LEO’s, family members of LEO’s, police unions and the very departments the killer cops work for all come to their aide. Millions of dollars has been raised to help defend the killer cops but that’s never the case for a civilian. Even a murder accusation for a civilian is a daunting claim to overcome considering you’ll be in a jail cell, with public defenders and little to no support. Even if you beat the charge, or the police got it wrong, not many can come back from an experience of such.
It doesn’t take murder to enact the benefits of being a dirty little pig either. Officers accused of rape, theft and physical abuse have all been given severely lenient sentences thanks to their ‘service.’ Officers commonly get favors in divorce cases, speeding tickets and parking fines. The police even display ‘thin blue line’ stickers on their automobiles to notify other LEO’s that they are ‘one of them.’
And yes, it’s has been a record year for police officers who’ve faced legal penalties for their actions and, with that being said, it’s still pathetic the inconsistencies that plague the institution of police. Michael Slager is sitting in a jail cell for murder with no bond, a union that won’t pay his legal fee’s and a damning case against him. While other killer cops, like Van Dyke and Tensing, who committed equally blatant cold blooded murder on camera walk free.
Does this make sense to anyone – besides cops? If punishment from the state, via the laws, is the deterrent to committing crime, than how are any cops deterred from breaking the law knowing they don’t face the same justice the rest of us do? Don’t get my message wrong here, I’m not asking for cops to be treated like ‘civilians’ are. Hell no, the justice system is just as broken as the enforcement (police) system. Yet, while these inconsistencies exist the police should realize that not only will the public lose trust in them but at any moment they could go from hero to zero. Just ask Michael Slager.