By now you have likely read about the Las Vegas police takedown of Michael Bennett, who plays defensive end for the Seattle Seahawks. One officer, as he brandished his weapon near Bennett’s head, said he would blow Bennett’s “fucking head off” if he moved. Another jammed his knee into Bennett’s back as he lay face down on the ground, constricting his ability to breathe. According to Bennett’s open letter online, “they cinched the handcuffs on my wrists so tight that my fingers went numb.”
Kevin McMahill, at a press conference, defended the police officers’ behavior. He seems to think it’s alright to treat people the way police treated Bennett. If you want to detain someone, that’s how you do it: you threaten to blow the individual’s “fucking head off.” You cinch ’em up tight. You know your compliance positions. You make sure your detainee can’t move.
Police have a new, de facto law in their back pockets: impersonating a criminal. They use this new law to shoot people on sight.
Police have a new, de facto law in their back pockets: impersonating a criminal. They use this new law to shoot people on sight. An Australian woman in a Minneapolis neighborhood near Lake Harriet approaches the driver side of a police cruiser at night, in her pajamas, with a cell phone in her hand. The driver’s partner shoots her through the window from the passenger side. She dies twenty minutes later. Eric Garner sells cigarettes on a New York City sidewalk to make a little extra money. Compliance officers say he’s a criminal. They try to arrest Garner, but strangle him instead.
You never hear the officers involved apologize to the families of those they kill. The police chief does not apologize either. Instead they defend themselves! They can do no wrong, and they never make mistakes. The pope makes more mistakes than police officers do. They have a new law they made up to cover every situation. If you look like you might be a criminal, we’ll do whatever we want with you. If you’re a twelve-year-old boy with a toy gun, we’ll drive right up next to you and shoot you within two seconds. Two seconds and you are dead in the snow.
Perhaps you are scared and you try to run away. The police officer empties his weapon into your back. Hands up, don’t shoot. Police leave your body in the middle of the street for four hours, as an example to the neighborhood. No one ever explains why they act that way.
Perhaps you are scared and you try to run away. The police officer empties his weapon into your back. Hands up, don’t shoot. Police leave your body in the middle of the street for four hours, as an example to the neighborhood. No one ever explains why they act that way. Another young man, a school cafeteria worker in St. Paul, tells an officer as a courtesy and a precaution that he has a permitted gun in the car. Seconds later, the officer aims his weapon and shoots him through the driver side door and window. The officer tells the court he panicked. A team of officers throws a young man into the back of a van to have sport with him – a ‘rough ride’ as they call it. They break his neck. No one apologizes.
In every case, police have a new law to justify their conduct. If you impersonate a criminal, you will wind up dead, or have a close brush. Police have a lot of ways to kill you, a lot of excuses for doing so. Michael Bennett was correct to wonder if he would see his family again. How did Bennett disguise himself as a criminal? We can only guess. You will never hear an apology, or an explanation from the officers who mistreated him.