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Police Reform

July 1, 2020

Instances of injury and death at the hands of police are in the news. And cries for police reform are on the voices and signs of protestors around the country.

My analysis is that most, if not all, of the injuries or deaths are the aftermath of failure to follow police instructions, threats or perceived threats toward the police, resisting arrest, violence toward policy or attempted escape. In all those instances, the police have to act, and act quickly, forcefully and decisively. To do otherwise would be to lose their authority and ability to enforce the law.

Resisting arrest is a crime, in addition to the crime which may have already been committed. If violence is used toward the police, that would in some states be a felony. If that is followed by an attempt to escape then the police are authorized legally to use force, including deadly force to prevent the escape. The police are also legally authorized to use deadly force in self defense if they are threatened.

In case of a confrontation with police, the directions of the police should be followed without resistance, defiance, protest or argument. This is true even if the arrest is illegal or if the person is innocent. The time for relief is later through litigation for wrongful arrest or other court action. Argument, violence or attempted escape on the street can only lead to bad results.

I see police as public servants who are put in highly stressful situations where hard snd tough decisions have to be made. People resisting arrest have to be taken into custody by force. Sometimes that force can result in injury or death to the suspect, and as often as not, to the policeman. There is no other choice when it is necessary to enforce the law. Either the suspect complies or force has to be used. No amount of reform can change that simple fact.

If a question arises as to whether the force used was excessive or inappropriate, there is a legal process to decide. The final determination is made at court by a jury after due process and presentation of the facts, the law snd the arguments on both sides. That is how complaints and offenses are handed, through our courts and legal system. Not on the streets resisting arrest and fighting with police.

From → Observation

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