''To serve and protect.'' A motto dating back to the black-and-white days of yore, Pleasantville-type Utopian pasts of ''the way things were'', where the most rampant crime was underage smoking or forgetting to pay for your sundae at the drive-in diner.
Then again, there were less laws to even break back then, as cars didn't even have seat belts.
''Law enforcement'' has sure come along way since then.
Wikipedia describes their job thusly:
Law enforcement broadly refers to any system by which some members of society act in an organized manner to enforce the law by discovering and punishing persons who violate the rules and norms governing that society. Although the term may encompass entities such as courts and prisons, it is most frequently applied to those who directly engage in patrols or surveillance to dissuade and discover criminal activity, and those who investigate crimes and apprehend offenders. Furthermore, although law enforcement may be most concerned with the prevention and punishment of crimes, organizations exist to discourage a wide variety of non-criminal violations of rules and norms, effected through the imposition of less severe consequences.But in the past 10 years or so, what is most commonly referred to as ''the police'' have resorted more to the ''force'' part of the word ''enforcement'', using military tactics, weapons, vehicles and excuses to become what many conspiracy theorists once warned we were headed towards: a police state.
From the mass brutal beatings of tens of thousands of kids who thought a tuition hike was too high, to repeatedly sodomizing people they arrest even when under media scrutiny (a fact that happens way too often in itself, but it seems New Mexico cops in particular now have developed a taste for it), to having a double-standard regarding aboriginal women in Canada, to selling information to organized crime, to killing innocent civilians - perhaps the saddest, disturbing, recurring situation of all.
It seems to go over people's heads when it's an alleged criminal receiving the bullet, and things are usually forgiving when it's the result of intermediary force - for example the result of getting tasered (and we're lucky that in instances where Tasers are used on 80-year-olds they aren't always fatal) - but there are clear instances where death should simply have never occurred under any circumstance, and today's example is the strongest in a long time: a man wanted to teach his son a lesson after taking his truck without authorization, so he did what anyone born prior to 1980 would do: he called the cops, thinking they'd bring the boy home, he'd have a scare, and he'd have learned his lesson and be good to get on with his life.
But that's not how cops work nowadays. They have a licence to kill and use it, they shoot first and ask questions never, they seem to no longer have to nor have the training for using submissive and/or non-lethal force first and whenever possible. And they no longer shoot to maim or stop - they shoot to kill, period. Sometimes even on clearly homeless folks, a story found everywhere from Santa Clara (aged 22) to Montréal (aged 40, also dead: a 36-year-old innocent bystander).
Tyler Comstock, though, was a bright 19-year-old kid on his way to getting his GED.
Ames Police Officer Adam McPherson eventually fired six shots into the truck, two of which struck Tyler who was later pronounced dead.
The official report claims the action was necessary in order "to stop the ongoing threat to the public and the officers."
The saddest and most common part of that story?Tyler's dad says he was unarmed at the time.
McPherson is currently on paid leave pending the results of his department's investigation.Of course he is. His friends and co-workers are investigating him and the tactics he used, which are the exact same ones they use all the time. How in hell are they going to bring the whole thing down by saying he did anything wrong? And from that point on, how are any of those murderers with badges ever going to be tried in a court of law like the rest of us mere mortals or, rather, the target practice we seem to be to them.
And there is a kicker:
An unidentified person on the Ames police radio dispatch twice suggested that police back off their pursuit of a teen who allegedly stole a pickup truck from the work site he and his father were working at on Monday.Sounds a lot like what George Zimmerman was told when he shot and killed an unarmed teen. I wonder how that turned out.