The Future Police State of America

Over the past months America has seen terrible acts between police and the respective communities they serve. From Trayvon Martin, to Michael Brown to Eric Garner the headlines ran, the facebook and twitter updates exploded and the world shook protests. Now I am not a incendiary person who looks to light up social media with the flame of opinion, however I have at one point in my life been on the other side of the law and have an opinion that can be supported by experience.

For the respect of the community and people I worked with I will not divulge names and locations but for one summer I worked in a highly affluent town as a ordinance officer which I obtained of course through connections (you do not just get hired to a police organization without knowing a few people unfortunately). I don’t believe I was necessarily qualified but it paid well, came with a PBA card and was offered to me from a friend so obviously as a young college student I accepted. Though I only worked the summer between semesters and my lacrosse season I only spent about 14 weeks on the job, just enough to cash in on some much needed disposable income for the oncoming school semester. Note that I had no desire to be a cop or desire or some thrilling delusion of grandeur to be a part of a para-military organization such as a police department is but needed a summer job that was, well, more exciting then sitting at a cash register.

Now what I can say about my time there is what I can now put towards what I see happening at a grander scale today in America. People being targeted by race, income and location. I once witnessed a local who worked at the hospital park her car a little too much on an angle as she picked up medication early in the morning after her 12 hour shift at a local drug store. My supervisor advising me to “watch this” ran over ticketed her then instigated a few things got her to obviously raise her voice and next thing you knew this local had two more tickets and a mouthful about her being racist. My supervisor laughed it off after she left, oh the things you can do when you have a badge and a gun. Now I won’t divulge much of anything else, but let me say after seeing obvious entrapments, intimidation tactics and less severe but still blatant excessive force in my tenure on the job let me tell you that everything that is happening in America today between the police and their communities is not people “doing there job” maybe doing what they are trained since many are trained quite biasedly (I was), so yes everything we are thinking towards why the police are attacking citizens is all that it seems.

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7 Comments Add yours

  1. jtinari says:

    @thiggins99 thanks for posting this. Not many people want to speak their opinion on this in light of getting pounded on by everyone else’s opinion. I like how you added your experience, because it helped us get a first hand view of what may be happening. While i don’t disagree that there may be excessive force and of course a few A**holes on the job that just write tickets and instigate people for the heck of it, i think we have to look at the police as a whole. They are here to protect us, and as a person who has several family members on and retired from the NYPD, i trust in them to support our community. We don’t know what they see on a daily basis. We don’t know the trauma they encounter. And i have heard stories that have brought grown adults to tears as they encounter the murder scenes and domestic abuse calls every single day. We have to remember they are human beings and they get scared too. Even though they look like the big bad wolf because they’re the one holding the gun, wouldn’t you say any situation that seems uncertain and that may end in the loss of your life or someone else’s frightening? I certainly would. I don’t think these officers aim to kill anyone. The average 20 year officer has never had to shoot their gun, aside from the shooting range and training. In fact, i read somewhere that the total death as of last year (i think it was for NYPD) was 6. NO this is not ok. NO LOSE OF LIFE IS OK. But i trust that those 6 were in good reason, and in a larger scale, 6 is probably less than 1/2% of total deaths that year. Maybe i’m bias because I live in a family with cops. But they risk their lives every day to keep us safe. I trust them fully. And while its sad to hear that someone died because of them, I think that it happened as a result of people who would not comply with an officer. Eric Garner ‘didn’t resist’ by force. This is correct. He didn’t charge the police or swat at them with a bat. But he refused to put his hands behind his back. That is resisting. And what if he said ‘I can’t breathe’ as a trick tactic to have the officers jump off of him, so that he could trick them and jump up and attack them after? The officers didn’t know what was going to happen. They didn’t wish for him to die. Its a tragedy that he did though.

    1. thiggins99 says:

      I agree with you as someone who is very close with the cop community I can say they are all the same, they are human, and as a human many of us are flawed so yes I do believe the Eric Garner death is nothing but the tip of an iceberg, you never know what the situation really entailed and what we didn’t see below the surface of the proverbial iceberg. As you said they risk there lives it’s true everyone’s scared and at any moment you must fight or flight, even cops, and I must say when people get scared just as Garner was both the cops and him chose there instinct in that moment.

  2. mganou says:

    Thank you so much Tim for sharing this! I never had any doubts about the accusations made about the wrongdoings of cops, and this proves my convictions even further. It is revolting to see what is happening in this country, all the innocent lives taken due to abuse of power just like you said ” oh the things you can do when you have a badge and a gun.”), it just makes my blood boil to know that and even more to see how they get away with it, without any indictment, charges, nothing. These are the people supposedly in place to “protect” the community. And @jtinari I see your point given that you come from a family of cops but honestly when you say “they risk their lives every day to keep us safe. I trust them fully.”, try to put yourself in the shoes of Mike Brown’s parents, Eric Garner’s family, do you believe they can “trust fully” police officers who took the life and shot SEVEN times or choke to death their innocent kid/father/husband/friend? Do you believe they feel the cops kept this person “safe”?? Any Black person in America feels like they could be next, is that a normal thing to feel this when you have done nothing wrong???
    And when you say ” he refused to put his hands behind his back.”, is that a reason to KILL him??? Countless black lives have been taken for no apparent reason for the past 40+ years, and I’m not even mentioning the segregation era. Justine I’m not saying all this against you or your family, but trust me such assumptions are extremely hurtful to billion of people, and you might say that out of bias or lack of information. You can take a look at the #CrimingWhileWhite hashtag, this will maybe open your eyes on many things I believe.
    Salutes to both of you, and thanks again Tim for sharing your experience and opinion, it is much appreciated!

    1. thiggins99 says:

      Thank you for reading Morgane and as I do not want to pain the police community in unflattering colors I do want to point out that there are two sides to a story and some cops do there jobs and deserve praise, and some cops just like everyone else in this world usurp the power given to them and therefore should be disciplined just like everyone else.

  3. jtinari says:

    Thank you for taking into consideration my opinion and trying to see where I come from.

    Absolutely in no way shape or form do I think anyone DESERVES to die. Not at all. In fact I do not agree with the force used toward civilians especially in the Garner case. I do however think that in the eyes of the LAW that the situation classified as resistance. But again I DO NOT think that he DESERVED to die.

    I do however think that I have more of an issue with the fact that 1. This has become a race issue. I think this could have happened to ANYONE regardless of their race. So I don’t fully understand why my unpopular opinion becomes “racist” all of a sudden, if I decide to side with the cops. (And I don’t think you called me racist, I’m just stating a point) because it saddens me that our society is segregating ourselves by race and blaming white cops for killing black men. Why can’t the issue just be that A cop killed A man? I know that there are race issues and that many feel that they died due to prejudice, but I simply do not think they INTENDED to kill anyone.

    And 2. I strongly disagree with the fact that protestors are undermining authority as well as our country. Burning american flags? That’s crazy! I get that we want to stand up for what we believe in. But we live in one of the only countries that allow us to do so, so why be disrespectful to our flag?

    1. thiggins99 says:

      I agree with you totally these protests are becoming an outlet for people to voice their opinions based on what they perceived was the issue in these shootings. Every person has a different perception on the event and all people are doing is creating motley confusion of misinformation.

      They only protest I would have is in the wake of not only the shootings but also the new information of the military also being involve in certain indiscretions that it’s time for the government to start setting a standard in which we can create peace and support between the community and those who serve and protect us.

  4. mganou says:

    Thank you both for weighing in on this. @jtinari, the fact is, it clearly IS a race issue, if you don’t see that then we don’t seem to be living in the same country! A white cop killed a black man, many white cops kill many black men, often for no apparent reason (which of course doesn’t mean all white cops are gonna kill the first black man they see) but one cannot deny the fact that this should not be happening in 2014 in America! You cannot undermine the outcry of thousands of people in this country or limit it to an isolated event involving burned flags. This is not what these protests are about, it’s about black/brown/white/young/elderly people allying together and demanding rightful justice (a cop not being indicted for killing an innocent man clearly is not) and marching for a rightful goal. I respect your opinion but quite frankly it scares me… deeply… this is why I won’t comment any further on this because I do not want to instigate a fight with anyone here, and I do not want to make any rude comments because this is the kind of topics which I get very sensitive with. Also, if you want, you can read this blog post I wrote earlier in the semester addressing this issue.
    Best of luck for both of you on finals

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