Not all cops deserve a bad rap, but these do
One of the all-too-familiar parts of maturing from a sheltered life under the roof of your parents and going into the real world is dealing with the police.
For the average person, such experiences never go further than the frustrating yet benign traffic stop and ticket. At worst, one may be hit with a misdemeanor involving illicit substances.
In this instance, it’s not so much the police who are to blame, but the law. But even if most people realized this, the sentiment would do little to stop cops from becoming the scapegoat of resentment. There’s nothing like being able to point a finger.
However, when a situation occurs where police are actually liable, it ceases to be scapegoating. For example, take the recent convictions of two police officers in New Orleans.
On April 13, officers Melvin Williams and Matthew Dean Moore were found guilty of obstructing justice by writing and submitting a false and inaccurate incident report.
In 2005, Officer Williams beat civilian Raymond Robair, causing fractured ribs and a ruptured spleen, according to witnesses who later testified in court.
Afterwards, Officers Williams and Moore placed Robair, who was unconscious, into their police car and drove him to Charity Hospital, telling the hospital (and later investigators) that Robair was suffering from a drug overdose.
The hospital treated Robair as such and was unaware of the blunt force trauma. Hours later, Robair was pronounced dead.
Moore also garnered a second conviction: making false statements to FBI agents, a felony. Both officers will be sentenced in July, with Williams facing a life sentence and Moore facing 25 years or more.
in all likelihood, the entire incident will become a reference and statistic for police brutality and corruption for years to come.
The problem with this is that no one cares when the police don’t beat people unconscious.
The media doesn’t get ratings for the cop who patrols late at night, and political activists don’t talk about the officers who have to act as marriage counselors every time there’s a domestic disturbance.
Yes, these two officers were the textbook case of corrupt cops abusing their civil responsibilities.
In addition, the Justice Department announced in March that their federal investigation into the New Orleans Police Department revealed the organization had engaged in other violations of the Constitution and federal law, including racial and sexual profiling, skewed recruiting, poor training and supervision, the use excessive force, unconstitutional stops and illegal searches. Sufficed to say, New Orleans is not where you want to be stopped for a traffic violation.
But that’s the good news. NOPD, corrupt as it is, doesn’t extend outside of New Orleans. It cannot be overstated that this situation is a travesty.
But it’s important to remember that in reality, it’s not as though every police officer in the nation is a corrupt badge or beating people left and right.
A badge and gun can be intimidating, and there’s always the question of how an officer uses or abuses authority. The ultimate irony of bureaucracy is that no one notices when you do your job until you do it wrong.