(…when confronted with physical resistance…)

The recent torrent of street protests about grand jury’s declining to indict police officers for alleged brutality, and shootings in which several individuals were killed by police are classic examples of knee-jerk emotional reactions incited by racial bias. In these instances…anti-White…compounded by…anti-Blue…biases.

While some of that is understandable coming from the general population, it isn’t when it also comes from various media pundits, politicos, and high level government officials…who should know better. None of these seem to have considered the context of the situations in which the officers concerned were involved. Instead, these have only focused on the negative perceptions on how the police officers were attempting to perform their duty. The most egregious example of this concerns the case of Mr. Garner, in Staten Island, NY.

The video clip seen over and over again on all the news broadcasts clearly shows that Mr. Garner was resisting arrest…but no one mentions that…only that the police officers involved were white…and he was…black. Worse yet, not a single media pundit or government official, or anyone else for that matter, has tried to explain to the public some of the real factors that lead up to Mr. Garner’s death. For one thing, the video clearly shows an officer attempting to talk to him into surrendering peacefully, and extending an arm to him for that purpose. No force of any kind was being applied at that moment.

Unfortunately, what we see next is Mr. Garner angrily swatting that officer’s arm away, and saying…don’t touch me!…don’t touch me!…at which point because of his size, three or four other officers close in around him, and in the ensuing general melee these are forced to physically wrestle with him, to subdue and arrest him. In the process we see an officer’s arm around his neck, as he is wrestled face down to the ground. Whether that was intentional or not is hard to say. Then, with the dead weight of at least three or more officers on his back he exclaims…he can’t breathe (with that amount of dead weight on his back, is it any wonder?). All of these exertions, physical pressures, etc. bring on an asthmatic episode resulting in Mr. Garner’s death.

Thus the question that everyone should be asking is, in this case: what were they expected to do…when confronted with his physical resistance? Race was not the issue…physical resistance was. Whose fault or error was that? Mr. Garner was not some ignorant or hot headed youth. He was a mature 43 year old adult who should surely have understood that being arrested for a relatively minor infraction (and a civil one at that), would have probably only seen him booked and then released, to be home in time for supper with his family… had he not resisted. Yet, somehow, everyone sees the police as being at fault, simply because they were white…and he wasn’t.

Does this mean that from now on, the public only wants to see black officers arresting black offenders or Hispanic officers for Hispanic offenders, and only Whites for White offenders? Obviously such an approach would not only be impractical but ridiculous as well. Worse yet, that would only re-establish sanctioned segregation and profiling. We doubt anyone wants to see any of that return. So perhaps all those who are swarming and rioting in the streets in protest at what they perceive as “injustice” need to rethink their perceptions.

Yes, there is no question that the use of force if often excessive, but each case, each situation, is different, and to view them all as being part of a common pattern is not correct. The situation with Mr. Brown in Ferguson, MO; the situation with the young boy brandishing a toy gun in Ohio; the case of the woman, also in Ohio, all were different, and police actions in each of those cases were also…different. Several must be considered “borderline” in turns of merit. But focusing solely on ways and means to “reform” the way police handle such confrontations is not enough. There is also an equal need to re-educate not only youths but adults as well, on how to act whenever they’re in an encounter with police. Perhaps if there were less hostile reactions to police officers in such situations, there would be fewer confrontations, and thus much less need to resort to force…deadly or otherwise.

Keep in mind, there is always the option of suing the pants off the officers, their departments, and/or their city, for lack of probable cause and false arrest. It’s certainly a more profitable outcome than what one gets from unnecessary and useless…resistance.