Occupy Oakland Police Brutality

I want my faith in the police restored. But it is not happening.

I am getting so sick of seeing police brutality in response to the Occupy protests. I’ve been posting terrible pictures and videos for weeks. And today I have to do it again.

The injured man in the video is reportedly Iraq war veteran Scott Olsen. He lived through two tours in Iraq only to come home and get shot in the head by police with something that fractured his skull, while exercising his first amendment rights, which both the military and police are supposed to exist in order to protect.

And when people come to help Olsen, the police throw a flashbang grenade into their midst.  The police attacked an injured person and those daring enough to try to help him.

The media has finally picked up on the police brutality, with over 3800 news articles now coming up with a quick Google search. Apparently this had to happen in order for people to take notice.

Care2.com has more video (similar to the above), lots of good links, and brief comments from some of Scott Olsen’s friends. The LA Times also has a good post on the events and a picture of a terrible bruise caused by some type of projectile weapon. And Daily Kos has a string of disturbing pictures showing injuries and evidence of rubber bullets fired, and at least two other individuals with bleeding head injuries.

I am going to keep posting these stories as long as they keep happening.  I understand that in difficult situations humans, even well-trained police, can lose control of themselves and behave inappropriately.

But when police officers do this, they must pay an even higher price for their wrongdoings precisely because they are tasked with public safety. Officers must be held to a higher standard. Not a lower standard. The highest things fall the farthest.

How can we call these individuals “public safety officers” when they do this? They are seriously injuring the people they are charged to protect. They need to lose their jobs or even go to jail. Totally unacceptable.

And it doesn’t take an ethicist to figure that out.

When I was younger I thought the police only did good, that they were all the “good guys.” It is now, unfortunately, quite clear that I was wrong. I am severely disappointed, disgusted, sickened. Brutality, over and over again, all over the country. Even if it is “just a few” bad cops, they are not being controlled, not being stopped.  What is going on?  Is this to be expected of our police now? What am I supposed to tell my children?

I want my faith in the police restored. Please. I want the myth that all cops are good to be real.  I feel like I am not living in the nation I thought I lived in, that somehow I am in some other country or some other time.

21st century America, where are you? Damn.

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