It’s been a while on this blog since I’ve shown a spotlight on the bad a-happenings occurring in police departments throughout the United States. I’ve often talked about my rejection of the “bad apple” theory. The theory that police misconduct, brutality and wrongdoing is just the actions of a few bad apples among the thousands of do-gooder cops that there are. And while sure, I agree, most cops aren’t killing innocent people, I still disagree vehemently with the bad apple theory. For one, it allows us to ignore systematic problems. And for two, I want to fix those systematic problems.
And I can’t think of a better exemplification of my rejection of this theory than the current a-happenings out of the Albuquerque Police Department. First and foremost, the Justice Department is currently undergoing a year-long investigation into the department over abuse issues. For instance, of the department’s 37 civilian-involved shootings since 2010, 23 have been fatal, according to NBC News.
The awful thing is, in most of these cases, cops rarely are prosecuted or face criminal culpability. Instead, it’s us taxpayers that foot the bill when the civil courts accumulate massive handouts for wrongful deaths and the like.
However, a recent case is unique in that, thanks to a helmet cam, which should be mandatory of all police officers, we have video of officers killing a homeless, mentally disturbed individual. And warning, it’s disturbing.
I don’t get it. I really don’t. They shot six live-rounds of ammunition at him after using nonlethal force to begin with. He’s mentally ill. Police should know how to deal with that by now. How many mentally ill people have to die by the hands of the police before it matters?
Well, maybe it does matter, at least to much of the population in Albuquerque, as the public took to the streets rioting over this. And the police tear-gassed them. Go figure.