A recent letter expressed concern about the negative attention police across the country have been receiving lately. To that I say, it's about time the police get some negative attention.
Police abuse is not rare. In Chicago, where I used to live, the city has paid out around $50 million a year in compensation for police brutality incidents. Not a dime of that came from the police- it was the taxpayers who were forced to pay. And only in cases of exceptional incompetence are cops ever fired. A Chicago cop was fired recently for shooting a dog in front of its 6-year old owner. The police had been called to help return the dog home.
In Hawaii, undercover police officers petitioned lawmakers to keep an exemption that allows them to legally have sex with prostitutes. Apparently the only way to prevent people from having sex with prostitutes is for the police to have sex with them first.
In Georgia, a recent SWAT raid left a toddler with severe burns after the police accidentally tossed a flash bang grenade in his crib. All this just to catch a low-level drug dealer. No drugs were found and the suspect was not even at home. None of the cops involved in raid were charged with a crime. At least one of the deputies involved in the raid had the decency to resign.
In Michigan, homicide detective Alex Vinson was caught wearing a watch taken from a murder victim. He was suspended, but will most likely keep his job. In the unlikely event he is fired, he will most likely be free to work for another police department.
In California during the Dorner manhunt last year, police shot at a truck with 2 innocent people over a 100 times. 25 minutes later, another group of police shot up another car without warning. Neither vehicle matched the suspect's. The injured people were paid a $4.2 million settlement by the city of Los Angeles. The police chief said he would discipline the cops, but gave no more details.
Nationwide, the police kill over 5,000 dogs a year, despite the fact that no cop has been killed by a dog in 50 years. In fact, garbage collectors are more likely to die on the job than cops. Somehow mail carriers, pizza delivery drivers, and others manage to do their jobs without killing dogs.
Yes, there are bad apples in every bunch. That is not the issue. The issue is that when the bad apples are police, they are rarely thrown out of the barrel. That needs to change.