Clark County is by far not unique in its experience with increased incidents of police misconduct. Some attribute the rise in these incidents to the prevelance of video cameras. They argue that we are just now getting to record behavior that had been around for years. Behavior that was ignored, denied or dismissed because the public couldn’t see it. Others argue that this is a result of years of complacency by a public far too willing to ignore Ben Franklin’s warning and hand over their personal liberties for the illusion of a personal safetty. Then there is the argument that the militarization of police is to blame for a culture of accepted aggression among police officers.
The truth is that all three are correct, but in my opinion the key theme in all of these arguments is fear. That is a very powerful motivator. Police use it more than any other group. They use it to control and manipulate a public. They use it to excuse every time they kill someone. And they use most often whenever anyone one has the gall to suggest there is a better way to do things.
Here are some examples of fear-based policing across the country.
Radly Balko looks at a small town that refuses to become victims of the fear-based ideaology being spread by their police force.
All you need is fear and a badge and you can kill anyone, even an unarmed, highly honored, Marine.
Police blame the public for reacting exactly as expected to the culture of fear they have worked so hard to create after it makes it impossible for a grandfather to have a peaceful walk with his granddaughter.
- Tweeting Police and Fear of Crime: Further update and questions answered. (drjezphillips.wordpress.com)