Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Open Season

I've felt that body cams on cops would be a nice step to insure that police do not abuse the power we give them.

But the case of Eric Garner shows that even evidence alone won't matter.  The decision not to indict the cop who choked him to death has drawn surprising outrage from conservative commentators.  Whereas the essential question of what actually happened continues to haunt the Michael Brown case, we know what happened with Garner.  It's all on camera.

And still the cop isn't even charged.

Whereas liberals tend to equate what happened with Garner (and the kid in Cleveland and the guy in Utah and the guy in Walmart) with what happened with Brown, conservatives don't.  For liberals, Garner and Brown's deaths are part of an overarching pattern of police violence used against African American men.  Conservatives simply assert that Brown was a "thug" and got what was coming to him.

The impact of cameras on cops will not lead to more police being charged with crimes, because apparently you can't charge a cop with a crime.

But it might eventually lead to a change in the law.

And that would be worth it.

UPDATE: I think a clear reform should be that any case that involves a police officer killing a civilian where there was no weapon on the civilian there should be a special prosecutor to handle it.  No more use of the same prosecutors who work with the police.

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