Indictment for 6 officers involved in Gray case

I didn’t want to post much of my viewpoint on this because I know it would run counter to what many others would perceive.  However, I was sickened by the details of Freddie Gray’s final trip that was released this morning.  Knowing that he was handcuffed, shackled, and rode face down in the transport van without being secured by a seat belt runs counter to any transport policy that I’ve ever heard of.

There have been so many “leaks” from law enforcement that turned out to be false narratives that it’s almost impossible to think the police or someone close to the officers were not trying to control the narrative in the face of the facts presented this morning.  This story has followed the same trajectory as the previous issues of people dying at the hands of the police.  It’s always “protect the officer’s reputation/credibility at any cost and slander the victim no matter what the truth says”.

As an officer, I have no problem with defending fellow officers when their actions are lawful and necessary to do the job.  At the same time, I cringe when I see people going out of their way to defend officers who are in the wrong.  Many times, we’re faced with split-second decisions where there is no right or wrong action at the moment it’s needed.  I don’t Monday morning quarterback such decisions because I don’t think you can justifiably criticize those decisions when you are not in the same environment that the decision was made.  However, there’s no way to justify covering up every day procedural violations which is what I picked up on first in this case.  Even then, I had no idea the issues were as bad as they’ve been told.

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7 thoughts on “Indictment for 6 officers involved in Gray case

  1. All of these cases seem to have some little peculiarity that just makes you shiver. In the one where the guy was gunned down in the WalMart, talking on his cellphone and idly swinging a pellet gun he’d picked up, it was how quickly the officers killed him, without even a moment’s assessment. In the one in North Charleston, it was the officer picking up the taser and planting it next to the guy’s body. In this one, it was the casual brutality. He didn’t try to fight them; they weren’t arresting him for anything major. There shouldn’t have been a lot of adrenaline flowing. But in the video they handle him roughly even when it’s apparent he can’t walk and witnesses are trying to tell them he needs aid. The details of the van ride that came out today, how they stopped several times to check on him but didn’t do anything for him until after he stopped breathing, are horrifying. This was an everyday matter to them. They never expected anything to come of it. Clearly they had treated people that way before.

    Really, Bro, I respect you and I’m sure you’re good at your job. But I don’t think you’re in nearly the majority you think you’re in. I think a lot of people go into police work because they’re authoritarian bullies who love the idea of smacking down anyone they think isn’t behaving right. Countries like England, France, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, etc., don’t have this kind of trouble with their police forces. Why do US police forces behave like those in Third World countries, knocking down doors in the middle of the night, beating and shooting suspects, killing civilians with car crashes and stray bullets? Imagine how this stuff would be perceived if it were happening in North Korea instead of North Charleston, in Tehran instead of L.A. Our police departments are in serious need of overhaul.

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    • I sincerely believe there are more good officers than bad. What makes things look worse is the bad encounters get all the press while nothing’s said about the good. I’d even consider officers who see bad things happening and stay silent to be part of the bad group as well.

      These issues can be resolved, but it will take the effort of every citizen to work towards that. As long as some people have the mindset that cops are right and the person they encounter is wrong, then things will never change. To be effective as an officer, you do have to be able to become an authoritarian when necessary, but you also have to know when that’s needed and when it’s not.

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  2. Clearly they had treated people that way before

    And that’s the crux of the problem right there. Things like this have gone on for a long time but a lot of it is just now coming to light, thanks to cell phone cameras, etc. It’s clear that a lot of departments need better self-policing.

    I can remember many years ago, when the show Cops first hit the TV, the times I watched it I would often say to myself, “there’s no call for them to be talking to these people, this way”. Whether it’s a lack of training, lax management, failure to weed out bad apples or whatever, it’s past time for this stuff to change.

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    • I’d say that you hit the nail on the head as far as causes go. We have some who I think go overboard at times when talking with people.

      Training plays a huge role in creating problems like Baltimore has. That and leaders that cover problems instead of seeking to correct them.

      The courts give police lots of leeway in regards to actions taken in the course of executing the duties of the job. There’s no need to push things unnecessarily any further than necessary.

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  3. Watch this. This is how some folks perceive the law enforcement officers to be. When experienced officers do not have the common decency to say enough is enough we are going to tragedies like this. The blow back is not pretty. Many innocent people get hurt.
    Solution should be found and law enforcement people should come up with it.

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  4. I can only hope that justice is served based on the facts and not based off of the rhetoric that will be flying from all over leading up to and through the duration of any trials that may arise due to these charges.

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