Dystopian Justice

From: Scott D
Sent: Monday, December 11, 2006 9:15 AM
Subject: questions

Hello- I am a Police School Liaison Officer for a small high school in Wisconsin.  I recently had several students come to my office after they had read some of the stories on your site.  Their impressions were that police brutality is rampant and ingrained in the American justice system.

The first page of the Massachusetts Police Brutality site contains statistics from the DOJ (Department of Justice).  The letters in the site are from readers that felt compelled to write.

 While I agree that there are incidents of police brutality, I would say each has to be judged on its own merits.  The overwhelming concept your site presents is that all arrests contain some form of excessive brutality, which is quite simply not true. 

The first page of the Massachusetts Police Brutality site states that there are 14,004,327 Arrests each year in America and, by DOJ Survey, 430,000 Instances of Excessive Force By the Police.  14 million is a large number of arrests.  During a 80 year lifetime, there will be 80 times 14,000,000 arrests.  That is 1120 million arrests made during the average lifetime.  Since there are only 300 million Americans, it is likely that each American will be arrested several times.  If 3% of all arrests use excessive force (a DOJ statistic), then there will be 33 million instances of police brutality during the average American lifetime.

 I have been in this career for many years and have had contact, both positive and negative, with thousands of people.  Many of these people have remarked how considerate and polite they have been treated, even when they were being taken to jail!

You must remember that the awesome power of the police and courts make people supplicate, grovel, and propitiate.  One false move could send a person to jail or, at least, cost his family months of time, intense aggravation and tens of thousands of dollars.  Isn’t it more humane to tell the children the dangers and stop the big brother act? 

A decision to arrest someone is made only after probable cause has been made to affect that arrest.  When an arrest is made, the only force used is that which is necessary to make the arrest, meaning if a person shows no resistance, no force other than the placing of handcuffs on the wrists will be made.  If the stories are read accurately, some of the individuals resisted either by statement or action, which would necessarily raise the level of force used.  Officers are trained to use a level of force equal or greater than that shown by the individual they are in contact with, i.e. if a person is bringing a knife to the party, an officer can use a gun.

Isn’t it more humane not to gloss over the police and to tell the children the dangers of making a police officer angry?  You would do the children a favor if you stopped cheerleading for the police!

I wish more was known about some of the stories listed on your website.  Unfortunately, anything can be said on the internet without a shred of evidence to back up the claim.  For those who have experienced true police misconduct, I hope and pray those that have committed the misconduct never get to wear the badge again.  But don’t judge all law enforcement by the misdeeds of a few.

Isn’t it more humane not to gloss over the police and to tell the children the dangers of making a police officer angry?  It isn’t necessary to hide the problems of government! 

If you feel it appropriate, feel free to post my letter, but if you could remove my e-mail and phone so that I am not inundated with message

I appreciate your well thought out letter.  However, you are NOT doing the public a service because the police ARE dangerous.  The pathway to jail is ignorance of this fact.

Officer Scott D
Police School Liaison

Little Chute High School

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