As defined by the Wikipedia website, The police are a constituted body of persons empowered by the state to enforce the law, protect property, and limit civil disorder. Their powers include the legitimized use of force.*
I have heard in my short time with the Observer, horror stories about police brutality, abuse of powers, and in some cases, the death of loved ones at the hands of our cities heros, and even an incident where I myself was run over in the street by one of these ’empowered’ individuals.
After receiving a letter from a concerned citizen whose name I will keep private for her protection says and I quote, “…take for one the Social apartheid that is taking hold of Hathian. Or the fact that the police control everything. We are sitting in a police state, but no one cares, no one does anything. No one wants to fight the powers that be.” this citizen goes on to say that, “A story of a recent inmate, who had been arrested for merely having a weapon, not brandishing it. She then tried to engage the Lieutenant in conversation, when she was shot in the knee. Causing her to become one of Hathian’s growing population of handicapped citizens. Perhaps [Officer H] is behind all the young women and men who have to live their days in a wheelchair. Perhaps [Officer H] needs to be in a wheelchair himself. ”
Hard to blame her for her point of view.
Then today, I sit in the police station lobby writing this article after observing the arrest and incarceration of a dangerous suspect, along with two citizens, that after reading the public record, apparently came to the suspects rescue. Officers Jones, Jones and Kharg were too busy to comment but I was able to determine in the course of the arrests, that the suspect was a member of the new Queen gang [who recently posted in the Observer their intentions] and was brandishing a weapon. In the public record she’s wanted on a missing persons case. All three police officers used legitimized use of force to apprehend the individuals and the suspect, as well as read them each their Miranda Rights. Exactly what we pay our police in our taxes to do. Right?
So what’s going on here?
We must assume that not all citizens are criminals, and not all police are abusing their authority, right? It goes both ways. Is it our law abiding citizens that are getting their butts kicked and abused by the police? Or just those that are breaking the law? Are all police corrupt, or just a select few? In the received letter from my concerned citizen she went on in her letter to say quote, “Its high time as citizens in this city to say NO to the corrupt police state that ruins our town. There will come a day, when the poor, the downtrodden and the victims of police brutality will rise up against those who deal the hand, there will be a day, when finally power will be given back to the people. We need to rise up against this machine of social apartheid and shout ‘POWER TO THE PEOPLE!’“. However, haven’t we already had several protests and found our governing bodies to do nothing about it?
It is this reporters opinion, a citizen of Hathian, that has in fact been abused by a police officer himself, that yes, there are a few select corrupt officers on the force, and we should make it our goal, and the officers on the force that do their best each day putting their lives on the line to protect those that cannot defend themselves, to also make it THEIR goal, to remove from power those officers that give them the bad name, to stand up with us, the people – their sons, daughters, friends and lovers – and make the ultimate peace keeping gesture and call their fellow officers out.
Good officers like Officer Jones are out there. Each time we protest against the officers as a whole we give them good reason to respond with extreme prejudice. We, the people, need to be smarter than we have been about this issue, and treat each prejudice and use of force on it’s own merit not as a collective police corruption problem. Write to your congressman, your mayor, your teacher, your lawyer, the chief of police, whoever you can about your personal experience, send your stories to the Observer, do whatever it takes to get attention on the corrupt officers that are making our streets unsafe. But for the sake of the rest of us who count on our officers day to day in a city full of gangs and crimes, please – don’t blame those that DO come to our aid, cause we need them.
If we can do that, perhaps, we will see some real change in this city. Let’s stand WITH the officers that do their jobs, and maybe THEY will stand with us.
And that Hathianers, would be an EPIC WIN.
Youth Reporter, Michiaki Yamaguchi
* Wikipedia reference
Names removed to protect the Observer from legal repercussions.