Thursday, February 19, 2009

What's Wrong With This Picture?

EPD: Officer draws gun to stop angry crowd at EHS
A Eureka Police officer drew his service weapon to back down an angry crowd Wednesday night after making an arrest in front of Eureka High School at about 8:30 p.[Full Story]

The print edition says, "Woman Tasered following high school basketball game"
Officer draws his gun on crowd - Sean Garmire

PLENTY IS WRONG! Even if you take the story at face value. It points up or identifies some of what is seriously wrong with the police and law enforcement in Humboldt County today. If you can believe EPD Lt. Murl Harpham, and I'm sure you can, this guy, officer John Silvey, was scared crapless and totally incompetent. "He felt threatened"? It seems, they all feel threatened all the time! Had he fired his gun at that crowd, for whatever reason, effective policing in this county would not be worth a plugged nickle.

First, officer John Silvey was grossly incompetent. Any legitimate and moderately trained police officer, man or woman, but especially a man with full authority to expedite an arrest would have placed the woman directly in handcuffs and delivered her to his patrol car without exposing himself. That woman was obviously not interested in resolving her problems "legally" since she had already taken the law into her own hands. That was his first clue, if he was to believe those that were accusing her, in particular the Principal Joseph Pawlick. Obviously, he did not see her assault anyone. She was obviously extremely upset and when she did not immediately "calm down" and "speak" with the officer like the dutiful, obedient citizen is supposed to when spoken to by the police, he had cause to arrest her. He effectively set her up. This is why I say he had no authority to affect the arrest in the first place. The second reason is that he tried to Taser her. Tasers are used to torture people into submitting to police demands when they are incapable of legitimately doing their mandated job.

Throwing her to the ground in front of a crowd? Since when does an officer take a person down to the ground in a crowd of potentially hostile people? All that did was reinforce the appearance of further bullying a distraught woman. Couple that with the ineffective use of the Taser and you've got a mob in the making. This is what you get when people, for whatever reasons, refuse to accept the police's right to enforce their authority on these terms. That woman is looking at some serious "felony" charges, all thanks to the incompetence of the Eureka Police Department and their officer John Silvey.

This is what you get when a society degenerates into a total state of anarchy, when the courts enforce a double-standard and law enforcement is only implemented at the discretion of the police when they are mostly trying to defend themselves and their jobs. The police degenerate into a gang of thugs and bullies and the populace merely tolerates them as long as they appear to be protecting the majority, but only for awhile. The next time that mob just might not stop, or the officer's finger slips, then what?

The Humbold Hearld has commentary on the Associated Press picking up on this. While Heraldo's initial post is rather neutral, the commentary is more interesting.

UPDATE :: Friday, February 20, 2009

Times-Standard Pg. A3: "EPD reviewing gun-drawing incident at Eureka High"
"Chief: Initial reports indicate the officer followed policy"
Nielsen said: "it seems the officer believed his safety was under threat by the advancing group." "My initial read of the report is that he conformed to our policy." Whose policy? (Emphasis added)
According to Nielsen, EPD officers are taught to use deadly force to protect themselves or others from an imminent threat to their personal safety. And “any time you pull your weapon out of its holster, the assumption is that you are prepared to use deadly force if necessary,” Nielsen said.
The police are licensed to shoot anyone (use deadly force) they feel is a treat to their personal safety. A threat to someone's "personal safety" is altogether different than a direct threat to their lives. Realistically, anyone could get shot for simply telling a police officer what you think of him and the horse he rode in on!

In plain language, according to Eureka Police Chief Garr Nielsen, police officer's lives, by legal policy, are more important than anyone else. They have the right to defend themselves with deadly force for anything they feel might threaten (only) their personal safety (not their lives), but we do not. That policy might work if these "police officers" were not operating in a state of near "post-traumatic stress disorder," forced to deal with a social system that is on the brink of total meltdown.

We realize that these officers are required to deal with the contemptuous, scummy dregs of our society on a daily basis. Problems arise when they forget that not all of us walk in that sewer. When their "policy right" to perceived "personal safety" trumps my right to personal safety and that of my family; the right to be free from challenge and threat, to NOT be touched in any compromised way (physically searched), we've got a serious problem.

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