What is the purpose behind Washington’s cause and misrepresentation of the Ukraine conflict?
Mirrored from PressTV.com
In a nation where approximately one third of the population owns guns, it might sound strange to argue that police officers should not “police” the community while being armed. After all, the Second Amendment does protect the rights of citizens to keep or “own” and bear or “carry” firearms. The Supreme Court, which is charged with interpreting the Constitution, has consistently ruled that the Second Amendment applies to individual self-defense, and was never intended as a provision related to hunting or the military.
But here’s the catch… there was no such thing as police officers when the Constitution was written. Seriously.
That might surprise some who assume that human beings would have torn each other – and society – apart at the seams without constant police patrols. But the reality is that the first concept for community policing originated in the United Kingdom in 1812, crafted by Sir Robert Peel.
Peel’s concepts were not implemented throughout the U.K. all at once. It wasn’t until the late 1820s that London implemented community policing. It was still some time before the concept would make its way to the United States.
Today, nearly all of the “safeguards” that Peel insisted must be kept in place for police abuse not to arise have fallen by the wayside. Police no longer come from the communities they serve in most cases. Cops are often out of uniform and in unmarked vehicles while performing their duties. Peel said this was a recipe for disaster.
But discussing the specifics of Peel’s ideas and model for community police takes us away from the underlying point that when the Constitution granted the right to own and carry arms for self-defense to the people, the Founding Fathers had no concept of armed men “policing” the community in an “offensive” (some might say “proactive”) manner and arresting for misdemeanors as agents of the State.
In many countries around the globe, police officers do not carry guns while policing. The nature of the job is very different than simply going about your business as a citizen – armed, and defending yourself if need be. The role of the community police officer is to… police.
Policing is not defensive in nature, it is offensive. The Constitution never had a word to say about someone – let alone an agent of the State – having the right to be armed in the course of policing citizens “proactively” or offensively. The idea simply had no precedent for the Founding Fathers to conceive of such a model. All indications are that if they knew of such a concept, they would have opposed it for application on American streets.
Today, in Britain, Ireland, Norway, Iceland and New Zealand, officers are still unarmed while on patrol. That doesn’t mean they are disarmed entirely, but while on patrol, in the performance of offensive duties of policing, they do not have weapons on them.
“The practice is rooted in tradition and the belief that arming the police with guns engenders more gun violence than it prevents,” Guðmundur Oddsson, an assistant professor of sociology at Northern Michigan University, said in an interview with The Washington Post.
In Iceland, one third of citizens are armed. But the police are unarmed. To Icelanders, it makes perfect sense for citizens to be armed for self-defense. Defense is defense. But police officers are out on the streets patrolling, engaging people, and some might even suggest “looking for trouble.” In Iceland it does not make a bit of sense to citizens that people engaged in such duties should be armed.
In 2013, Iceland saw the first police shooting of a citizen in their history. This is in spite of the fact that the nation is the 15th most armed nation in the world per capita. You might not have thought of Iceland as being a very high crime region… and you’d be right. In spite of having an unarmed police force patrolling the streets, and having a highly armed populace, crime is extremely low in Iceland.
“Iceland’s low crime rates are rooted in the country’s small, homogenous, egalitarian and tightly knit society,” sociologist Oddsson explained.
Richard Wright, a criminology professor at Georgia State University, recalled “once, during a presentation, an Icelandic police officer kept referring to ‘poor people with problems’ — and it took me a while before I realized that she was talking about offenders. She considered every citizen precious because ‘we are so few and there is so much to do,’ she said.”
In New Zealand, there are also large numbers of armed citizens, yet the police are unarmed there too. One professor told the Washington Post that “it’s more dangerous to be a farmer than an unarmed police officer.”
“Only a dozen or so senior police officers nationwide are rostered to wear a handgun on any given shift,” Philip Alpers, Associate Professor at the Sydney School of Public Health explained.
Oddsson commented on the idea of disarming American police, suggesting that “any attempts to roll back the militarization of the American police would need to be accompanied by policies that increase economic and racial equality and legitimate opportunity for advancement for the poor.”
Maybe Oddsson is right in saying that simply disarming the police “cold turkey” wouldn’t be a good idea. But whatever your position on how quickly we disarm the police, this is clearly a discussion that we should be having in our communities. Instead of talking about how many bullets the people need in their magazines, perhaps we should be asking why agents of the State are patrolling our streets with guns in the first place?
(Article by M. David)
The family of the 22-year-old Eureka man fatally shot by a Eureka police officer last year is planning to file a $10 million claim for a wrongful death lawsuit next week in federal court against the city of Eureka and involved police officers.It is worth noting that what EPD Sgt. Brian Stephens said he told McClain, "he knew he had a gun" was NOT true. He did not have a gun, he had a toy. So, Stephens did not know or see a gun at the time he says he made the statement. It is, therefore, reasonable to conclude Stephen's statement, "for unknown reasons he dropped his hands and grabbed for the gun," is a lie. Dropping one's hands is not the same thing as "reaching" for grabbing for something that is not there. He couldn't grab for a gun. He did not have one. Whatever those cops "thought" was meaningless to reality. Dropping one's hands for a non-existent weapon is NOT a threat to anyone. Pulling a toy from his waistband and actually pointing it at someone as if to shoot them is as different matter. Killing someone, shooting them, for doing what you are told, to take the gun out of your waistband and place it on the ground, is murder.
Thomas McClain was shot three times by Officer Stephen Linfoot in the front yard of his residence on the 1600 block of Allard Avenue during the early morning hours of Sept. 17. The incident began after a passing police officer saw McClain pull out what was later determined to be a black Walther PPQ replica BB gun from his waistband, cycle the cylinder, and place it back in his waistband, Eureka Police Chief Andrew Mills said during an October press conference.
When EPD Sgt. Brian Stephens told McClain he knew he had a gun and stated he would shoot him if he reached for it, McClain dropped his hands and grabbed for the gun “for unknown reasons,” Mills said at the press conference. Officer Linfoot fired seven shots, with three bullets striking McClain in the head, buttocks, and once in the arm, also piercing through his chest. McClain was taken to St. Joseph Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The replica BB handgun was found to be unloaded at the time of McClain’s death. Following a two-month investigation by the multi-agency Humboldt County Critical Incident Response Team, the shooting was deemed a justified homicide by the county District Attorney’s Office in November, with no charges being filed against the officers.
“We only charge criminal cases if there is evidence that leads us to believe that a crime was committed,” then-District Attorney Paul Gallegos said on Nov. 21. “There was evidence of a terrible loss to this family, but not that a crime was committed — not every loss is a crime.”
McClain’s family has been open about their mistrust of the county’s investigation, and hired Woodland Hills attorney Dale Galipo to file a lawsuit. The suit is being filed against the city of Eureka, Linfoot, Stephens and other unnamed officers, according to a press release from Galipo’s office.
“I think the family, based on the information they have, they feel that this shooting was unjustified, but they are also concerned about the national problem we have now with police officers using destructive force,” Galipo said. “It’s very important for them that they get justice for their son. They don’t want to see this happen to someone else’s son. That’s their main motivation going forward with this lawsuit. They’re hoping that there will be some accountability for the officer or officers.”
Mills said he had no comment and that he had not been notified that any lawsuit had been filed as of Friday afternoon. Eureka City Attorney Cyndy Day-Wilson was out of the office on Friday and was unavailable for comment.
A press release issued by Galipo’s office states the lawsuit filed by McClain’s parents, Jeanne Barragan and Lance McClain, seeks $10 million dollars in monetary damages.
“Although witnesses claim that more than one officer may have fired during the incident, at this time this office can only confirm that Officer Linfoot discharged his weapon,” the release states. “At the time of the shooting, Thomas McClain had his hands up and did not pose an immediate risk of death or serious bodily injury to any person.”
A six-member Community Shooting Review Board that was created by Mills to determine whether Eureka police officers had acted within the police department’s policies in the fatal have determined unanimously that the officers had acted within the department’s policies, Mills said during a Eureka City Council meeting this Tuesday. The board included 4th Ward Councilwoman Melinda Ciarabellini, 2nd Ward Councilwoman Linda Atkins, the now retired Humboldt County Coroner Dave Parris, Police Officers Association President Josh Siipola, attorney Elan Firpo and EPD Cpt. Steve Watson.
Galipo has a history in Eureka, being one of two attorneys who helped the family of 26-year-old Martin Frederick Cotton II win a more than $4.5 million civil jury verdict in a wrongful death case against the city of Eureka in 2011.
Cotton died on Aug. 9, 2007, of a subdural hematoma just hours after being involved in several altercations at the Eureka Rescue Mission, the last of which involved EPD officers. Cotton died after he was found breathing shallowly in a holding cell in the Humboldt County jail.
Galipo said his office plans to file a claim this coming Monday, with the city and the officers being given 45 days to either accept or reject the claims. Should they reject the claims or not respond to them within 45 days, Galipo said they can file a federal lawsuit.
“As soon as they reject the claim, we can file the federal lawsuit,” he said. “... 99.9 percent of the time, they reject the claim.”
Will Houston can be reached at 707-441-0504. [Emphasis mine.]