Social Question

Spidermanrulezzz's avatar

Why do you think police men abuse their power and what should be done about it?

Asked by Spidermanrulezzz (189points) May 19th, 2011

I recently saw these two You Tube videos of police men losing it on skateboarders literally just for skateboarding:
In one video, they were just skating and minding their own business. Suddenly they were yelled at, and one of them was choked and arrested. When one of the girls tried to talk to the police man about it, she was grabbed in a choke hold and arrested as well, as was another friend of hers for trying to protect her from the police man’s choke hold. I saw another video where a police man lost it on a teenager for calling him “dude” and “man”
I have heard many other stories about police men abusing ther power and not listening to kids, why do you think this happens? Are there police men really just jerks or is there something that happens in training that makes them act that way?
In most cases, the police man only gets suspended for a couple days with pay. I personally think that is just wrong.
I don’t know what to think about this because ever since I was a child I put my faith in police men to keep me safe, but now i am afraid one day I will be harassed by one for no reason. I have been known to have authority problems, so I don’t like police men to start with. I think any police man that abuses their power needs to be suspended for at least a week or two with no pay or lose their job, depending on how bad things got.
Why do you think this happens? What are your opinions about it?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

15 Answers

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Can you provide links to the two YouTube videos? It might help in answering the question.

JilltheTooth's avatar

I would hesitate before forming firm opinions on matters like this from YouTube videos. Maybe all is as depicted, but more likely there’s a backstory you don’t know about.

Spidermanrulezzz's avatar

@Pied Pfeffer I added the links in the question.
@JilltheTooth I know there is probably backstory I just am having trouble wrapping my mind around the idea of a cop lashing out like that when the kids weren’t really doing anything wrong.
I would also like to add that this question is not meant to offend anybody, I personally know a policeman who is a great person and I know most of them are perfectly fine. I am simply curious as to other opinions about the situations.

marinelife's avatar

I would not generalize. Some policemen abuse their power because they are human beings and human beings can sometimes abuse power.

Blackberry's avatar

The same reason why anyone with power would abuse it. We can’t do much about it because you can’t beat the system!

Seaofclouds's avatar

The thing about losing it on skateboarders “just for skateboarding” is that it is illegal in many places and if the police try to enforce it and the skateboarders resist or start acting like fools (for lack of a better word sometimes), it turns into a lot more than what it needs to be.

As far as officers going over the line, I think it should be investigated and handled appropriately depending on what happened, why it happened, and what policies are in place. I don’t think there is any one way to handle it because it’s all very situational.

In the first video, it’s hard to say without know what happened before the first guy got arrested. Considering the amount of people in the area, the amount of people that were trying to get away from the police, and then the fact that the one guy went towards the officer when he was attempted to arrest the female, I don’t necessarily think they were abusing their power. It really seems like one incident that lead to many others and the situation escalated to the point it did because the officers were losing control of the situation.

In the second video, that officer was definitely a bit of a jerk with the way he was talking to the kids, but the one kid was being disrespectful, so it kept the officer going. I don’t think he had any reason to lay his hands on the kid though, but the verbal stuff was a bit much. I’m willing to bet that officer was ticked off about other things when he came across those kids.

poisonedantidote's avatar

The two links are irrelevant to me, every time there is a debate about police brutality people always start picking at little details, rather than addressing the core of it all.

Before I get started, I would like to point out that I am not usually this filled with hate. It’s just that this topic brings it out of me.

Why do police abuse their power?

Lots of reasons. Some times it’s because their wife yelled at them, and they need to take it out on someone to feel better about them selves, some times it’s because they go too far by accident, and other times it’s just because they have a sub-par intelligence and are too stupid to be trusted with fireworks, much less firearms.

Regarding your faith in police, you should lose that ASAP, you are just building your self up to a disappointment.

How many times in your life will the police come to your house and save you from a murderer? Probably never. How many times in your life will they pull you over and give you a bullshit ticket? Probably a lot.

What can you do about it?

Well, you can vote for politicians that will reduce the numbers of police and reduce their funding, but that is just never going to happen.

The other thing you can do, is make it undesirable to be a police officer. Never cooperate with them, don’t make friends with them, don’t give them your business or services, and just cut them off.

Don’t get me wrong, we do need law, and not all cops are bad. But for the most part, they are just the foot soldiers and whores of the state. Just like everything else, its greedy corrupt clever fuckers leading the stupid.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@Spidermanrulezzz Thank you for posting the links to the videos.

#1 video doesn’t cover what the actual problem was that caused the police to get involved, unless I missed something. #2 seems like a farce. That guy was ballistic, and I doubt that, if it were true, he wouldn’t have noticed the person filming and not have done something to stop it.

Before you (or anyone else) jumps to a conclusion based upon these videos, how about doing a bit more research? If you can find some news reports that verify these two stories, it would be worth consideration of who is right and who is wrong. Otherwise, it is just speculation.

And let’s say that you can prove that both videos are legitimate examples of police brutality. Two cases does not mean that all are. If these cases turn out to be true, I’m pretty confident that they will be booted from their jobs. US police do not take to their fellow members abusing the law lightly.

Ladymia69's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer If you need evidence besides some youtube videos, just google it, and you will see tons of cases of police abuses of power. It is an epidemic, but only in the way that waving power in front of a man and then having him use it to shoot you in the foot is a problem.

Like every job, there are good ones and bad ones.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@ladymia69 Yes, I do need additional evidence from @Spidermanrulezzz before I support their call on this. If the OP wants to prosecute, then it is up to him/her to provide additional evidence on these particular cases.

I agree with you that there are cases where police officers have been found guilty for a variety of reasons, just like co-workers have been in my field, which has nothing to do with law enforcement. It is just that law enforcement infringements are more likely to make the news, just like celebrity status does. Even worse is that those in these high profile fields get tried and convicted by the public before it goes in front of a professional trial.

In the US, anyone can sue. It doesn’t mean that they have a valid case to win. This is why I asked for additional facts. Otherwise, it is just sensationalism.

bkcunningham's avatar

@poisonedantidote, man, no offense; but that is messed up.

wundayatta's avatar

I grew up in the time of the protests—civil rights, anti-war, etc. I’ve done a lot of work in politics in my life. I have little respect for the intelligence of most cops. I have little trust for their motives in becoming cops.

They have the guns, is what I teach my children. Do what they tell you. Get them back later when you can get your lawyer on their case. In other words, you respect the gun, but not necessarily the person.

Sometimes cops are good. Sometimes they even catch criminals. Sometimes they protect people and keep people safe. Maybe even most of the time they do these things. Unfortunately there are always a few jerks, and at least for me, they’ve given the rest of copdom a bad name.

bkcunningham's avatar

@wundayatta that is sad you feel like that. I have a great deal of respect for, not only the intelligence; but for the bravery, honesty, integrity and character, of the men and women policeofficers, investigators, deputy sheriffs, sheriffs, troopers, special agents, marshals, correctional officers, et al I know personally and call friends. They are wonderful people. They are mothers, sisters, daughters, wives, sons, fathers, husbands and fathers. They are neighbors and many of them are Little League coaches and youth pastors at church. They are there when you need them with just a phone call. I hope you never need them.

wundayatta's avatar

@bkcunningham They are there when I need them because I live in a good neighborhood. Although sometimes they don’t show up for a while. Well, maybe the neighborhood is not that good, considering the number of criminals who have been caught near my house including in my back yard. Not to mention the number of gun shots we hear. But I live in a big city and the only stories I hear about cops are bad stories.

john65pennington's avatar

I guess you have wondered when I would answer this question.

The first five years in a police officers life are filled with being a “hot dog”. Meaning, arrest everything in sight. You soon learn to slow down and take it easy, that you alone, cannot solve all the crime on the streets.

I cannot speak for other police departments in the nation. Only mine. During the recruiting process, an applicant is given a thorough background investigation. This is where a persons life can make or break further investigation on a police applicant. Polygraph examinations are given and two, not one, psychological examinations are given recruits to check for anger problems. If an applicant passes these two or three stages, he is then admitted on the police academy roster for many weeks of training at our police academy. During these weeks, many qualified superior officers watch the recruits for further signs of aggression, abuse, and anger. Most applicants that will fail, fail at this portion of training. Some slip through, no matter how hard their whole life has been investigated.

By a whole, most police officers are dedicated and honest people. After 44 years in uniform, I can tell you that my certified police department, abuse and aggresive behavior will get you fired in a heartbeat, not to mention criminal prosecution. And no, we do not work with this threat over our head. The bad guys still need to be arrested.

Being a police officer is one of the most difficult occupations. You have to be so many people rolled into one person. The split decisions an officer makes can effect himself and others for the rest of their lives. The stress in unbelievable. Imagine you are an officer and chasing a vehicle, where inside are two men that just raped your sister. Your blood pressure goes through the roof and your adrenilin is pupping. You are at speeds above 100 mph and everyones safety comes first, in your chase to capture these people. It can age you 5 years just in one chase.

Next time you see a police car or police officer, why not go over and talk to him? We are not bad people. Most officers now have Associate Degrees and Masters Degrees, so you will not be talking to a dummy.

Answer this question




to answer.
Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther