Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Updates 7/24/12---Who's afraid of the big, bad police officer?

Hello everyone. 

The media still seems to be having a field day with all the news surrounding James Holmes, the shooter in Colorado. Has anyone noticed something a little different about their descriptions of him though? 

He's not Black, so there is no possible gang affiliation mentioned. He's not Hispanic, so there is no talk of immigration. He's not Muslim, so he isn't being called a terrorist. 

What are they saying about him?

"brilliant student"
"straight-A student"
"possibly autistic"
"rejected by 3 women beforehand"

Does that even sound like they are talking about a mass murderer? Not a bit. It sounds like they don't know how to make him look like the bad guy. I included the word "suspect" because the CM usually does not talk about suspects or alleged killers. Since Holmes was caught at the scene, if he would have been anyone else, he would have been the "shooter," not the "alleged shooter."

Not to mentions that all articles concerning Occupy involvement have suddenly fallen off the radar. When someone says that the shooter is part of the Tea Party, they get reamed after it is found to be false. My guess is that they found the link to Occupy was faulty as well, but heaven forbid they issue a retraction there. Just ignore it, eh?

-- In light of the shootings in Colorado, Occupy OC suspended their protests of Mitt Romney's campaign to show solidarity with the victims. President Obama was not so lucky, as in Oakland multiple protest groups totaled hundreds of people. Both political parties have suspended campaigns in Colorado.

-- This next article discusses the movie The Dark Knight Rises and its relevance to Occupy. (Warning: Spoilers are in the article. If you haven't seen the movie and want to be surprised, avoid this link.) The connections are tenuous, and in some cases roar against Occupy. 

-- An artist in LA has been arrested for misdemeanor vandalism. Alex Schaefer became famous for paintings of banks on fire, and was thoroughly interrogated by police for his alleged desire to burn banks. (Just because you paint something doesn't mean you want to do it. That's why it's called art, people.) Alex was arrested yesterday for chalking the words "crook, chaos, and crime" in front of a Chase bank, using their own font. Police and protesters seem to be in a battle of will over chalking.

-- If you are anything like me, this next article may make you both sad and angry at the same time. This is from the Christian Post. It is a discussion of how mass shootings have become a part of our American culture, so much so that we don't even notice them unless they are fairly large. They list shootings from around 1990 to now, and there is quite a large amount. But then they find something to blame, and I don't agree with it.

The article says that "One element that leads to violence is a disrespect for police officers."



Ok, no. That may have a little, tiny, minuscule effect on crime, but on shootings in public? I don't think so. (And of course, they attempt to blame Occupy for a large amount of disrespect towards police. Which Occupiers do tend to have, but as I said, that is not even close to the main cause of shootings.) It just doesn't make sense. Disrespect for law enforcement wouldn't cause you to go after the public. There are so many other explanations that make sense. That one doesn't. What about a lack of health care? Mental health care? Peers? Family? I mean, law enforcement is law enforcement. People don't walk into schools and start shooting fellow students because they hate cops. There is something deeper there.

Here's the thing with me. I have a great deal of respect for police. I know that the vast majority of officers are good people, trying to do good deeds to make our communities safe. I respect and admire them. I applaud them. I have called the police before, and felt safer when they arrived. I know why they are there.

But that doesn't stop me from fearing them. Why?

Because that tiny majority is still there. And you cannot tell them apart until it is too damned late. When I'm driving and I see a police officer, I panic. I freak out, thinking "oh my god am I speeding no I'm not speeding am I driving correctly is he/she going to pull me over am I going to get a ticket I have my seatbelt on I am not on the phone holy crap holy crap." 

Let me let you in on a little secret.... I get that terrified of police.... and I have NEVER YET BEEN PULLED OVER. I've never gotten a ticket. I'm a good driver. I follow the law.

So why am I so scared?

I'm even scared if I'm walking home alone at night and I see an officer. It all stems from one event when I was twenty years old. 

I was waiting for a friend at a park. They never showed up. (They forgot I was waiting for them and went home.) It was after dusk, so the park closed, but it was never enforced. People were all over the place. I was sitting in my truck reading a book when a police officer shined his flashlight through my window. He made me get out of my truck. It was pretty obvious that he thought I was selling drugs. At that time, I had no piercings or tattoos, my hair was normal, and I didn't look anything like a "typical" drug dealer. The officer's tone of voice was rude and edged. I got scared, even though I really did have nothing to hide. 

He patted me down, which I later found out was against department policy, as there was a female officer on the clock that he could have called. She showed up later. He asked if he could search my truck, and I said yes. I didn't have anything in there. The female officer held my arms while he searched. He found a decorative knife that my mother had given me for Christmas. In the hustle and bustle of the holidays, I had thrown it in my glovebox and forgotten it. It was a legal knife. Obviously a collector's item, it was in a sheath made of silver with wolves all over it. He opened it and  waved it in my face.

"Guess you forgot about this, huh?" He said, leaning into my face and sneering. The female officer pulled my arms behind my back. 

"Yes, sir. I did. I apologize. It was a gift, and I forgot it was there."

"Well, it's not illegal. I just want to make sure it's in my hands, not yours. Wouldn't want you to get a hold of it." 

That was it. I got pissed off. I was beyond offended.

"I've done absolutely nothing wrong sir. You searched my truck. You didn't find anything because there is nothing to find. I haven't done anything, and I wouldn't do anything."

They forced me to sit on the tailgate of my truck while the officer searched his computer for anything he could to arrest me. He didn't just want to ticket me for being in the park after hours. He wanted me in jail. I didn't understand. I really hadn't done anything. I'm only in the computers now because I've had a job working for the state. At that time, there was nothing on me at all, except for a report I made because my ex had threatened me. He didn't want to give up. He searched my license, my plates, even my family.

After about an hour and a half, they let me go. I immediately went to the shopping center across the street, where I had other friends waiting. They had seen everything, but I had to explain what was said and such. They didn't get it either. Out of all of us, I was the one who always obeyed the law. I had never been in trouble for anything. That cop was just angry about something, and was looking to take it out on me. He was so angry when he couldn't. I actually refused to drive for two weeks, knowing that if he saw me, he would pull me over for anything he could. 

That's why I am personally afraid of police. I know that, if my friends hadn't been standing across the street watching, I probably would have been taken to jail, but not until I had some fresh marks on me. It was so obvious that the cop had wanted to hit me. He wanted to hit me with my knife, that's why he waved it in my face like he did, threatening. The female officer was holding my arms back like I was a criminal that deserved it. I was so scared. 

Most of the police officers I knew were great people. (I knew the majority of the force in my town. They knew I was a good kid. They would wave at me as they drove by, smiling. They knew I kept my friends out of trouble.) I trusted them all until that day. 

Sometimes, when you hear stories about police being bad guys, you don't believe it, because you trust all the police you know. Sometimes, you believe it, because you know that one officer, just one, is all it takes. That one officer waving an open blade in your face. Accusing you of wanting to hurt him. Accusing you of being the bad guy, when you are far from it. Pretending that you are the scum of the earth. 

That's all it takes to realize that not everyone is good.

Like I said, I know for a fact that the vast majority of officers are great people who truly want to help.

But that one...


To contact me, email elvishbutterfly@hotmail.com.

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