Excessive Use of Force Is Not Always a Bad Cop Issue

Police training
Cuffing drill at LAPD West Valley Station. Photo credit: Rynerson Bail Bonds / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

At WhoWhatWhy, we are well aware that the US has a massive police-brutality problem. The excessive, and often deadly, force used against innocents and low-level criminals is unconscionable — as is the stunning lack of accountability in most such cases.

But understanding this issue takes more than pat assumptions. There are, of course, hundreds of thousands of good cops and they have to make tough decisions every day on how much force to use to protect themselves, their partners and civilians. In a country in which more than a third of all households own a firearm, danger is never far away for cops on the job.

This brief video illustrates some of the deadly situations cops may face on a daily basis.

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Related front page panorama photo credit: Adapted by WhoWhatWhy from police training (Rynerson Bail Bonds / Flickr – CC BY 2.0)

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  • David S

    Let us begin with some of the laws cops VOLUNTARILY sign up to enforce. There are the laws against believing that YOU, not the government, own and should be allowed to control your body (ie – laws against drugs and prostitution). There are laws against gambling (sorry, gambling in which the GOVERNMENT does not get a CUT). There are laws against using “your” property as YOU see fit (growing a garden in the front yard, not mowing your lawn soon enough, putting up a fence that exceeds city ordinances, etc). There are laws against producing and selling alcohol (again, alcohol sales that the government does not get a CUT of). There are endless numbers of laws on the books, passed by government, that make a crime out of behaviors that DO NOT HARM the person or property of another, but which “upset” the will of the government (not necessarily the will of the people). Most if not all of these laws undermine our supposed “inalienable rights” that government is supposed to protect. By VOLUNTARILY taking a job whose purpose is to violate these rights on behalf of the government, government monopoly police put themselves in a position as the enemy of freedom and liberty. Private, market-governed, independent security professionals on the other hand SERVE their customers and their needs. Private is ALL we should have in order to keep our society safe and free.

  • Frank von Winkhorst

    And if they don’t have any “fire power,” the cops are always glad to lend them some.
    Every time one of these incidents occurs, the serial number should be checked against what’s in the police property room.

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