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View Diary: Wouldn't 136 Bullets Have Been Enough? (157 comments)

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  •  Apple Pie & Road-side Executions...jt (1+ / 0-)
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    jpmassar

    Not to be presumptuous, but, for the sake of argument, let's assume that I am the only person reading this article, who has ever had 27 police bullets fired into a car he was driving — San Francisco Chronicle • 14 October 1968 page one, made explicit in a police report where each shot fired had to be tracked and accounted for — I can say that I have witnessed the self-justified murderous rage of American police steadily grow more dangerous in the ensuing 44 years.

    Police forces across the country have now acquired the red-neck reaction-time of the LAPD.  What I said at the time was: "Good thing this didn't happen in Los Angeles or the firing would not have stopped when I raised my hands; it would have continued until my blood was running out under the doors."  Now, LA's self-righteous blood-lust has gone viral.

    Sadly, as "Stand your ground" laws demonstrate, the mental defect is not confined to cops, many of whom are disciplined with restraint that comes from professional training and personal dedication. Now, many civilians also believe that they have a license to kill on the basis of bad-attitude and trivial justification.

    In all but the best neighborhoods, American citizens tolerate rude treatment from the police, that would not be acceptable, in other than the worst neighborhoods, anywhere in Europe.  Because US citizens do not demand common courtesy from their police, they don't get it. What they do get is an abrasive relationship with cops that in too many places justifies mutual hostility and mutually felt fear.  No one should be surprised, when such antagonistic relationships erupt into violence.

    Police always serve aristo-masters, but my life experience informs me that much of hair-trigger nature of road-side-execution violence, American style, is the product of frustration from a futile "Drug War," that has dragged on for generations.

    I heard this problem defined elegantly, in 1990, at a Drug Policy Foundation conference in the Mayflower Hotel, when Dutch drug policy expert, HenkJan vanVleit, said: "We do not like it when your DEA comes to our country. They attempt to teach our policemen bad manners."

    I wish I could offer a simple solution to this painfully complex problem, but, alas, I can not.  One would begin by adopting harm reduction strategies as national policy and effectively ending drug prohibition, but that is, at best, only a partial solution to the violence issues of a disintegrating cowboy culture.

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