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Sunday, February 3, 2008

Police Brutality Is Departmental Policy

Reaction to the Seattle Post Intelligencer article on officers failing to be disciplined for brutality last week drew a storm of responses in that paper's online forums. While many were from citizens who were appalled by the stories of abusive behavior, there were also a number of responses from SPD officers who staunchly defended their right to abuse people when taking them into custody.

Specifically, the officers state over and over again that it is their departmental policy and part of their training that they are not only authorized to exert maximum physical force at the most minimal hint of resistance, but they are required to do so and have been trained to react reflexively in that manner. in fact, when they are referred to training for such incidents of alleged brutality, trainers yell at them for not being aggressive and violent enough. There is no escalation of force policy, no continuum of response policy, it's binary; the maximum amount of pain and damage possible will be inflicted upon you at the slightest hint of resistance, even if it's a reflexive response.

While the police have been trained this way, the public has not, nor has the public been made aware that any sign of non-compliance, passive even, will be met with a violent physical assault. So, to help train you, the public, about how to interact with the Seattle Police, I give you the following examples of what to expect.

Remember this, people of Seattle, your police officers are trained and required by policy to mercilessly and violently assault you if you:
1. Are black and ask an officer a question.

2. If you are a 125 lb woman and pull your arm away when being violently grabbed from behind by a stranger while offering someone legal advice.

3. If you react in any way to seeing your girlfriend accosted by a truckload of unidentified strangers.

4. If you tense up when being handcuffed and arrested for doing nothing but being an innocent young black man walking down the street.

5. If you run because you're an innocent person being chased by a bunch of people with guns who aren't wearing uniforms and didn't identify themselves.

6. If you flinch a bit while having your head repeatedly smashed into the pavement over a jaywalking offense.

7. Or if you react in any way to seeing your daughter getting roughed up over a jaywalking offense.

Remember, if you tense up, if you flinch while being grabbed for doing nothing wrong, if you don't know why you're being attacked, or even if you don't know who is grabbing you, even if you think it might be a criminal instead of an officer attacking you... don't react, don't flinch, don't talk back... because if it's a police officer doing it he's already decided that he's going to hurt you as badly as he can for any excuse he can make up... so you might as well do you're best not to flinch while he's getting his jollies off on beating the life out of you.

...and remember, it's the city's policy that let him do it and he will get away with it no matter if there is video showing officers beating you for no reason or even if there are a ton of independent witnesses AND a video... and remember, the chief of police has not fired an officer in years, and probably never will.

...Even if the department knows the officer lied.

Know this, there will be no remorse about it, no sympathy. Officers will walk past your holding cell and laugh at your injuries and call you names and make crude jokes at your expense. I know this because that's what happened to me... and remember that if you're unlucky, the officers will refuse to let you get medical treatment as a form of punishment too, just like they did to me.

Keep yourselves safe out there people, and consider yourselves warned that the police in Seattle are trained and encouraged to hurt you as badly as possible at the slightest excuse. So, do not approach the police, do not talk to them, don't even look at them... or else you might very well be the next victim I have to write about, like the victims pictured above.

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