This site is devoted to increasing public awareness of police misconduct and detainee abuse in addition to providing support for victims of police misconduct and detainee abuse. If you or someone you know have witnessed abuse or have been abused, please let us know.


This site is an archive of older content.

Please feel free to visit our new effort at

Thank you for visiting.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Against Police Misconduct, Divided We Will Fall

I wanted to take some time and explain some things to readers who may wonder about my previous article. I realize that, at first glance, it might have sounded pretty defeatist.

So, let me start by saying that I didn't write it to suggest that people fighting police misconduct should give up, quite the opposite. I wrote it to explain how and why these efforts need to step it up. I wrote it to help focus on the tactics people who defend police misconduct use to bypass local police accountability efforts.

I wrote it to explain that, without addressing the federal and state laws that make it impossible for cities to rid themselves of bad cops, what does it matter if we identify all the bad cops and detail their abuses, or hold protests against them, or even convince city officials that something must be done?

The problem we face is that organizations and individuals dedicated to address police misconduct and brutality just can't bring ourselves to cooperate with each other on a local level, let alone work with similar efforts in other cities to put pressure on state government and federal lawmakers to change the current laws that encourage police abuses.

Many put pressure and blame on police chiefs and leaders without understanding how they are often denied the tools they need to address the problems they are blamed for... Sure, those groups might force one chief to be fired, but it helps little if the next one in still isn't allowed to fire troublemakers just like the last one.

We need to realize that the police have many resources; they have their unions, their 'benevolent' organizations, their memorial groups, their own lobbyists, armies of lawyers on retainer, and countless other support groups, that all work together to pass laws that protect officers from discipline and accountability on a local, state, and national level...

How can any of us, we who dedicate ourselves to fighting abuses of authority, police brutality, and systemic abuses of civil and human rights, hope to fight that power without understanding how effective it is and working together to counterbalance it on the same level?

After all, what good is it if we devote all our resources in divided efforts to force changes at a local level while all those police organizations have the ears and pocketbooks of state and federal lawmakers all to themselves without any opposing viewpoint being heard?

That's the uphill fight we face... and we can't keep pretending that a tiny rally of a dozen people in Seattle, or that a small website written by one guy, or any of these things we do individually are going to accomplish anything lasting on their own. We have to understand the united front we all face when we try to confront police misconduct and how they use that unity to defeat our individual efforts.

But, if we could just get it together and use each others strengths and focus on meaningful goals instead of just being reactive to each individual case of misconduct... maybe we would stand a chance against the daily onslaught of police misconduct and those who seek to perpetuate it.

It's time to face facts. The people opposed to police misconduct cannot hope to make progress unless they can become just as united in that cause as police organizations are in their efforts to help problematic officers avoid discipline for their abuses.

We must accept that, while we remain divided, we will be destined to continue to fail if we keep trying the same failed tactics over and over again…

…and I have to accept that it’s going to take a lot more effort on my part than what I’ve put forward so far in order to have any chance of addressing the seemingly ever-worsening problem of police misconduct.

No comments:

Clicky Web Analytics