Thursday, July 23, 2009
BARACK OBAMA-PRESIDENT OF ALL AMERICANS, RIGHT?
As I saw reports of this incident my mind went back to many of the same situations I became involved in as a police officer of some 30 years duration. As a white male police officer you are targeted for complaints in a very high percentage of interactions with minority citizens.
In most of these situations the police are guilty until proven innocent. I worked in an area for years that has over a 98% African-American population. As a district we were accused of arresting and citing an unacceptable percentage of blacks. Over 25 years later I'm still trying to figure that one out.
In typical appeasement fashion our department went into CYA mode and promised to train the officers in our district about racial profiling and how to avoid it. At the training I suggested that the way to avoid arresting and citing an unacceptable percentage of black citizens may be to pull the police off the street and allow the criminals to prey on the law abiding citizens in the district more than they already did. Otherwise, interactions/confrontations will occur.
The paid consultant's response was that my attitude was just the type that needed to be eradicated from the PD to make it more sensitive to the community. He never was able to account for that 98% thing. I'm sure he made good money, though. I know I did because I was on overtime for the training. Ah, government in action.
We had an incident in a public housing project in which a medic was dispatched to tend to a female having trouble breathing. Her son was well known to the police as a felon and all-around ***hole. The medic arrived on the scene before the police, which in that neighborhood is not a good thing. A confrontation occurred between the medics and the lady's son that culminated in the son striking the female medic with a closed fist. When we arrived we saw the medic and she was really messed up. She was barely conscious and the lady's son and another guy had the medic's male partner backed up against the medic's vehicle. He looked a little scared.
My partner and I got in between the people and sorted things out. We decided sonny had to go to jail. In the meantime, another medic unit arrived to remove the injured medic to the hospital. Other police crews arrived as we called for back-up and the crowd started growing. Long story short, the situation ended when we arrested about seven or eight people who were intent on getting in some free shots on the police. The crowd numbered, by this time, about 100. As we cuffed and stuffed the suspects the crowd's mood got a little surly. We got out of the area and went to the city jail to book the prisoners.
In the meantime, the mayor of the city, who was black, arrived and got an earful of how brutal the police had been while we arrested numerous people who were merely out for an evening walk enjoying the night air. The mayor proceeded to condemn the police in front of a local TV camera for our brutal and unwarranted actions. He stated he was apprised of the situations by the citizens there and was "appalled," "appalled" he said, by the brutality of "his" PD. BTW, the mayor demanded we apologize for our actions. He's still waiting for that apology, although he can surely apologize to us. After all, I'm a forgiving kind of guy. I fervently hope the Cambridge officer never apologizes to Gates. Let the PD appease him and do it, the mayor apparently already has. Gutless pansies.
The mayor got raked over the coals by some of the media for jumping the gun and condemning the police before he had all the facts. Imagine that. The suspects all plead guilty in court. For his "appalling" behavior the mayor suffered the slings and arrows of much of the citizenry in letters to the editor, etc., and really, his political career never recovered.
That brings me to my point. If a local politician was lit up for this conduct, what does it say about the POTUS to make a statement like this in a nationally televised news conference when he has little or no information about an incident that occurred only a short time before. How dare he use the power of his office to verbally trash a police officer, who apparently is well thought of, without facts to back it up. Isn't the president an attorney? What the hell happened to sifting through the facts before coming to a conclusion? What the hell happened to the federal government leaving a local matter to the local authorities? If the federal government is to be involved, isn't that the Justice Department's job? Is the president's desire to involve the federal government in every level of American life so strong that he can't help himself?
Why didn't the lackeys in the press conference call him on his ridiculous and childish statements? I feel for the police in this incident because Obama has needlessly and thoughtlessly injected himself in this incident and because of him, the job of the Cambridge PD just became infinitely more dangerous.
The president of all Americans? Right.