I have a number of friends who are cops, good friends and even family members. I respect the police mostly. I respect how hard their job is and that they sacrifice a great deal to serve and protect the public. But there are always bad apples out there and I was extremely disappointed to read comments in a police officer internet forum today on the Oscar Grant shooting.
Here are some choice posts:
“Any number of reasons that he may have shot…..you can see from the video that there is a struggle before the shot is fired (even before the officer pulls his weapon)…..the suspect may have reached underneath him, leading the shooter to believe that he was attempting to retrieve a weapon….. There isnt enough info to call it a bad shoot…….not by a long shot….. btw….saying ‘liberal media’ is redundant…….esp. in SF area…….” by Forum Member LA DEP who says he’s an officer for the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department.
Forum member Brenden then adds:
“I don’t know why people worry themselves with such things. The people that get shot are the people who put lives at risk. That cop probably saved the taxpayers over 200K in Courtfee’s and other convictions anyways. Maybe he even saved someone from getting killed.”
jb5722, who describes himself as a sworn police officer from North Carolina writes: “I would say that I’m sure the officer had his reasons for firing his weapon,” after adding earlier that if a reporter’s mouth is open they are lying.
Tex4720, who describes himself as 23 year veteran patrol sergeant from Texas, speculates that: “the guy may have repeatedly told the officers he was going to shoot them and then reached under his body. Or a million different things that would prove in the end that this was a righteous shoot.”
One member, scratched 13, who describes himself as a police officer from the South goes so far as to suggest that the video of the incident may have been faked.
People wonder why some people hate the police. They wonder why people don’t respect the police. They wonder why protesters around the Bay Area have been protesting with chants of “F*** the police,” for the past week. All I can say is that asinine cops making comments like the ones above in a public forum are as big a part of the problem as anything. How a cop behaves in online forums and the words they choose can be amplified and magnified.
As much as many of these comments made by cops are offensive, just the overall tone of a forum like this troubles me. Referring to shootings as “righteous,” claiming that taxpayers are saved court fees when someone is killed, even the signatures that many of these cops choose to use as their taglines (Fear not the night. Fear that which walks the night. And *I* am that which walks the night.) just goes to show me that much of the hatred towards the police is due at least in part to the attitudes that comes from the cops themselves.
You can read more comments in this thread but the overall tone is that the news media and reporters (especially in the Bay Area) suck and mostly people trying to somehow defend the actions of Johannes Mehserle, the cop who shot Oscar Grant (and the cop who was arrested for the murder of Oscar Grant yesterday).
Interesting to read what this shooting looks like from a police perspective.
By the way, this same police forum has been discussing my recent stop by the Long Beach Harbor Patrol while shooting last month here. It’s unfortunate for me to read comments like this one: “Point is, if they ask you to move, then move. Why do people have to be so annoying about minor stuff. I am sure there are tons of other things you can take pictures of. If they say it’s against the law, then say ok and move along.”
Update: It seems that forums.officer.com has now deleted in it’s entirety the post about my recent run in with the Long Beach Harbor Patrol. Why does it not surprise me that a site like this one would so easily censor the threads in their forums?