Chicago Police Alien to Patience?


English: Chicago police officers

English: Chicago police officers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Those familar with many episodes of Star Trek know that a lot of the populations the crew of the USS Enterprise encoutered had terrible and mighty ways to subdue their opponents or force those whom they encountered to do things with their bodies and minds otherwise impossible through ordinary human faculties.

The alien races could get the fallible humans and even on occasion the strong and brilliant Mr. Spock, to fall to their knees in agony, perform unusual dances, engage in sex acts, perform acts of worship, or disappear, or even become paralyzed. With the instruments at their disposal, which could be found on wrists, belts, and even by advanced uses of the mind, those aliens could do those things, yes, but it is why or how they did them that is the curiosity and the common point between them and what the Chicago Police have been doing lately.

Those alien peoples would instantly go to those devices the moment the Enterprise crew would make a move toward them. Now their movements could be either in peace or potentially for hostilities… but could anyone really be sure? It was the cowardly hair-trigger response to any movements by the humans that forced the hands (or minds) of the aliens to go to their buttons and levers and gadgets in order to subdue their opponents, force them to divulge their reasons for being where they were, and anything else the aliens wanted to know.

Now this week in the local Chicago news came a disturbing report. The details are not completely clear yet and no doubt will become so when surveillance tapes are looked at and the investigation continues, but a pregnant woman (and how can someone not tell a lady otherwise in good shape, not obese, not large, and otherwise healthy is eight months pregnant?) was tasered by a police officer. Naturally both sides have their stories but I am definitely inclined to believe the story of the woman who was so treated.

Did not the officer think of the potential harm that incident could have caused the mother and baby? The lady could have fallen, passed out, started early labor, any number of things. She could have been severely injured by that act, so why on Earth would the officer be so tempted to go for that taser? Was his life so deeply in danger from a pregant woman’s actions that he felt he had to go to the taser instead of making everyone comfortable so they could talk, so that the incident in question could be worked out, and so that everyone could go on their way without further incident? I feel very sorry for that mother-to-be and hope she is going to be all right.

Are our tough men in blue so tense and worked-up and hard against even a little bit of leeway that they must go for the tasers right away? One little move towards them, one little touch, one little tearing up of a ticket, one move here or there and everyone suddenly is potentially one to assault the officer, to make a move for a weapon, to cause further trouble or harm to the police or to others in the area. It is sad that technology has become something we can go to instead of taking a slower or more logical kind of action. Cowards go for their weapons first or mass in groups to subdue others by threats or force or psychology. Cowards dress in masks and powerful gear and carry high-powered weapons, and they feel threatened by anyone who does not look or think or act as they do.

Gang members are that way, cowardly, in groups, with their signs and lingo and markers and colors, with their weapons and drugs and threats. They are cowards and that is all they are, and nothing more or less. Cowards, and would you let them take over your neighborhoods that you work hard to keep up, to live and work and play in? They are on that hair-trigger edge too, stressed and tense and upset and worried, just like our police officers. Poor folk- how terrible such a lifestyle must be- for the gangs the thought of keeping up the greed, the strong-arm tactics, the drug running, the turf wars, pitting neighbors against each other, pitting families and schools against each other, and pretending they are so high and mighty. And then there are our police officers- tensed, stressed, worn out, tired, worried and armed. But it is their job to train to use those tactics and weapons. Our police officers are not cowards- they have chosen their profession thinking they might do some good or make a difference, and most of them do. Their work is hard, tough, and hazardous; they have to go up against those gang members who terrorize people for their selfish intentions. They have to make traffic stops, serve warrants, chase bank robbers, catch rapists and child molesters, work traffic incidents, patrol for parades and work during natural disasters.

The important thing is that they use those tactics and weapons properly, not the instant someone makes a move until they can discern what that movement is for. It is a sign that they are on edge, those hair-trigger responses to the protestors and the pregnant woman. Our uniformed law enforcers have the respect from law-abiding citizens, and no doubt  most of us are, and not likely to cause trouble. We can be patient and obey the law; we can walk by the police and wave and speak and say hello. We should be able to come up to them in their vehicles or on their horses or when on street patrol or bike patrol, and say what we see and be comfortable around them. The motto “We Serve and Protect” is exactly what they shoud remind themselves of every day, saying it, repeating it, almost as Mr. Spock does his Vulcan greeting of “Live Long and Prosper” (“Peace and Long Life”). We should work together with them to keep the city safe and free of trouble, and the police need to know that most people, I believe, are good people and follow the law.

But we know our first amendment rights too, such as freedom of the press, freedom of speech, and the right of the people peaceable to assemble. No need for the police to be pulling people off the sidewalks as some of the Michigan Avenue protestors claim they did. And was there a need for the young man to be beaten with batons or others to have other bodily harm inflicted by the law? Sure we can take the advice of the police to disperse when asked, and we can do that in an orderly fashion, but then there is that right to PEACEABLY assemble, and we don’t need a permit issued by some city official to do that. Our permit is IN THE CONSTITUTION!

Are we all to be considered guilty before innocent? Isn’t is supposed to be innocent before being proven guilty? The TSA sure thinks so, our own government sure thinks so… do our law enforcement officers need to think so, too?

Divi Logan and ®EDUSHIRTS, Nashville and Chicago, ©2012.


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