Who Really Determines the Necessity for the Use of Force?
Who determines the necessity for the use of force, the officer in the critical life and death struggle or the Monday morning quarterbacks armed with croissants and cappuccinos?
The U.S. Supreme Court recognized in Graham v. Connor, “The reasonableness of a particular use of force must be judged from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene, rather than with the vision of 20/20 hindsight,” and the court reiterated that the “calculus of reasonableness” must allow for “the fact that police officers are often forced to make split-second judgements in circumstances that are tense, uncertain, and rapidly evolving.”
It reads fairly easy, why isn’t it being followed? Politics perhaps?
We hear too often that the police shoot the unarmed black man. How about the unarmed white man or the unarmed Hispanic man? And, the term unarmed is purposefully misleading. We know a vehicle can be used effectively as a weapon, yet a driver doing so is considered “unarmed” in these tabulations.
Moreover, defendants capable of bashing an officer’s head against the street or sidewalk are also considered “unarmed.” So strictly looking at numbers taken out of context does not legitimize these actions.
The person running from the police as they’re responding to a call of a “man with a gun” is still considered to be unarmed until he actually brandishes the gun. Still, that is not proof enough; now he has to shoot at the police to be considered armed?
A police officer is no longer allowed to use his empirical knowledge and decipher a threat and respond accordingly. He now must wait to be attacked or shot at and still the anti-police activists decry foul.
Simply said, police officers are no longer allowed to defend themselves at any time for any reason. Police officers are simply political cannon fodder.
Black Lives Matter and other radical racial groups are doing the bidding of rich white elitist like puppets minus the strings. They are financially supported and brainwashed into believing they are doing the righteous thing. As a result, they have instead spun the criminal justice world upside down. Furthermore, they are promoting lawlessness and vigilantism.
Police are neutered and ironically no longer allowed to do proactive police work in the neighborhoods that need it most.
The ACLU is quickly eliminating the tactics used in traditional police work. They have essentially abolished stop and frisk from the street officer’s tool bag. The politicians routinely side with the criminals and anti-police groups. Now, even the private businesses are throwing the police under the bus for legal and lawful police work. The most recent example is Starbucks.
The intimidation level is so high, honest people and companies are capitulating to the false cry of the anti-police groups simply because it is cost effective. The city of Chicago often settles foolish claims of racial abuse and excessive force claims because it is fiscally expedient, meaning it’s cheaper to pay than to fight in court.
Interestingly, at one time, 90 percent of the attorneys suing the city were at one time employed by the City of Chicago. Lucrative you ask? I believe so.
After three generations and over 100 years of service on the Chicago Police Department, there are no longer any Casey family members on the job, and I celebrate.
To all my brothers and sisters in blue, lock and load and protect each other. And as always, stay safe.
Larry Casey, sergeant (ret.), Chicago Police Department, Criminal Justice Professor, Wilbur Wright College. You can view his website www.StoriesofaChicagoPoliceOfficer.com for more information and review his book by the same name.