Unlawful Police Killings Highlight A Culture Of Complicity Behind Them…


The mad­den­ing real­i­ty that a cop could be sent to per­form a wel­fare check at a res­i­dence, and ends up shoot­ing the home-own­er to death has got to be the dubi­ous opti­mum of the débâ­cle that American polic­ing has become.
Before we talk about the un-real­i­ty of this, we must not for­get the inevitable but oblig­a­tory attempts at char­ac­ter-assas­si­na­tion which these police depart­ments embark on when they unlaw­ful­ly mur­der inno­cent unarmed peo­ple.
Both-Shem-Jean had weed-dust in his home after Amber Guygher gunned him down in his own home, remem­ber that? Of course, after infor­ma­tion start­ed to emerge that Jean was as clean as a whis­tle, clean­er than the cops and those who super­vise them, they aban­doned that tact.

The image of a gun sur­faced in media reports after Fort Worth cop Aaron Dean gunned down Atatiana Jefferson in her own home. The idea was to lie that the dece­dent had pulled a gun. It is both legal to own guns in Texas and to open car­ry. So hav­ing a gun in her home had noth­ing to do with what the cops did. But they are stu­pid and crim­i­nal, so they decid­ed to bring the nar­ra­tive that there was a gun.
To the cred­it of the police chief and the may­or, they lashed out against that attempt at smear­ing the unfor­tu­nate young lady.
Continued pres­sure and atten­tion to these events today no doubt brought swift action in this case as Aaron Dean resigned before the depart­ment could fire him, and he has since been charged with mur­der.
But it was hard for us to have missed that attempt­ed smear; it is one of the go-to plays in their play­book. Criminalize, mur­der, demonize.

Police offi­cers are called upon to do all kinds of things, and be all things to all peo­ple, and I get that. I hap­pen to know a lit­tle some­thing about that, hav­ing served a decade as a police offi­cer in a tough coun­try, Jamaica.
I can­not imag­ine a sce­nario in which I could have fired a gun at some­one inside a house even if the per­son inside was armed with a gun, [while mak­ing a wel­fare check]. (And yes, we did many).
Here’s why!
(a)The per­son inside the house may very well be the home­own­er; it is the thing that any offi­cer in that sit­u­a­tion must first think about. You were sent there to ensure the safe­ty of the home­own­er, for God’s sake)
(b) Even if armed, the per­son inside may have a right to be armed. © Under what cir­cum­stances does the police show up with­out announc­ing “Police,” then shoots some­one inside, with­out know­ing who the per­son is, or whether he/​she had a right or rea­son to be there?

We should not get caught up in the non­sen­si­cal excus­es of the police.
The call was a non-emer­gency wel­fare check call.
This means that the offi­cer was not told that there was a bur­glary in progress, (not that that would have giv­en him a rea­son to employ lethal force killing a bur­glar). Burglary is not a death-penal­ty case.
And so the idea of the call, even though cops have to be care­ful at all times, was about check­ing on who­ev­er was in the house. The lights were report­ed­ly on, and the door was part­ly ajar after 2: 00 am.
Neither of the two cops thought enough to approach the front door and announce, “Police, this is a wel­fare check” and see what hap­pens?
No.….….….….….. Just shoot at what­ev­er the hell moves and be done with it. Never mind that it is sup­posed to be a wel­fare check.

What police apol­o­gists, would have you believe is that an offi­cer’s job is so darn dan­ger­ous that you must give them the ben­e­fit of the doubt. It would help if you sus­pend­ed real­i­ty and good judg­ment a sup­plant your objec­tiv­i­ty with their inter­pre­ta­tion of real­i­ty.
You must give them more and more lat­i­tude to do their jobs; that’s what their apol­o­gists say. Unfortunately, that lat­i­tude has now giv­en the police so much pow­er and immu­ni­ty that they have lit­er­al­ly become the great­est threat to the lives of peo­ple of col­or, and pret­ty soon to every­one else.
It is the trag­ic irony, but there are more than enough apol­o­gists who will tell you about how dan­ger­ous their jobs are.
Well, let me tell you some­thing, I have met count­less cops who have told me they have nev­er been in a sit­u­a­tion where they have had to pull their ser­vice weapon.
On the oth­er hand, pulling, a ser­vice weapon does not mean that an offi­cer must use lethal force.
After all, an offi­cer has to ensure that he pro­tects his life; first, he is no good dead to any­one. Given a night-time sit­u­a­tion where the cir­cum­stances are unknown, I have no prob­lem with an offi­cer being prepared.

To the aver­age per­son who has nev­er been a police offi­cer, the hyper­bole about the sky-high dan­ger of every­day polic­ing gives police license to be reck­less and wan­ton.
The scene is set, an offi­cer is shot or almost run over by a perp, and the entire brass and their union come out, flanked by their civil­ian boss­es who con­tin­ue to give them more and more pow­er to kill you, while tak­ing more and more of your rights away.
And don’t for­get that the courts are there to rub­ber-stamp what­ev­er they do, no mat­ter how egre­gious; they may even throw in a hug and a Bible to boot.
On and on, they go about what police face every day, in their quest to keep you safe[sic].
So they take more pow­er, and you are no safer, because the pow­er they take is nev­er about you; it is to sat­is­fy their frag­ile egos, not to ensure your safe­ty, because their jobs are not about your safe­ty; it is about keep­ing you in line.

But that is not exact­ly what is killing all of these Black peo­ple. It is out­ra­geous that any per­son can be killed on the streets by police offi­cers who are sup­posed to serve and pro­tect, when they are unarmed and have com­mit­ted no crime.
Now mul­ti­ply that a hun­dred times in your head, that a per­son could be in the sanc­ti­ty of their own home and be mur­dered by agents of the state?
Agents of the state; because that is exact­ly what they are, the minute they approach a pub­lic mem­ber, their hands go to cov­er­ing their weapons.
Maybe they should not be giv­en weapons at all, because research shows that if you give a man a gun, he will try to find a rea­son to use it.

(Psychology today​.com) Research also shows that dri­vers with guns in their cars are more like­ly to dri­ve aggressively.[2] A nation­al­ly rep­re­sen­ta­tive sam­ple of over 2,000 American dri­vers found that those who had a gun in the car were sig­nif­i­cant­ly more like­ly to make obscene ges­tures at oth­er motorists (23% vs. 16%), aggres­sive­ly fol­low anoth­er vehi­cle too close­ly (14% vs. 8%), or both (6.3% vs. 2.8%), even after con­trol­ling for many oth­er fac­tors relat­ed to aggres­sive dri­ving (e.g., gen­der, age, urban­iza­tion, cen­sus region, dri­ving fre­quen­cy). Recent research repli­cat­ed this find­ing in a dri­ving sim­u­la­tion exper­i­ment. https://​www​.psy​chol​o​gy​to​day​.com/​u​s​/​b​l​o​g​/​g​e​t​-​p​s​y​c​h​e​d​/​2​0​1​3​0​1​/​t​h​e​-​w​e​a​p​o​n​s​-​e​f​f​ect

In recent times many pub­li­ca­tions have start­ed pay­ing atten­tion to these unlaw­ful killings, and some have start­ed to keep a record of them, because your gov­ern­ment does­n’t. Gee, I won­der why?
In August, the Los Angeles Times report­ed that about 1 in 1,000 black men and boys in America could expect to die at the hands of police, accord­ing to a new analy­sis of deaths involv­ing law enforce­ment offi­cers. That makes them 2.5 times more like­ly than white men and boys to die dur­ing an encounter with cops.
This is not a prob­lem; it is a cri­sis; it is an exis­ten­tial cri­sis. And there is no real polit­i­cal lead­er­ship. Not from the fed­er­al, state, nor local lev­els. This state of affairs suits them just fine.
The Black Lives Matter – affil­i­at­ed group Mapping Police Violence, dis­putes the idea that police only kill peo­ple when oper­at­ing under intense con­di­tions in high-crime areas. 
Mapping Police Violence found that few­er than one in three black peo­ple killed by police in 2016 were sus­pect­ed of a vio­lent crime or armed. 

Simply put, the option to pull the trig­ger has pre­cious lit­tle to do with the stress asso­ci­at­ed with work­ing in a vio­lent high crime area.
As a cop work­ing the tough neigh­bor­hood of Arnett Gardens, sure, I would be on edge if a young man walks up to me in that neigh­bor­hood, but I would be less inclined to be on edge if that very same young man approach­es me in Cherry Gardens. But it does not mean that sim­ply because I was in a height­ened sense of aware­ness in Arnett Gardens, I would be more inclined to shoot that young man.
Not so for the American police, Black is Black, and that col­or deserves the very same dis­re­spect wher­ev­er they are found, regard­less of their inno­cence or guilt.
The unde­ni­able truth is that no cop would fire a weapon inside a per­son­’s house in a Lilly-white neigh­bor­hood. The deval­ued qual­i­ty of black lives and the impuni­ty with which they are allowed to treat peo­ple of col­or with vio­lence and dis­re­spect are the major rea­sons that we end up with all of these inno­cent peo­ple los­ing their lives.….. even in their own homes.
They are taught to dis­re­gard the human­i­ty of peo­ple who do not look like them and to shoot and go home to their families.

Some peo­ple will argue all day about the job’s dan­ger­ous nature even though they nev­er donned a uni­form or even done a ride-along.
What they relate to are the sto­ries told them by police unions.
I know all too well how dan­ger­ous the job can be; I was shot in the line of duty.
Instead of being gung-ho about shoot­ing peo­ple, my law enforce­ment expe­ri­ence taught me just how sacred the trust placed in me to be judi­cious with that pow­er was.
Over the years, I wrote a series of blogs implor­ing police offi­cers not to shoot sim­ply because they can get away with killing some­one.
Doing so dis­torts and destroys the very rea­son and mean­ing of good polic­ing.
Over the years, police offi­cers would plead with sus­pects to drop their weapons. They would only resort to lethal force when it became essen­tial and clear that the assailant meant to harm some­one.
Today, in a sit­u­a­tion in which there are dozens of cops fifty feet away from a knife-wield­ing per­son, (even of clear unsound mind), police open fire, killing that per­son!
They then claim that the per­son posed an exis­ten­tial threat to offi­cers who had no choice but to gun him down.
What would have hap­pened to that dis­turbed per­son, if we did not allow police offi­cers to car­ry guns and shoot peo­ple with them?
It’s all lies .….….…. They know it, and you should too.

There has been evi­dence over the years that police depart­ments are not train­ing their offi­cers to de-esca­late sit­u­a­tions; in fact, the oppo­site is true.
Cops arrive on the scene, and as soon as they arrive, the dan­ger lev­el in what­ev­er was occur­ring imme­di­ate­ly esca­lates expo­nen­tial­ly. This is giv­ing con­sci­en­tious peo­ple pause, “do we even call the police know­ing that they may sim­ply kill who­ev­er is being a lit­tle dis­rup­tive”?
You may won­der what is hap­pen­ing and think to your­self, “how can the police be allowed to oper­ate this way? Who super­vis­es them”?
To begin with, many of America’s police depart­ments oper­ate as laws unto them­selves. Police depart­ments and their unions oper­ate along the mar­gins, and they flout the rules with impuni­ty.
They are giv­en wide lat­i­tude to do as they please, and they oper­ate with impunity.

They refuse requests for doc­u­ments until forced to by a judge. Prosecutors are so chum­my with the unions they become almost a part of the police appa­ra­tus, rather than the oth­er way around.
Some say they are close to the police because they depend on the police to bring cas­es. It’s more like they depend on the police unions for endorse­ments and mon­e­tary sup­port in the polit­i­cal cam­paigns for pros­e­cu­tors and some judges.
This prob­lem is far greater than the aver­age per­son imag­ines, and those elect­ed to look after the peo­ple do not care, because they are not at risk of being gunned down in the streets or in their homes by police.
God for­bid that they would step for­ward and speak out and hav­ing to face the wrath of, you guessed it.…. the police unions who believe that no one should ques­tion them.

What obtains in America today is a cul­ture that encour­ages and active­ly par­tic­i­pates in police mis­con­duct and allows it to flour­ish. That runs the gamut, as pros­e­cu­tors and police depart­ments flout the laws, there­by help­ing to cre­ate the arro­gance and sense of impuni­ty with which some police offi­cers and even entire depart­ments oper­ate.
On October 15th, (USA Today) detailed damn­ing evi­dence that pros­e­cu­tors are not fol­low­ing the laws across the coun­try in an eye-open­ing arti­cle.
In let­ting the defense have evi­dence of offi­cers’ improp­er con­duct.
According to the report, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1963 that pros­e­cu­tors must tell any­one accused of a crime about all evi­dence that might help their defense at tri­al. That includes shar­ing details about police offi­cers who have com­mit­ted crimes, lied on the job, or whose hon­esty has been called into doubt.
People are being con­vict­ed and spend­ing decades in prison because pros­e­cu­tors and police depart­ments fail to fol­low the laws.
Over the years, hun­dreds of peo­ple are being released from prison after evi­dence turns up show­ing that they were improp­er­ly impris­oned or that police or pros­e­cu­tors have act­ed improp­er­ly to secure their convictions.

The investigation found:

  • Thousands of peo­ple have faced crim­i­nal charges or gone to prison based in part on tes­ti­mo­ny from law enforce­ment offi­cers deemed to have cred­i­bil­i­ty prob­lems by their boss­es or by prosecutors.
  • At least 300 pros­e­cu­tors’ offices across the nation are not tak­ing the steps nec­es­sary to com­ply with the Supreme Court man­dates. These places do not have a list track­ing dis­hon­est or oth­er­wise untrust­wor­thy offi­cers. They include big cities such as Chicago and Little Rock and small­er com­mu­ni­ties such as Jackson County, Minnesota, and Columbia County, Pennsylvania.
  • In many places that keep lists, police and pros­e­cu­tors refuse to make them pub­lic, mak­ing it impos­si­ble to know whether they fol­low the law. 
  • Others keep incom­plete lists. USA TODAY iden­ti­fied at least 1,200 offi­cers with proven his­to­ries of lying and oth­er seri­ous mis­con­duct that pros­e­cu­tors had not flagged. Of those offi­cers, 261 were specif­i­cal­ly dis­ci­plined for dis­hon­esty on the job.

See the arti­cle here; https://​www​.usato​day​.com/​i​n​-​d​e​p​t​h​/​n​e​w​s​/​i​n​v​e​s​t​i​g​a​t​i​o​n​s​/​2​0​1​9​/​1​0​/​1​4​/​b​r​a​d​y​-​l​i​s​t​s​-​p​o​l​i​c​e​-​o​f​f​i​c​e​r​s​-​d​i​s​h​o​n​e​s​t​-​c​o​r​r​u​p​t​-​s​t​i​l​l​-​t​e​s​t​i​f​y​-​i​n​v​e​s​t​i​g​a​t​i​o​n​-​d​a​t​a​b​a​s​e​/​2​2​3​3​3​8​6​0​01/.

Sure, they want you to believe that these inci­dents are mere­ly iso­lat­ed inci­dents, fix­able by remov­ing that one rogue ele­ment. It is not true that it is a sys­temic cul­ture that breeds this con­tempt and lack of respect, and it’s not all the police’s fault.
This is a mat­ter that the Federal and state leg­is­la­tures should tack­le if they want­ed to change.
It has to be tack­led in the way judges oper­ate, and it most def­i­nite­ly rests with pros­e­cu­tor and police depart­ments.
The police offi­cer’s atti­tude treats a cit­i­zen like crap because he was giv­en a gun and badge and six months of train­ing comes from what he was told he could do and get away with.
It comes.…..
(1)From brief­ing ses­sions in which street crimes unit com­man­ders deval­ue entire com­mu­ni­ties’ lives, giv­ing license to their under­lings to exact vengeance on entire com­mu­ni­ties.
(2)From the infil­tra­tion of the depart­ments of neo-nazis, white suprema­cists, and skin-heads.
(3)From the mil­i­ta­rized Israeli train­ing, many American cops are receiv­ing in the state of Israel.
(4) From the over-pop­u­la­tion of police depart­ments with mil­i­tary vet­er­ans who have done sev­er­al com­bat zones tours.
(5)From the acqui­es­cence of police depart­ments, rogue cops can rack up dozens and dozens of dis­ci­pli­nary actions and refuse to fire them, there­by endan­ger­ing the pub­lic.
(6)And from Judges who see them lie under oath,( a felony) in their court­rooms, and do noth­ing about it. The aver­age per­son who lies under oath com­mits per­jury and may be sen­tenced to five(5) years in prison.


(1)hav­ing tak­en an oath before a com­pe­tent tri­bunal, offi­cer, or per­son, in any case in which a law of the United States autho­rizes an oath to be admin­is­tered, that he will tes­ti­fy, declare, depose, or cer­ti­fy tru­ly, or that any writ­ten tes­ti­mo­ny, dec­la­ra­tion, depo­si­tion, or cer­tifi­cate by him sub­scribed, is true, will­ful­ly and con­trary to such oath states or sub­scribes any mate­r­i­al mat­ter which he does not believe to be true; or(2)in any dec­la­ra­tion, cer­tifi­cate, ver­i­fi­ca­tion, or state­ment under penal­ty of per­jury as per­mit­ted under sec­tion 1746 of title 28, United States Code, will­ful­ly sub­scribes as true any mate­r­i­al mat­ter which he does not believe to be true; is guilty of per­jury and shall, except as oth­er­wise express­ly pro­vid­ed by law, be fined under this title or impris­oned not more than five years, or both. This sec­tion is applic­a­ble whether the state­ment or sub­scrip­tion is made with­in or with­out the United States. https://​www​.law​.cor​nell​.edu/​u​s​c​o​d​e​/​t​e​x​t​/​1​8​/​1​621

Mike Beckles is a for­mer police Detective cor­po­ral, busi­ness­man, free­lance writer, a black achiev­er hon­oree, and pub­lish­er of the blog chatt​-​a​-box​.com. 
He also con­tributes to sev­er­al web­sites.
You may sub­scribe to his blogs free of charge, or sub­scribe to his Youtube chan­nel @chatt-a-box, for the lat­est pod­cast, all free to you, of course.