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Police Brutality in the USA - A European Perspective by world5list

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· @world5list ·
$35.90
Police Brutality in the USA - A European Perspective
It seems like every day, a story comes out about an American police officer murdering or abusing a civilian. Not all of those victims are innocent, of course, but neither are the cops involved. Coming from Europe, it’s utterly bizarre to read all the wild stories about cops in America. Generally speaking, I really admire the idea of serving the community by putting one's own life on the line to protect it. “Putting their life on the line” is not even an overly dramatic statement, especially not in the States where so many people carry guns around. 
 
Of course I believe that __almost__ every police officer is mentally fit to do the job, has noble intentions and has their heart in the right place. But there is no question in my mind that a small percentage is incredibly unfit for a wide variety of reasons. Being pulled over and getting cited when I was in the States last month, along with 2 crazy stories about incidents involving cops that I read this week were the immediate reasons why I decided to put my thoughts on paper...but I read many other mind boggling stories over the years.

![np punishment for kicking handcuffed woman.jpg](https://steemitimages.com/DQmeMJuj8uASWbmcsFW5n9nR7rcG2utJ3NqZXkmNLYL3sfs/np%20punishment%20for%20kicking%20handcuffed%20woman.jpg)
_Unfortunately the stories are countless, this woman is handcuffed..._ 
 
In short, I got a citation because being from Amsterdam, I didn’t know that I was supposed to have my driver’s license in the front of the car in Maryland and that having it in the trunk “doesn’t count”. And then there are the stories I read about. The first story was about a driver getting pulled over, right after which a cop opened his door and without asking him for any documents, started calling the driver a motherfucker and beating him up severely, while the driver was still in the car. This news article is accompanied by a video which can be seen here: https://www.yahoo.com/news/dashcam-footage-shows-minnesota-cop-235259705.html
 
I understand that there are probably nuances that weren’t addressed in the article but regardless of the nuances, the cussing and the __severe__ beating show a complete lack of restraint and professionalism from the cop. 

![asian-driver-abuse.jpg](https://steemitimages.com/DQmcqTFLig1DwCzXVem21CdLJXeDWUQD4Hr1j5xyx4SaxfB/asian-driver-abuse.jpg)
_A screenshot from the video_
 
The second story was about a black off duty officer trying to assist when a high speed car chase ended in a crash. The crash happened right by his house, so after he came out and after having been recognized by his fellow troopers, they told him to approach them. When he started to approach them, another cop pulled up, felt “threatened” for God knows what reason and shot the off duty police officer. https://www.yahoo.com/news/black-off-duty-cop-shot-colleague-responding-car-crash-2-185230363.html
 
When I got pulled over on my trip, it was for all the right reasons. I did something incredibly stupid by accidentally driving in the wrong direction when I didn’t realize that my Google Maps directions had switched to pedestrian mode instead of car mode. When it told me to turn left, I made the stupid and dangerous mistake of not paying enough attention and I drove in the wrong way for about 150 yards before being able to turn into a side street. I realized it soon and nothing bad happened but I was pulled over and got a $90 ticket for driving in the wrong direction. Again, that couldn’t have been more fair, but it didn’t end there...

![IMG-20170625-WA0007.jpg](https://steemitimages.com/DQmeqZMv7trpExwmaqoprZAFKrAEznepnGFkUWJpJfnPQoe/IMG-20170625-WA0007.jpg)
_I pulled a douce move in a bit of a douchy car (no offense!), but we had a lot of fun with her..._

After I had gotten pulled over, we had a very friendly interaction with the officer. He asked us where we were from and why we were there. I told him about the baseball road trip we were on, apologized and admitted that I had made a stupid mistake. He had of course, also asked me for my license and registration, which I handed him, along with my passport, telling him that my driver’s license was in the trunk and asking him if he wanted me to get it. He asked me what else was in the trunk, to which I replied “luggage” and then told me not to bother: “No that’s alright, don’t worry about it”. 
 
Hence my surprise when he told me I was getting a citation for driving without a license. I guess a rule is a rule but that was pretty lame in my opinion, given that a citation means I have to fly back to the States to appear in court. A pretty expensive little endeavor…
 
He didn’t really care about that and when I started asking some questions about the procedure he told me that “that was above his pay-grade” and just took off. My best guess is that me going into my trunk could potentially be a threat to him. But there were 2 officers so one of _them_ could have even gotten it. I’m not here to bitch and moan about my own experience though. I just think that the underlying incompetence to assess a potential danger is the common thread.

![police violence.jpg](https://steemitimages.com/DQmYU9QwLgFzZX4P4HARHAK3W9E14gG7HCpiBq8XneHuKJ4/police%20violence.jpg)
 
I really believe that it all boils down to a lack of ability to properly assess a situation and the potential danger that comes with it. The same lack of ability that probably caused the officer with 8 years of service under his belt to shoot that other off duty cop in Saint Louis.
 
The following is going to be a bit of a bold statement that might gather some criticism...but in my opinion, a part of a cop's salary is based on him putting his life on the line every day. The same way a pilot gets paid for having the responsibility that he has. They admirably (I can’t stress this enough!) and __knowingly__ sign up for that. With how trigger happy some cops are, they are putting the citizens’ lives on the line instead of their own, basically transferring that risk back to the community. And apart from being unqualified for the job, they do not deserve to get paid for having that responsibility of putting their own lives on the line if they’re not actually taking it on.
 
That’s my innocent and naive opinion coming from the Netherlands, a country in which people can not relate to these issues in any way. I am curious to hear what other people think of the state of the American police force. I __do__ like that American cops have a lot more striking power than the cops here, who have to abide by too many rules and regulations to be effective a lot of the time, but I think the balance in the States has shifted way too far in the wrong direction.
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vote details (79)
@waykiwayki ·
$0.04
Its very brutal in the US....but it's a completely different energy in the US......in Holland there's only a few million, none have guns, and everyone conforms to high tax and the status quo.
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@world5list ·
Yeah without even touching the topic of guns in the US it's safe to say that it plays into the problem I am discussing.
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@dlina-v-metrah ·
It's just that everyone in the States carries weapons. If the police do not shoot in dangerous cases, they simply can not survive. Shoot all the policemen.
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@floridanow ·
$0.04
The US is a big country. Is there violence and unjustufied behavior ...but only the bad stuff gets the press..that is what sells. I see terrosim all over Europe and bad behavior --- but I know there are great people there that does not represent the high percentage. You have to take a step back and look at what fosters "this behavior in each country"...people are paid to protest ...people have been imported into Europe by Soros and others wanting change. If you asked people in Germany or those in Sweden being raped  -- would they blame Sweden? Or would they blame who did it. I don't like corruption , crime or bad politcians and I am not standing up for anybody except people who obey the law and protest peacefully as they wish.
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@world5list ·
To see the violent protests, with much of the violence not even aimed at authorities (which would be horrible but would at least make sense to some degree) is very painful to watch.
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@floridanow ·
Never easy to understand or watch ...agree 100%. The US is the collective  size of. Europe. There are some bad fruits....but we are not a bad crop :-) Thank you for all your thoughts.
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@randowhale ·
This post received a 0.7% upvote from @randowhale thanks to @world5list!  For more information, [click here](https://steemit.com/steemit/@randowhale/introducing-randowhale-will-you-get-the-100-vote-give-it-a-shot)!
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vote details (1)
@celsius100 ·
$0.08
Police departments and law enforcement, in general, are out of control.  There are good people of course.  However, the overall attitude is shoot first ask questions later.  I won't even touch upon the civil asset forfeiture laws where they make it legal to take your property (cash, etc) without accusing you of a crime.  The rule of law is gone.  Until police are held accountable for their actions, it will only get worse.
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vote details (6)
@world5list ·
That sounds more somber than me even... :s
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@exavier ·
$0.14
I don't really think guns have anything to do with it since you have countries with even higher gun ownership and not these problems. Gun ownership historically has always been high in the US. But police brutality is more of a recent epidemic in the last 20 years or so. The problem to blame is multiple. Poor training seems to be one. People not being properly qualified and paid better are others. Also with a lack of proper oversight and investigation. This allows people who abuse the system to get away with a slap on the wrist which only encourages such before. Overall reforms need to be done to change things.
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vote details (6)
@littlenewthings ·
$0.06
Maybe also too much donuts as well? Just wondering is it true that the cops in the States have quite a bit of sweet tooth. I think every country they have the responsible law enforcers and there will also be a few bad apples; the bottom like is those who truly love their country they pretty much honour their jobs with their lives.
Just my 2 cents.
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@bratteam ·
$0.03
Here in Ireland, our regular police (gardai) don't even carry weapons... Only a baton and probably some pepper spray. This country is very peaceful. We have gang crime... But they all play together. We have a few armed gardai around at the moment due to the increased terrorist threat in Europe but, we are a neutral country, we just wanna be everyone's friend!
👍  
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@ysanti ·
Yeah cops are out of control in the U.S. Just power hungry assholes for the most part.
👍  
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@brdapwll ·
$0.03
This is an issue that must be corrected sooner rather than later! People need to start contacting their sheriffs, commissioners and everyone else in between to put an end to this. Police are *Peace Officers* whose sole purpose is to keep the peace. They are public servants and work for the people. What they have been turned into is similar to Hitlers secret police/brown coats. They've been handed this power from higher branches in the government.......Remember, there are 320M of us.......Collectively we have to be more invested in the management of our country and stop relying so much on these (s)elected officials who have proven over the last five decades that they care very little about us and more about their pockets......
👍  
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@world5list ·
A lot of stuff gets swept under the rug. The guy that kicked that woman in the face ended up reapplying for his job back...
👍  
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@brdapwll ·
$0.03
I think that is the entire purpose of it sadly. If you keep sweeping it under the rug, ultimately it creates an environment where this type of behavior is normal and accepted! Its the conditioning of it all that should be the most troublesome. I know I sound "tinfoil" at times but when you watch movies like "The Hunger Games" this is exactly where we are headed if we don't take a stand now. Once that boot comes down it is nearly impossible to remove!
👍  
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@quattrophoto ·
$0.07
That really sucks about the license in the trunk, He probably saw it as a quick $$ opportunity from a foreigner, I think the route cause of your second ticket was the "Ticket Quota" that some police stations put on their officers. It's a system that has revenue and operating costs reliant ticketing. Not all police have quotas but many do in rural areas or where ever there are less taxes to collect.
👍  ,
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@tdeezi ·
Police in America all deserve to be fired. We don't need their help. They hurt us when we do nothing, and aren't there when we need their help. The number of times i've called the police bc of a serious situation (rape, domestic violence etc) and they just don't show up makes me cry
👍  
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@biginkdot ·
$0.04
I'm waiting to one day read a Headline Countries(North Korea included) consider sanctions against the US for frivolous arrest leading to torturous treatment ,incarceration and or murder.  The Boulder in our eye.
👍  
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@bostonkreme1 ·
The problem has always been there, they've just started reporting it.
👍  
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@otis147 · (edited)
$0.03
police kill about 3 people a day in the u.s. 

other than a slight uptick a couple years ago, the number of annual police deaths has been steadily going down since the 70s. theirs is a job that's getting safer and safer, while they kill more and more.

over 90% of cops charged with a crime are not convicted. when one is, he's just a scapegoat.  cops are more likely to abuse their families than the rest of the nation. 

they are not heroes, but privateers, hired to generate revenue for the local, county, and state governments.
👍  
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@ericarthurblair ·
$0.22
Its not an inability to assess a situation in your case with the ticket... it is a matter of collection of revenue. Many jurisdictions rely on fines as a major part of the locality's budget. As far as them being excessively violent, this is largely a result of the training they receive which teaches them to treat everyone as a potential violent perpetrator. As an American, the problem is with the system and the laws more so than the officers themselves.
👍  ,
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@soo.chong163 ·
$0.12
It is not solely a problem of individual police incompetance or lack of psychological fitness.  The problem with US law enforcement is institutional shift of mandate away from maintaining order to engaging in the 50 year "drug war" that turns citizens into enemy combatants.  In this context of a "war" against a huge segment of US population does the behaviors of police officers comprehensible.  The US police have military grade equipments from submachine guns to armored personelle carriers; the police is clearly engaged in a literal war.  The US government created this hostile atmosphere with Nixon's, then Reagan's "drug war," which was just a thinly veiled attempt at using the police to war against minorities (uppity blacks) and social progressives (hippies, socialists, anarchists).  The US public is only just recognizing this war; this is not a new behavior by the police.
👍  ,
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@brandylynne ·
Im not sure, but make some phone calls to where you got stopped. I think you could send in the money and avoid appearing for trafic court, but every state's different.
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@policeregistry ·
Here is what we are doing about the problem in Fairbanks. Consider doing the same in your own communities: http://policeregistry.info/
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