Support Your Local Police
As a general rule I am in favor of law enforcement and the people who handle that. On several occasions I have let the badge-wearing folk handle a troublemaker so I wouldn?t have to. We do need to keep in mind, however, that they are people with all the fallibilities inherent to the condition.
I bring this up after seeing this page over at Snopes. I warn you that it contains a very disturbing image of a man killing himself. The tape shows a man in police custody removing a pistol from his pants and then shooting himself in the head. All this took place in the police station after he was arrested for shooting another police officer.
There are several problems with this scenario. The fellow obviously was not searched thoroughly. The guy also was not restrained and supervised properly. Who was to blame? Who knows?
As I mentioned above, I support law enforcement officers. Most cops are pretty good people who are very competent and really care about their communities. Unfortunately, mistakes do happen. Furthermore, there have been instances where individual officers have turned bad and caused trouble.
When you think about what laws you want and how much authority you want the government to have remember to consider who has to enforce those laws. The police are already overworked with preventing and investigating murders, rapes, assaults, thefts, and other assorted crimes. Do you really want to pile more laws on them to enforce?
By overworking the police you increase the likelihood of errors being made. It?s not a slam against the cops; it?s just human nature. It is your duty as a citizen to help out. First, don?t commit crimes. Second, takes steps to prevent being a victim (lock your doors, watch your surroundings, etc.). Finally, help your neighbors by looking for signs of crime and notifying the cops. You don?t have to be a fascist narc, but you should help when you can.
We hire and pay the police to help ensure our collective safety. It really is a good thing. They are not your enemy. Even so, it is also the responsibility of citizens to keep an eye on the police too.