Four of the Philadelphia police officers involved in the videotaped arrest of three shooting “suspects” two weeks ago have been fired. Another was demoted, and countless more are awaiting further disciplinary action. On top of it all, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey divulged their plan to “re-train” the police force in the City of Brotherly Love.
Nutter deemed the action seen on the videotape “seeming chaos.”
Perhaps he forgets that these men put on their uniforms and kiss goodbye their families each and every day to deal with the true chaos in Philadelphia, the consequences of a lawless nature and thug mentality gone wild.
More than 400 people were murdered last year in Philadelphia and, while the numbers suggest that the same total will not be reached this year, nearly four shootings are seen throughout Philadelphia with each passing day. Furthermore, the past 12 months has seen more than a half-dozen police officers wounded in the line of duty – three fatally.
Handcuffing our police force will only serve to perpetuate the criminal behavior permeating the city. Taking cops off of the streets–and forcing others to be wary of more scrutiny on police than on criminals–will not stem the culture of violence. The three “suspects” in question–the youngest of which, the shooter, is 19 years old–fired a magazine into a crowd of people on a street corner, wounding three people. They were confronted by police, chose to run from them, and chose to not comply. As a result, they were roughed up.
Was the force excessive? Very probably. The Philadelphia Daily News reported that one cop just out of the academy–just a kid, really–acted in an inappropriate manner, dragging a “suspect” out of the car with gun in hand, stepping on him, kicking him, smashing his neck into a patrol car. It sucks. It’s not a way that you want police to act and, yes, an example needs to be made of these officers; terminating them and leaving them open to charges of attempted murder and more, however, just serves to embolden the criminal elements in the city.
Furthermore, the news reports seem to gloss over the fact that these three “suspects” had just shot three people. They were armed. They ran from police. They refused to comply. The news reports, now in full hindsight mode, seem to gloss over the fact that only 48 hours before this incident, Officer Stephen Liczbinski was shot and killed and one of the thugs involved in his murder was still at large.
How are we supposed to fight this lawlessness, this lack of respect for badge and for life, when our own police commissioner, when our own mayor and our own neighbors are more willing to give the benefit of the doubt to those who choose to break the law than those who lay their lives on the line to uphold it? What kind of message does it send to other wanna-be gangstas when, after these other thugs attempted murder-by-drive-by and resisted arrest, they’ll end up getting off easy while the officers who made the arrest, the officers that risked their lives to uphold the law are fired, subject to disciplinary action and inevitably facing frivolous civil and criminal actions at the hands of the now lawyered-up shooters?
The criminal justice system, from police to courts to corrections, is charged with two overarching objectives — punishment and deterrence. By rewarding these three thugs for their criminal behavior and for refusing to respect the law, we achieve neither.
Not only are the powers that be in Philadelphia doing nothing to help the situation with their blame-shifting–to so-called assault weapons, to the police officers–they are perpetuating the societal divide and the culture of violence by kow-towing to the divisive machinations of Al Sharpton, the appeasement of political correctness, and the numbing effect of once again refusing to shed light on the real problems which face the city.