"...it's not the training to be mean but the training to be kind that is used to keep us leashed best." ~ Black Dog Red

"In case you haven't recognized the trend: it proceeds action, dissent, speech." ~ davidly, on how wars get done

"...What sort of meager, unerotic existence must a man live to find himself moved to such ecstatic heights by the mundane sniping of a congressional budget fight. The fate of human existence does not hang in the balance. The gods are not arrayed on either side. Poseiden, earth-shaker, has regrettably set his sights on the poor fishermen of northern Japan and not on Washington, D.C. where his ire might do some good--I can think of no better spot for a little wetland reclamation project, if you know what I mean. The fight is neither revolution nor apocalypse; it is hardly even a fight. A lot of apparatchiks are moving a lot of phony numbers with more zeros than a century of soccer scores around, weaving a brittle chrysalis around a gross worm that, some time hence, will emerge, untransformed, still a worm." ~ IOZ

Feb 18, 2013

A Day's Work

The death of a man with Down syndrome who was reportedly killed after lying face-down in police custody has been ruled a homicide. WJLA reports that Robert Saylor, 26, of New Market, Md., was asphyxiated on Jan. 12, according to a medical examiner's ruling late last week.
I'm sure better writers than I will come at this story from more significant angles, but what sticks out for me on first read is the following section:
Baltimore County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Jennifer Bailey said the case is still under investigation and that the three officers involved in Saylor's death -- Lt. Scott Jewell, Sgt. Rich Rochford and Deputy First Class James Harris -- "continue to work their normal assignments," according to the Post.
If you have a moment, imagine killing a young man with Down's Syndrome and returning to work the next day. The viciousness of murdering a twenty something with Down's Syndrome, aside, is there any other caste of people who can take a life on any given street in the US and return to work the next day, to be paid to do it all over again?

 I mean, other than the President.



Tao Dao Man said...

Will the cops in Big Bear be held accountable for their "burn plan" of Chris Dorner?
I rather doubt it.

High Arka said...

Besides Presidents? Cops, soldiers, spooks, border patrol, miscellaneous DHS goons of any and all kinds.

American motorists. Well-meaning oncologists, OBs, and radiologists. Insurance adjusters. Hospital administrators.

It's a culture of death. Now get on those 1040s.

Anonymous said...

Give people authority of any kind and they quickly become sadistic bastards.

High Arka said...

Secure, confident, happy people actually tend to be benevolent and wonderful when given authority. Under, say, "capitalism," they behave differently, but those aren't secure, confident, happy people.

Beware, dear Anonymous 12:36, of the similarity between your analysis, and the idea of original sin (and resulting human history). If we believe that people are naturally sadistic and terrible, then what is there to complain about?

tsisageya said...

Oh, the FEEBLE leaves me breathless.

(Good name for a poem, perhaps?)

davidly said...

Good points, HA, but giving someone the explicit authority to make someone else lie prostrate on the ground (as a matter of policy, no less), regardless of how secure and happy they feel in doing so, will yield results that have a remarkably sadistic flavor.

High Arka said...

I see your point, but imagine getting dispatched to a domestic violence call, where the suspect has a history of armed robbery. The wife wants to press charges. The guy is sitting on the couch watching TV, and it's time to go up and arrest him.

Approaching someone from any other angle, even if you have armed backup and the guy is lying on the floor on his back, is dangerous. Fighting from your back, it's easy to kick out a knee or conceal a weapon. Face down on the ground, hands on your head, there's very little you can do to threaten a cop.

If we're going to have any kind of social policy involving protecting women from domestic abuse (or stopping any other kind of violent crime), how are we going to ask people to arrest suspects without taking precautions? They're already risking their lives just by responding.

Good cops know the difference between arresting and killing; between command presence and inappropriate use of force. A blanket policy against facedown handcuffing is dangerous. If it's eliminated, how do you propose detaining violent suspects?

1) Shooting?
2) Tasering?
3) Beating?

Facedown cuffing is really nice, comparatively speaking. Identifying the "suspects" might be terribly unfair, in this society, so focus on that part of the pickle instead.

Anonymous said...

Is that a pickle in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?

tsisageya said...

Wondering is such a pickle, is it not?