Veteran Dallas Police Officer Weighs In On UC-Davis Pepper-Spraying, Policing in General

Categories: Crime
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Chris Howell
A few years back, Lt. Max Geron was one of the Dallas Police Department's spokespersons, but he's quick to remind in his missive to The Atlantic that what he has to say on the subject of Lt. John Pike's pepper-spraying of peaceful demonstrators on the UC-Davis campus last week are his views alone and "not those of the Dallas Police Department or the Caruth Police Institute." A Friend of Unfair Park directs our attention to Geron's thoughts on the subject, dispatched to James Fallows. An excerpt:
Departments and officers must remember the we (the police) only serve at the allowance/discretion of the citizenry who employs us. If we fail to treat everyone as we would have ourselves and families treated then we cease protecting and serving and begin preying and harming. I personally appreciated your logical stipulations and from a law enforcement veteran's perspective I can see no legitimate basis for the actions that those few officers took either.

We fail our officers if we refrain from reminding them that we are dealing with human beings who need be treated as such. And while it is easy to vilify Lt. Pike and say "I would never..." or "He is evil..." he too is human, prone to mistakes and accountable for his actions. I believe a leadership change likely must be made in that department (and likely in the university) in order for them to salvage and rebuild trust in the eyes of the community it serves.
Read the whole thing here.

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4 comments
pencil
pencil

Hindsight is always 20/20 politically correct.

cp
cp

Couldn't even finish the first sentence.

Brandt Hardin
Brandt Hardin

When will we start holding officers accountable for theirbrutality and excessive use of force?  Evictingprotesters is Unconstitutional and endangers the basic rights of EVERY lastAmerican.  Is this the country we wereraised in, were men and women are beaten, gassed, pepper-sprayed and arrestedfor their disapproval of the government? We have to be careful to protect our Constitutional Rights!  Raise awareness and do your part with thesefree posters I designed for the movement on my artist’s blog at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot...

Phelps
Phelps

I'm astonished at all the people who are astonished.  The officer was following the standard procedure.  Is the procedure effed up?  Absolutely.  So why are we focusing on the officer and not the policy?

His version was actually tame, by the way.  The other "standard" procedure is to spray a cotton swab, and rub it directly onto their eyeballs.

To the UC Davis Dean (or whatever the position is) who was shocked at this -- what did you think was going to happen when you authorized the removal of the protesters by force?  Did you think that unicorns were going to fly down and pull them out with tractor beams from their butts?  By force means by force.  

Our procedures and force continuum have turned our cops into professional torturers.  What they used to do by authoritative commands and the occasional joint lock are now done far too often with electrocution and chemical torture.  

We don't call it torture, though, we've sanitized it to "pain compliance", at the same time that we call uncomfortable things like sitting in a chilly room "torture." 

Make sure you get that right.  Cold rooms and uncomfortable sitting positions (carried out by the military)?  Torture.  Electrocution and chemical weapons (by the police)?  "Pain compliance."

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