Editorials

Cops these days get away with murder

Police brutality and excessive force have become common phrases in today’s society, when everyone has a camera in every pocket now, and with the obvious and gradual militarization of police forces throughout the United States, officers are still rarely being held accountable for beating and killing innocent civilians throughout our country.

The incident that occurred in Fullerton Ca. on July 5, 2011 with Kelly Thomas, who was beaten to death, is making news again because two out of the three police officers that were prosecuted had been found not guilty on Jan. 13, 2014.

The third officer whose trial was pending will not be held at all because of this verdict, which really makes one wonder how these officers got away with brutally beating and killing a man who was pleading for his life.

If you have not seen the 30 minute video of this horrific occurrence, Kelly Thomas begged these officers to stop tazing and beating him, and even yelled out for help from his father, before being beaten into a coma and passing away five days later due to his injuries.

The defense for the two officers suggested that Thomas died of a diseased heart damaged by previous drug use, according to latimes.com, but the coroner in this case determined Thomas’ death was due to injuries sustained by these officers. Not ever in the history of Orange County, where Fullerton is, has an officer been fully prosecuted until now for killing someone in the line of duty, according to ocweekly.com.

If you are not afraid of the rising number of American citizens being beaten and killed by the police force, maybe you should rethink that, because in the last decade the number of people reported to have been killed by U.S. police officers has reached more than 5,000 people, which is said to be more than the number of U.S. soldiers that have been killed in the Iraqi war at 4,489, according to antiwar.com.

There are many places on the internet one can find information about this incident and there are even entire pages dedicated to posting excessive police force incidents such as at reddit.com/r/Bad_Cop_No_Donut/.

When are we going to see what is really going on here in our country and hold these officers accountable for their crimes, instead of giving them a pat on the back for not really protecting and serving anyone but themselves in these rising number of cases?

Police brutality has been an issue in our country for far too long, and has only come to light since technology has been able to hold these people responsible who are supposed to uphold the laws and not break them, and yet nothing is being done about the growing amount of brutality situations that happen with law enforcement each year.

It should be a nationwide policy that all police enforcement officers wear a camera while on duty, not only to protect common citizens and get rid of power hungry bad apples, but to also protect the good officers out there actually trying to make a difference.

But until that happens, it is up to us to record interactions that we have with police officials to protect ourselves and the people around us when situations such as this happen.

Kelly Thomas did nothing wrong except for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and if you feel the same way and would like to see that these officers are prosecuted on a federal level, here is a petition site address at change.org/petitions/sen-dianne-feinstein-investigate-the-death-of-kelly-thomas-as-a-federal-case.

Holding police officers accountable for their crimes starts with all of us, and if we do not care, no one will, and these instances of brutal abuse of power will keep on occurring even more frequently.

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