As Stateless Productions enters the production phase of our new documentary, “America’s Police Crisis,” I can’t get the subject of police brutality out of my head. When people hear the term “police brutality,” depending on their background, they may start to question whether the issue is overblown. They tend to argue police are under extreme stress, have to make split second decisions and deal with the worst in society. However, was the suffocation of Eric Garner an accident? Was the execution of Daniel Shaver a mistake? Was the murder of Atatiana Jefferson through the window of her home just bad judgment? Was the killing of Botham Jean in his kitchen an oopsy?
Many like myself who study State monopoly policing will most likely discover an article from 2014 in which Conor Friedersdorf revealed that 40% of police households experience domestic violence, compared to 10% of the population. There is even further cause for alarm as personal interviews of police officers found even greater instances of officers admitting to injuring family members. What this shows is that domestic violence is 4X as likely to happen in the home of a law enforcement officer than in a normal domestic setting. That should make you question what the character of people who choose that profession is. It could also make one ponder what the career of law enforcement is doing to the minds of officers that causes domestic violence to be so prevalent.
The bigger, more important question may be, is the number actually higher? When abuse is experienced by the child or spouse of a police officer, to whom do they report it? The abusive spouse’s partner? His boss? And keep in mind, any incident included in the 40% study figure made it past the “thin blue line.” How much higher would that number actually be if the cases covered up or hushed were counted?
Leaving the 40% number behind you can be sure of one thing, after the information I provided in this piece, it is clear that you or I can be executed by law enforcement in its current incarnation while the courts, as well as at least half the country, will consider the murderers heroes who were “just doing their jobs.” We live in an age of madness where cops, in the heat of the moment, can “fear for their lives” and end yours for not obeying their orders, all because you may have a hearing problem, suffer autism, or just hesitate out of fear when having commands screamed at you at gunpoint. When you combine this knowledge with the events of the last twelve months, it is easy to believe we are living in a dystopian nightmare.