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The Police and Political Theater

Op/Ed By Wallace Mabry


wallace_mabryWe are assailed by it daily in newsprint and newscast. It is the stuff of social manipulation, and psychological campaigning. It is, by design, a tactical ploy to grab the attention from those who would be critically frank about the actions of certain government officials, namely the police in this case, and their handling of certain of the citizenry.

Its primary motive is to instruct, and persuade those who are most receptive to established police actions, and to gain credibility from those who are most critical of these police actions.

The ambition, in the main, is to sway public opinion that current police actions (and those that may be implemented in the near future) are warranted by the deviant behaviors of certain antisocial criminal types who place the whole of society at risk.

However, what political theater fails to do, as does most theater and histrionic, is to cut the bull, and confess to the aberration in the rank and file.

Greece Police Chief Patrick Phelan believes (in a Democrat & Chronicle report of May 20, 2016) there are “false anti-police narratives that devalue the lives of police officers and encourages violence (against police officers).”

However, what Chief Phelan fails to report is that many police officers are privately perpetrators of domestic violence in their own homes, are sly sexual deviants who prey on women who compromise themselves by providing sexual favors to avoid an arrest, are child predators who prey on children by collecting and distributing child pornography, are police officers who use their status and office as police officers to steal and carry out criminal activities while engaged in legitimate police matters, and officers who are deployed in neighborhoods where their individual psychosis have opportunities to be expressed and played out under the cover of law enforcement.

There are a plethora of news accounts and criminal convictions to confirm all of that.

It does not require training in either the field of psychiatry or psychology to ferret out, from the reported behaviors of a great many police officers exposed in the media, and from the observations of police officers patrolling predominately black communities, and some white communities, to ascertain what their pleasures are.

Police officers are human beings, with human frailties, vices, and defects of personality. They often break the law to make a case for arresting a person for breaking the law.

What that means for black people is that the individual is either killed (resisting), or arrested, and thrown in jail.

In jail, the individual is then confronted and intimidated by the complexity of the justice system, so much so that s(he) pleads guilty to a lesser charge—to avoid what an attorney often suggests is an opportunity to avoid a prison term of incarceration (thus creating a criminal record that will later prohibit the individual from employment opportunities)—or s(he) is forced to have family members come forward with sufficient funds to hire a legal defense.

The experience, either way, does not leave the individual with any deep-rooted respect for the law, or for police officers.

One may be inclined to say that if the individual does not place him/herself in a compromising situation where there may be a reason to believe there is a cause of action, there would be no need for police intervention.

A retort to that would be, while that may be true, in many cases there are many other cases where the individual is the victim of a random stop, or contact, which escalates and develops into a major confrontation when one police officer (of the several who respond) feels inclined to exert his authority beyond the norm.

The question would then follow, ‘Why would the individual not simply follow the requested directions of the officious officer, and be done with the encounter?’

And, the answer is, life is not so simple for each and every one.

Everyone is not inclined to believe that the police can do anything they please, without legal cause, simply because they are the police.

Let us not, however, be remiss here, in admitting that there are individuals of every ethnic background who, by their actions, simply do not seem to give a good you know what about taking someone’s life, for what most of us believe to be unreasonable, and unbelievable, causes.

Yes, there are people out here with severe mental health issues, on a number of psychological levels, and some can even be said to have extraordinarily strong, unwavering convictions about defending themselves against what they may feel are unwarranted interventions.

This is America in microcosm.

America has created these personalities out of years of conflicting social and economic policies and practices, and there are no easy solutions to their resolutions.

And, police mandates to protect themselves at all costs only fires up certain of the citizenry to do likewise.

That is not a mandate, or an anti-police narrative coming from a black writer, but a determined decision reached, by a great many citizens without counsel of anyone, who couldn’t care less about what a black writer says or writes.