Today I signed the FDL petition demanding the DOJ pursue Civil Rights charges in the UC Davis attacks by police on Non-violent protesters. I posted the petition to my Facebook wall and added my comments from the petition. Those comments are…
“Not only do Federal Civil Rights offenses need to be pursued, but criminal assault charges should immediately be filed against the attacking officer. Accessory charges also need to be pursued against every UC Davis police officer who stood there watching without lifting a finger to stop the unprovoked attack.
I understand that the DoJ doesn’t have jurisdiction over these criminal charges but the DoJ does have influence with state and local prosecutors and must make a public statement strongly advocating for jurisdictional prosecutors to pursue criminal charges against the UC Davis police.”
As appalling as the actual attack was, I can’t shake the anger and outrage I feel towards the other police officers who stood there, watched, and made no move or even said anything to the cop/perp to try and stop the attack. I find them as disturbing and hideous as the *%#hole spraying those kids. Going all the way back to the R. King Beating to the present day, I can’t recall a single piece of video showing excessive police brutality where a single by-standing cop ever tried to stop the attack.
There is no way to stop an individual cop from intitiating most instances of police abuse. An individual will make an instantaneous decision at the point where he begins an abusive action. There is, however, almost ALWAYS an opportunity for another cop on the scene to step in when one of his “brothers” crosses the line. They just always choose not too.
It is my opinion that the best way to reign in police abuse is to not only punish individual officers for their actions, but also punish cops who have the opportunity to stop the abuse but do nothing but watch and some times cheer. Just like Wall Street, when left to police themselves, law enforcement will choose not too. This makes them accountable to no one. That is a bad situation. Reminds me of the Brown Shirts in Nazi Germany.