I wish I could say we wrote this comic about Ferguson, Missouri and the tragic police shooting of unarmed black teenager Mike Brown, but sadly the issues of an overly militarized police force and their growing animosity towards the populations they are supposed to serve and protect have been going on for quite some time, and show no signs of abating. Hundreds of Americans are killed by the police every year, of all races, but disproportionately black and other people of colors, and the police always seem to get away with it, with little more than a slap on the wrist, if they are punished at all. This issue hasn’t gone away, but in Ferguson we’re seeing maybe a tipping point, where American citizens are showing that they’ve had it up to hear with a brutal, hostile and thuggish police force that shows no compunctions about breaking the law, lying, threatening or attacking their own citizens.
What makes this even more disturbing (as if it wasn’t disturbing enough), is the police’s flagrant attacks on journalists and the 1st amendment. While the unconstitutional practice of “free speech” zones has long plagued this country, the police have happily adopted this totalitarian practice and gone further, assaulting journalists themselves in attempts to keep their thuggish behavior of camera. Some officers have even gone so far as to call cameras weapons. Ridiculous. What this shows is that the police are scared as hell about having their thuggish activities recorded in any way. An obvious solution would be to require all police to have cameras attached to their uniforms recording at all times. Rialto, California outfitted it’s officers with cameras in 2012 and has seen public complaints against officers plunge 88% compared with the previous 12 months as well as officers’ use of force fell by 60%. This saves the public money in inevitable lawsuits that the city has to pay whenever police unjustifiably apply excessive force and will go a long way in rebuilding the police’s tarnished reputation.
Of course, police are against this, because as it stands, too many people are willing to take their side automatically without overwhelming evidence proving their fault. Why give up a good thing, right? Courts end up taking the police man’s testimony as if it’s the word of god, and corrupt cops literally get away with murder. Oh well, maybe we can force them to record themselves anyways.
There’s also the disturbing issue of the militarization of the police by giving them tanks, assault rifles and other military surplus, but I think Audrey covered all that pretty well already in the comic. And hopefully this is an issue Obama will actually address.
This comic was written by Audrey and illustrated by her, Mikey, Bochay, Me and Antonio.
p.s. oh yeah, and if anyone takes exception to my describing the police as a gang of law breaking thugs… tell them to stop acting like a gang, breaking the law and acting thuggish and we won’t have any problems.