Friday, December 5, 2014

Why EVERYONE Should Care About Our Justice System's Failure to Prosecute Law Enforcement for the Deaths of Citizens

My Two Cents........

We are living in very interesting times.

A police officer can murder a man using a maneuver that is not only violent and inhumane, but banned by the very organization which employs the officer. This can all be captured on video but not deemed a crime.

Police officers can murder children for no reason except that they felt scared. That is not considered a crime. There is a serious problem here and it should pique everyone's interest, regardless of race. Officer Daniel Pantaleo was an eight year veteran of the New York City Police Department. Within those eight years he has cost the taxpayers of New York City a great deal of shame and $30,000 in lawsuit settlement costs.

In 2013 Darren Rice and Tommy Rice filed a federal lawsuit alleging that their civil rights were violated when Officer Daniel Pantaleo and four other officers (including a sergeant) wrongfully subjected them to a public strip search. This search included the removal of their pants and underwear in broad day light. Of course the officers claimed they never strip searched the men, making this a civilian's word versus an officer's word situation. However, when it came to giving just cause for stopping the men in the first place, conflicting stories were given by all of the officers involved. This led to the City of New York settling for a monetary amount with the men and closing the case.

Additionally, Pantaleo belongs to the 120th precinct in Staten Island,. This precinct has 23 complaints over the last five years (the second highest in the entire NYPD) which have been substantiated by the Civilian Complaint Review Board. Why is this not alarming to everyone?

To really understand why everyone regardless of race should care about this, let's put this situation into civilian context.....

If I were a cashier at Walmart I would be given certain job responsibilities and held accountable for my performance and actions while at work. If customers complained that I was rude or violated their rights, Walmart would be well within their rights to take disciplinary actions that could result in my termination.  Imagine if not only was I rude to customers, but I did something to a customers that caused Walmart and its shareholders to pay said customer $30,000. I would be out of a job. Bottom line.

Why don't these same principles apply to law enforcement?

Officer Daniel Pantaleo and his colleagues cost the Shareholders/Citizens of New York City $30,000 for their behavior.

Imagine if Walmart conducted evaluations on all their locations and learned that my store had the highest number of complaints of any store in the country -- what do you think would happen? Heads would roll and measures would be put into place to ensure that bad employees were rooted out and that the location corrected its performance.

Hell! In television ratings equal validation. No ratings means the show has not been validated by its audience and that show is cancelled.

Precinct 120 is still standing. Most officers who receive complaints from citizens never truly face consequences for their actions. We the shareholders of this city and all the cities across our nation, should be outraged. Officer Daniel Pantaleo should have been removed from the force immediately. If this would have happened, Eric Garner would be alive today and preparing to spend the holidays with his family.

Tim Lehmann the officer in Cleveland, Ohio responsible for the death of 12-year old Tamir Rice, resigned from his previous job as a police officer after his superiors determined he had emotional maturity issues, an inability to manage stress and “dismal” performance in firearms training, according to a 2012 personnel file made public Wednesday. (

Not only was this officer allowed to resign instead of being fired after it was determined he was unfit, he was then able to go to another police department and be employed to do the same work he was unfit to carry out in the first place. How is this possible?? Everyone should be outraged by this story regardless of race. Simple due diligence along with a united community holding law enforcement accountable for their actions, would have prevented this. Young Tamir Rice would be home with his family.

I don’t want to see any more innocent children or black men killed by police officers for no reason. So what will it take for the entire country to feel the same way that I do, regardless of race? I'm not sure but something has to change. This is a national tragedy and everyone should care. 

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