[Content Note: Police militarization.]

Yesterday, after President Obama spoke about the situation in Ferguson, Jim Pasco, the executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police, criticized the President:
"I would contend that discussing police tactics from Martha's Vineyard is not helpful to ultimately calming the situation," director Jim Pasco said in an interview with The Hill.

"I think what he has to do as president and as a constitutional lawyer is remember that there is a process in the United States and the process is being followed, for good or for ill, by the police and by the county and by the city and by the prosecutors' office," Pasco added.

...Pasco said both police and members of the public are entitled to due process but said he is not convinced police have used excessive force in Ferguson.

"I'm not there, and neither is the president," Pasco said. "That is why we have due process in the United States. And this will all be sorted out over time. But right now, I haven't seen anything from afar — and maybe the president has — that would lead me to believe the police are doing anything except to restore order."

...The officer involved in the Ferguson shooting is a member of the Fraternal Order of Police and is being represented by one of its lawyers. His name has not been released to the public.
So, first of all: This was entirely wrong. However imperfect his statement may have been, the President "discussing police tactics from Martha's Vineyard" was helpful to "calming the situation." The President, and the Governor, and Senator McCaskill, and others stepping in clearly made all the difference. All of it.

Secondly: One of the major problems in the US right now is police who don't see militarization, threats, and physical intimidation as "excessive force." That is a display of excessive force, even before an officer puts hir hands on somebody. Or uses a weapon to harm them. And that the only way to "restore order" is to be increasingly aggressive.

To hear all of this coming from the top of the Fraternal Order of Police is not reassuring.

Especially because it's wrong. Demonstrably wrong. Dangerously wrong.

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus