Tag Archives: police

To serve and protect?

I remember when I was much younger and I used to watch some TV at night before going to sleep. My favorite movies or TV-shows were those involving American police officers. I liked pretty much everything about them. Their attire, their cars, their motorbikes, their way of talking, and the fact that they truly seemed devote to “Serve and Protect” their citizens. Was it just fiction? I don’t know, or I didn’t think so back then. What I know is that right now I have lost most of my appreciation for the men and women in blue (although generalizing is never a good thing, cause I am sure that many are the officers that are dedicated to their job with passion and sense of justice).

Below is a graph with the latest stats on the overall number of deaths caused by police officers in the US in the last three years. It is updated till the 27th of December.dbp_smaller

The data is from www.killedbypolice.net. On the website every record is associated with a link to the news regarding specific shootings. I honestly am not sure whether this source is accurate and/or unbiased. What I know is that it is one of the few available to the general public. Yep. It is pretty easy to find out about the general gun “mattanza” that every year happens on US soil (there even is a Wiki page about it, click here). Less easy is to find out how many of those deaths are caused by the law enforcement.

I was surprised and sorry to find out that the numbers are dramatically high. According to this source the deaths caused by the “blues” in 2015 is above 1000, which means that about 3 persons every day are gunned down by the police. This is quite disturbing. Especially because when the TV shows videos of what happened during some of those shootings it really seems that the police could and should have taken a different course of action. The funniest part (I know, there really isn’t any funny part!!) is that when you see one of the US law enforcement agents in person they really look like Robocops. They have a gun (of course), a baton, various pepper sprays and handcuffs, and lately I saw many of them with a taser. Also, although I am not quite sure about this, by the way they carry themselves I suppose that the majority of them has a bulletproof vest. My point is: with all the available arsenal, and presumably with a training that should teach how to deal with difficult situations, is shooting and killing the only alternative? I honestly don’t think so.

Making this kind of comments and considerations, especially for someone who has been raised elsewhere, sounds naïve. But I cannot help to notice, as a foreigner who deeply love the US, how this, together with the gun-control issue, is a plague to America and American people.