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“We’re red now,” cop says turn off the police camera

We want to respect our police. Most cops are decent and hard working professionals who protect our communities, and do a job that’s often stressful and sometimes dangerous. But rogue cops abound now, and that’s causing a policing crisis in America. When ordinary law-abiding citizens fear the police more than criminals, you’ve got a serious problem.

Why is this happening? The simple answer is, rogue cops are getting away with abuse and murder, because the accountability system has broken down. Bad cops are protected by strong unions, laws giving them legal immunity, grand juries that don’t indict, prosecutors who refuse to charge them (or throw the case), and insurance companies and taxpayers who foot the legal bills and pay the settlements for their bad behavior. Absolutely nothing happens to bad cops, they keep their jobs and pensions, don’t spend a day in jail, don’t pay a cent in legal expenses or judgments, and that’s why we have a policing crisis in America.

Last summer in St. Louis, four months before Michael Brown was gunned down by a cop who stopped him for jaywalking in a street where there was no traffic, another black youth was manhandled by St. Louis-area cops. His name is Cortez Buford and he was 18 years old at the time. In most respects this was a typical case of police racially profiling a minority youth, pulling him over for a minor traffic offense, beating the shit out of him, then filing a bunch of preposterous criminal charges against him which later were dropped.

What makes this case noteworthy is that a cop ordered another police officer to turn off his squad car dash camera because the cops were going to work over this kid. In the video here, you see her approach the squad car, tell him to turn off the camera, and explain, “We’re red right now,” which means the cops don’t want any video evidence of what they’re about to do to the black kid. Needless to say, the city administration and police department tried to suppress this video; it took months for news media to obtain it through freedom-of-information laws, which is why we’re hearing about it only now.

Needless to say, this kind of police behavior completely destroys whatever legitimacy police still enjoy in this country, and severely undermines public faith and trust in the police. The police long ago began viewing the citizens they’re supposed to serve and protect as “the enemy,” and it was inevitable that the public would begin to view the police as an enemy to be feared and distrusted. Especially if you’re part of a minority community whose members are being harassed, abused, and murdered by rogue cops because if their skin color.

Source:  Daily Kos

Photo: A screen grab from the police video of Cortez Buford’s arrest before the camera was turned off shows a half dozen cops standing over him after he was dragged from his car, just before they begin beating him up.

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