Saturday, January 08, 2011

Protect and Serve in Fabulous Chiffon

The recent investigation in Kelowna B.C involving a police brutality charge has me thinking about plain-clothes officers. The video of the arrest, which shows the officer booting the arrested man while he is down on the ground. By the end his face is bloodied and quite messed up, while there is a pool of blood on the ground. At no point can you see the man resisting arrest or being difficult, although there is no audio relevant to the arrest.

This whole issue makes me wonder if there should be regulations for officers in plainclothes. The officer is in very scruffy jeans and a black zip-up for the arrest, but he is still carrying a handgun. The point is that being in a uniform not only commands respect, (I have seen firsthand the authority even a typical rent-a-cop uniform can provide by virtue of occasionally wearing one, and people automatically defer to my direction. It is astounding.) but also causes better behavior as a result of the sensation of wearing one - being connected to something  greater than one's self, such as a police force, is a powerful enticement to act better; it is possible that in forgoing the uniform, officers forgo a built-in security measure for both their own and others' protection.


Andreanna said...

Is he a cop, is he a robber? Did he get his badge at the dollar fifty store? Who is to know?

You hear stories of fake cops doing all kinds of terrible things. If I see a guy with jeans and a gun, I'm hitting the gas pedal and booking it to the nearest station.

Miss Ernst said...

I hear we have the right to either travel to a police station followed by the undercover officer, or the right to demand a uniformed officer, I am not sure which one, but I totally agree with your plan!
I will do whatever the nice officer asks, but let us be honest, at the end of the day, I have to live with myself.