Thursday, September 07, 2006

We had a bit of an interesting incident in the parking lot at work today. Evidently some undercover cops were following a known criminal who was suspected of driving around town with a loaded gun. They apprehended him, with guns drawn, directly outside of my office. We peeked out the door to find (literally) eight undercover police vehicles, a very surly man in handcuffs, and lots of curious bystanders.

The gentleman in handcuffs was very belligerent and was yelling at the police until one cop came along and promptly stuffed the man’s face into the ground. I’ll admit to being a bit sheltered; I’ve never seen anything like this before in my life. It made me reflect a bit on police officers being accused of brutality. (This was no gentle tap; it was a slam-your-face-into-the-ground shove) The police were following this guy, knowing that he had a gun and that he was going to feel very strongly about going back to jail. The threat of violence and harm is definitely an adrenaline rush and I can understand how this can completely take over a person’s emotions and actions. But I wonder sometimes about the people that are drawn to the police force. Do people join the police force because they want to help and protect their fellow citizens? Do they care that much about people that they are willing to put their lives in danger every day? What about the fact police officers are more likely to abuse their spouses than your average American?

I don’t have an opinion either way; I will say that I know two people in the police force and both of them are genuinely very good, caring people who joined to protect the public. A very admirable action. And I was very thankful that today we had the police in our driveway instead of just a crazy felon with a loaded gun.