Article first published as How to Support Police Brutality Without Even Trying on Technorati.
Sometimes the strongest supporters of police corruption and brutality are the same people who decry them the loudest. Take, for example, the independent progressive political channel The Young Turks (TYT).
In this clip, TYT reports on a New Mexico state trooper caught on surveillance camera having sex on the hood of a car.
TYT is not shy about criticizing police officers. TYT’s founder, Cenk Uygur, has often claimed to support public safety personnel when they’re right and condemn them when they’re wrong. To quote one of Uygur’s own favorite jabs, “Are you not merciful?” He declares himself the most reasonable man in America, insight apparently not required for reasoning.
While Uygur doesn’t share the subversive, disingenuous propagandist mission of another “fair and balanced” media outlet, he ends up with an equally skewed end product. For one thing, he’s massively sexist.
In the linked clip, Uygur opines that the officer is off duty and having consensual “uniform fetish” sex. This interpretation is utterly bizarre to anyone who works in public safety. Ultimately Uygur asserts that it’s all in good fun and there’s the proverbial “nothing to see here.” Uygur made a lot of assumptions from one still photograph.
As a public safety veteran, I saw an entirely different scenario. There’s no doubt in my mind that the officer was on duty. Police may not be in uniform while off duty, period. There was one less officer responding to 911 calls while he was predisposed. In my world, response time is everything. Undue delay is a subset of failure to act. Duty to act is the prime directive.
My gut is that this officer does whatever he wants as a lifestyle, and that the public suffers for it.
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – A former Santa Fe police officer admitted Thursday to stalking and harassing three women while on duty, as well as stealing marijuana from a man he stopped for a traffic violation.
Former Sgt. Michael Eiskant, 41, also pleaded no contest to two charges of attempted false imprisonment related to a traffic stop he made in March 2011 in Albuquerque, which was a long way from his jurisdiction. Finally, Eiskant, who resigned from the Santa Fe Police Department in January, admitted to misusing a law enforcement database to gain information about two citizens.
Uygur either doesn’t know that police frequently shake down prostitutes and street people for sex, or doesn’t think that’s a problem. If everything Uygur doesn’t know about public safety were made into a book, it would be thick enough to stop a bullet.
Any public safety veteran can tell you that we don’t have the same rights civilians have. We’re presumed at fault until cleared. This is a safeguard against the brutality and corruption that Uygur rails against. His sexism and hubris, however, blind him to his support for same.
Failure to understand the law is not a defense. Especially not for a journalist, whose job it is to find out.