This weekend, as I was travelling to march with Occupy Dallas, I was a bit behind the curve in seeing the outrageous actions of the police on the UC Davis campus, and further behind in posting a response. What grabbed me about the video were multiple items:
First, the smugness and arrogance of the officer in showing the pepper spray canister to his fellow officers before using it.
Second, that not one...NOT ONE of the protestors presented any kind of threat to the officers or to people around them. I have always been told that these kinds of weapons were used in response to FORCE, not to passive resistance.
Third, the complacency of the other officers. They stood by, they were as guilty as the officer who pulled the trigger.
Fourth, the AMAZING restraint of the protestors. They did nothing to encourage an escalation activity, then they peacefully but firmly moved the officers off campus.
Fifth and last, the arrogance of the chancellor. These people really DO believe they are another class of citizen!
But I was grateful for it for one thing. For many years, stories have been coming out of the ghettos about the abuses of police officers. And while the occasional "Rodney King" video surfaces, more often the officers are believed over the people. In fact, I have fallen victim to that thinking myself.
Te truth is, police in Oakland, at UC Davis, and in New York have showed their ugly side while the world truly is watching. In light of this, perhaps it is time we begin reviewing the complaints coming from the ghettos. Maybe a lot of the crime and atred emanates from the powerlessness felt by someone attacked by the system who has simply lacked the means to fight back.