As I sat down after work, I turned on the TV to the popular show Live PD. While I continued to watch, I counted off the violations of civil liberties and noticed the unjust reality of policing. The first thing I tuned into was a stop and search. The man’s crime? Not having lights on his bicycle. Biking in the dark without lights, while dangerous, is not against the law in his jurisdiction. In fact, after invading his privacy by patting him down, the officer let him go. Camera crews broadcasted this man’s face nationwide and violated his privacy. The man’s story remains unknown, but at least the nation got their thrill from seeing someone pulled over.
The phrase “Blue Flu” describes a unique phenomenon:?when mass numbers of police officers call out sick in a coordinated manner to protest a public policy. In states where police are legally prohibited from striking this has been a tool used by officers to leverage political power and enact change in government.
This is not a new tactic; in the past, it has been a means to promote the interests of police officers exclusively. In New York City, 1971, twenty-thousand police officers coordinated calling in sick to pressure public officials into giving officers higher pay and increased benefits – at the expense of the citizens’ bottom lines. The city acquiesced, and taxes went up. Police have used the Blue Flu in cities across America to fight for law enforcement causes. It’s time we have one in defense of citizens’ rights and for the protection of police officers who are asked every day to enforce laws that pit them against the citizens that they swore to protect and serve.
On Tuesday, April 30th, the courts finally convicted the Minneapolis police officer who killed Justine Ruszczyk. After a month-long trial, the shooter, a jury convicted “Mr. Noor” on charges of third-degree murder and manslaughter. These together carry a maximum sentence of around 35 years, but he will likely not receive it.
Whether you back the blue or think all cops smell like bacon, you probably agree that there is a time for violence and a time for non-violence. Across the developed world, there is a problem with police brutality. Officers are able to get away with horrendous crimes with termination, and sometimes rarely even that. The issue of police brutality transcends the borders of any one nation, and one of the causes may be a lack of sleep.
By Indri Schaelicke and Ryan Lau | United States
Videos and images circulating on Twitter Sunday night appear to show the French government snipers shooting protesters. There is currently confusion over whether the bullets fired are made of rubber or are real bullets. Regardless, many citizens are coming away with serious injuries.