Thursday, May 03, 2007

How Police Brutality should be Met

In Los Angeles, at an (illegal) immigration rally, Police were met with violence. Their response was to fire 240 rounds of rubber bullets, and to strike demonstrators and journalists who were obeying the orders to disperse. Sounds kind of like Amona, right?

Well, not quite. First of all, while the police in LA were certainly brutal, there were not 300 cases of head trauma that arrived at ER's throughout southern California. The scale of this offense was much smaller than anything witnessed at Amona, or the student protests in Israel of late.

However, the more important difference, and this one is the clincher, is the top brass response to the violence. Police Chief William J. Bratton said that the public has "an absolute and unqualified right to expect and demand an aggressive review" of what occured (link).

Police officials immediately denounced the thuggish tactics displayed by the officers. The public was told that with the amount of training the officers receive, this response was unacceptable. Three investigations are ongoing, and you can be sure that heads will roll.

There will always be brutal cops. Law enforcement tends to bring that out in a person. However, the sign of a compassionate, just government is immediate denunciation of this behavior, and a professional atmosphere where this activity will not be tolerated. Israel has a lot to learn from Los Angeles in regards to this issue.