Who’s watching those who protect us

Eli Johnson

Every so often you hear of an event that actually should disturb people a great deal more than it does.  The sad fact here is that these events are becoming kind of common, and there is a greater question that society as a whole needs to be asked, but isn’t.

Two cases will be presented here, and people can make their own judgments about this key question – who is watching those who we have protecting us?  Many don’t ask themselves that question, and perhaps they should.

On May 30, there was a shooting in Miami Beach.  This isn’t exactly an uncommon phenomenon.  However, this shooting was kind of different.  It was captured on film by Narces Benoit.  He captured it on his cell phone.

On his phone he captured at least nine police officers shooting at a man in his parked car.  The evidence points to the man they were shooting at, Raymond Herisse, did not shoot back.  One witness reports that the cops fired until their guns were empty.

With nine cops shooting a standard police issue Glock 22 that has a 15 round magazine, that is roughly 135 bullets that they put into this man’s car, and also into four bystanders.  But it didn’t end there.

The police noticed Benoit filming, along with a news photographer and several bystanders.  They rushed over and took Benoit’s phone, then smashed it, along with the photographer’s camera and the phones of the other bystanders.  They handcuffed Benoit and his girlfriend, Ericka Davis and took them to the station.

At the station, they interrogated him for the video.  He had the SIM card hidden in his mouth, claiming that the video had been destroyed with his phone.  Benoit was a brave man, for exposing some unbelievable police brutality.

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The man being shot at, Herisse, had run over a cop earlier that day, but instead of taking him to jail, these cops kill him in cold blood.  Since the evidence points to Herisse not shooting back, that is the only thing it could have been.

“This isn’t a question of police trying to secure evidence. It’s a question of police trying to destroy evidence of what they had done…” said John DeLeon of the ACLU.  Police brutality and abuse of power is very common in Miami.

What makes this story interesting is that the Chief, Carlos Noreiga, claimed to have heard nothing about police brutality until Benoit gave the film to the media.  If that’s true, then who is watching out for the people?

Over in Afghanistan, a military unit, Bravo Company, had some guys who had a thought – what would it be like to kill some Afghani civilians?  They deemed them “savages,” and apparently were very keen to the idea.

And that is exactly what they did.  Four Afghani civilians were brutally murdered and mutilated by members of Bravo Company.  Had it not been for them getting busted, there would have been more killings.

What brought what Rolling Stone magazine named “The Kill Team” down was the same thing that brought down the cops in Miami Beach – trying to shut people up.  One of the men in the unit, Pfc. Justin Stoner, had had enough.  When Staff Sgt. Calvin Gibbs heard about that, he knew this couldn’t stand.

“We need to address the situation with Stoner.  Snitches get stitches,” he reportedly said to a gathering of those who had been involved.  With that in mind, Gibbs and six other men descended on Stoner’s room and beat him brutally.

They later came back and told him that if he didn’t keep his mouth shut, there would be severe consequences.  They subsequently threw down two severed fingers on the floor, emphasizing that that would be his fate, or worse.

Everything came apart after that.  Photographs from their exploits reached a German newspaper, and then alerted the entire world to what the Kill Team had done.  It was a good thing that they did.  The world needed to know that this was going.  It doesn’t matter that it made America look bad, because what was being done cannot be explained away.

The only reason that the video of the shooting of Herisse survived was because Benoit had the SIM card in his mouth when the cops handcuffed him and interrogated him and his girlfriend.  That man has more guts than most any of us could ever claim to have.

And the only reason the Kill Team was busted was because an army doctor was treating Stoner for the beating and could tell something was up.  She appealed to his decency and got him to talk to army investigators.

A rather compelling YouTuber by the name of Terroja Kincaid had an idea for people we have who are supposed to be looking after us in his video Death Penalty for Abusive Cops?

“I think we should pass a law that if you wanna become a cop, you sign your life away.  You sign an agreement that stipulates that if you abuse your power in these ways, to this extreme degree, you forfeit your life.”

This idea also goes with the soldiers as well. That brings this to the most important question – who is watching those who we charge to protect human life, both here in America and abroad?

Police brutality is way too common in this country.  WikiLeaks has brought to light how rampant military power abuse is.  So the question is – if there isn’t somebody watching them, are we safe?

Deck: Instances of abuse of power spark the question, are Americans safe?

Jump: Abuse

Tease: cops, soldiers, abusive of power

Pull Quote:

They later came back and told him that if he didn’t keep his mouth shut, there would be severe consequences.

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