Reports on the arrest of UVA Honor student Martese Johnson made their rounds in the media last week. The public and UVA campus were outraged over the excessive use of force. And despite initial reports claiming the altercation was caused because Martese had been intoxicated, belligerent, and using a fake I.D. – the majority of people were disgusted by the officer’s response to a non-violent offense.
Photos of Martese’s bloodied face surfaced.- It was clear to any reasonable person the attack had been inexcusable. He was an unarmed man, outnumbered by police 3 to 1 – who had been viciously attacked for doing something hoards of college aged kids have done at some point within their college career. There was no excuse for why it had escalated to that level. The incident showed us that if a violent police assault could happen to an upstanding campus leader and honor student, it could happen to any of us. Police brutality could be directed toward regular people, regular college students, and other complete non-criminals.
But this story turned out to be even worse than we thought.
As more information surfaces, it appears Martese had neither been intoxicated or using a fake I.D. Meaning he had been brutalized and arrested for doing nothing more than standing on a public sidewalk, talking to a doorman regarding his entry. A conversation the doorman later described as “polite and courteous”.
After Martese showed his I.D. to the doorman, a respectful conversation ensued as to why the establishment could not let him in. Martese had given the wrong zip code when asked. He had given the doorman his current zip-code instead of the one listed on his license. And as part of the establishment’s policy,guests were required to verify their license zip-code as an extra means of properly ensuring identification prior to being granted entry.
Everything had gone just as “the law” would have intended right?… An absolute “non-event” had just occurred. – A patron was unable to provide the proper identification required for entry, and as a result he was denied entry.
Just to put this into perspective, it would be no different than someone buying a pack of cigarettes – only to get to the counter and realize they do not have their I.D. on them, and as a result they are denied the sale. – This would be an example of a non event, the law working just as the state intended.
Think of how completely insane it would be for officers to beat you down and arrest you because you were unsuccessful in buying a pack of cigarettes.
But the law working as intended wasn’t good enough for the officers who assaulted Martese.. In line with the same heartbreaking and disturbing trend we have seen over and over, the officers involved simply would not be satisfied until they had successfully escalated a perfectly peaceful situation into a violent one.
We have to wake up and open our eyes. This can not continue. If it seems like all you hear about is “racial profiling”, “police brutality” and judicial corruption against the least powerful, let me submit the folllowing clip to show you just how out of touch a huge percentage of Americans still are regarding these issues and their magnitude. I guarantee you, however sick of hearing about it you are. It isn’t enough. It is not possible to stress equality under law, justice, and peace enough. For one minute put yourself in another’s shoes.
Police officers have become far removed from the law respecting people-protecting days of Andy Griffith. Officers now seem to more closely resemble lawless savages committing systematic violence against citizens. No respect for life. No respect for dignity. No respect for law. If a cop asks to search your car, and you tell him he better get a warrant. He is more likely to unlawfully search you than respect your human rights.
Police have brutalized the mentally unstable and homeless, have murdered teenage girls half their weight. Yet when it comes to instances such as the suspect captured in Houston who had just massacred an entire family at gunpoint. The police had all the patience and restraint in the world. They manage to execute a 3 hour stand off that resulted in the suspect being taken into custody without so much as a scratch on him.
See, serial killers, and violent gangsters are actual threats, so police use caution with them so as to not endanger themselves. The disturbing trend of police brutality far too often involves officers executing and abusing their power on those with little to no means of retaliation.
Officers need to take individual responsibility for their actions, and they need to be people who are compassionate. The entire system is broken and this HAS to change. It is killing us as a society and destroying respect for law, order, and human dignity.
Police should be voted into office. and reelected by their districts each year. that way we have ample opportunity to kick these scumbags out when they commit violent rampages against the people they are supposed to protect. Officers would then have an incentive to be a “good cop”
WE need to bond together. There is no reason for us to allow such violence to be inflicted against our fellow man. We have to stick up for one another. Today it was Martese but tomorrow it could be any of us. Don’t wait until you are beaten to a bloody pulp on a sidewalk to care about this. The system has got to change, Film everything, and hold these officers accountable, especially if this happens in your local community where you have the power to make significant change. We need a complete transformation of our police system. The way officers are trained, how they are hired, how they stay in their positions should revolve only around the extent to which they protect us and our human rights.