Civilian incivility invites police brutality

Marvellous, is it not, just how the so-called silent majority becomes noisily vociferous when accusations of brutality are alleged against police?

Or, maybe, it is just the noisy minority raising their ugly heads when they spot an easy target? Maybe it is the simmering bullies who nurse grudges against the rest of the world who rise up in self-righteous moral indignation when one of the boys or girls in blue do something naughty?

The fact is that the pathetic whingers and whiners in our society who protest loudest against police brutality should put up or shut up. If they feel – sincerely – so protective of the wrong-doers who do from time to time cop some abuse, they should immerse themselves in the front line. Let them swap the protected sanctity of the sidelines to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the frighteningly thin front line of those who pledge to protect the greater good.

To be fair, though, I would never condemn our protectors to stand alongside – and pretend to trust implicitly – the cheap-shot artists who exhibit all the delusional effrontery of the inwardly cowardly bully. No, the police deserve better.

There is one key aspect to this never-ending debate: fault on both sides. There are – in every disciplined force or service – some who do the wrong thing. This is an inescapable fact of humanity. It just is, so build a bridge and get over it. Equally, the ranks of those who protest loudest against injustice seem so often to be those who are most readily involved in it.

Face it, folks: we live in a flawed world in which sweetness and light are frequently occluded.

Okay, so let’s establish a bottom line. If you pledge to serve and protect (or any facsimile thereof) you really ought not belt anyone who comes under your protective banner. It is, prima facie, an inexcusable wrongdoing.

But what of provocation?

It is worth a few moments of introspection to recall the media-reported pleadings of those accused of, say, speeding, drink-driving, driving without due care and attention, etc etc. It is exceptionally rare someone charged with an offence does not offer an excuse. To minimise their guilt, their natural inclination is to plead extenuating circumstances.

But are our disciplined officers afforded the same luxury? No, the moralists who abound from the safety of the sidelines seemingly permit no flexibility for those in positions of authority. To strive to serve society to the best of your ability is – apparently – to commit yourself, utterly, to a life of sanctimonious sainthood. Never, henceforth, shall you portray any aspect of your core humanity. You will resist every scintilla of temptation and provocation.

What a farce! If we start to treat those who serve and protect with dignity and decency instead of standoffishness and suspicion, we may just find they respond in kind. After all, they’re human, too.