You can’t make this stuff up:
"I tried to do CPR on him, and I couldn’t bring him back. One of the police officers came up behind me, grabbed my arm, and said that I needed to sit down. Why he had an attitude, I don’t know. I jerked my arm away from him and said "don’t touch me." That’s all I said to the man. And he tackled me."
Four officers then jumped in, two holding him down, two punching him in the face. Officers then arrested him, threw him in jail, and charged him with “felony obstruction.”
What happened here is a classic case of “contempt of cop.” Assuming the gentleman’s story is true, it’s hard to argue that he broke any laws. But because he didn’t do what the officer told him to do, he got a gang beating by the town’s finest. And of course, the classic follow-up felony charge.
Situations like this happen because police are not adequately trained to handle situations where emotions are running high. Ask any parent what the worst thing that could possibly happen to them is, and they will probably tell you that outliving their son or daughter is high on the list. The guy just watched his kid die in front of him, and he’s probably not interested in dealing with attitude from the same people that are supposed to be helping him.
This is why you shouldn’t call the cops unless you’re prepared to accept the risk of escalated violence. “Ensuring the welfare of the public” is low in the pecking order on a police officer’s priority list. Police care, first and foremost about making it home safely at the end of the night. And if that means cracking a few skulls to make sure people stay compliant, so be it. A former cop explains:
[Years ago], an author named Charles Remsberg and photographer/producer Dennis Anderson, published a book called Street Survival: Tactics for Armed Encounters. This book and the two that followed† produced a series of seminars teaching officer safety to police across the nation. One of the things to remember about Remsberg is that he founded Calibre Press, which published his books on street tactics. A second thing to remember is that Remsberg was not a cop.‡ He was a journalist, with both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from Northwestern. Almost every officer has read or been trained based on the trilogy. I own all three and believed every word of the books for years.
The attitude was that so long as the officers went home OK, it didn’t matter that civilians were hurt or killed. A typical response to criticism on this point was that “The most important thing, Calibre’s founders argued, wasn’t that 28 suspects who’d displayed life-threatening behavior had been shot, but that none of the officers had lost their lives.” Scott Baltic, Be Careful Out There, Chicago Reader (Nov. 21, 1991).
Unfortunately, that attitude is now commonplace among police.
Police also care a great deal about maintaining their aura of authority. Any perceived challenge to an officer’s authority is viewed as a threat to officer safety. Protecting your welfare comes after ensuring officer safety. So if police feel that their safety or authority have been compromised, your welfare no longer matters.
The present case is a case in point. The gentleman challenged the police officer’s aura of authority. By jerking his arm and telling the officer not to touch him, he issued a direct challenge to the officer’s authority. The response from police? Immediate and overwhelming force, followed by a felony obstruction charge. Anything that even conceivably resembles resistance—even if you weren’t trying to cause a problem—is an infringement on the police officer’s aura of authority, and therefore, will be immediately dealt with, forcefully, and violently.
So if you or a loved one is in a dangerous situation, don’t call the police unless other alternatives have been exhausted. And if you do, be prepared to submit to any order they give you, no matter how unreasonable. Otherwise, you may end up like the gentleman above: beat up and charged with a felony for having the audacity to be inconsolable after watching your child die in front of you.