On Police Power — Bringing Peace or Fear

Peace or Fear

(I’m posting this on the day when a police officer was NOT indicted for choking Eric Garner to death without any overt provocation. Here’s the news story, and the actual video and audio tape)

A few years ago, I did a ride along with the sheriffs department in Thurston County. The officer I was assigned was thoughtful, judicious, and extremely diplomatic. He defused about three situations we saw that day.

Finally, we pulled up at a domestic violence situation at exactly the same time as another officer.

My man turned to me and said “Well, I know this guy, and you’re about to see two different styles of policework here today. ”

He was right. My guy walked in to bring the peace. The other guy walked in with the intent to beat somebody up, shoot somebody, or arrest both of them. We narrowly avoided a shooting, but one of them walked out in handcuffs.

Later, my guy said none of this escalation was necessary. This is exactly what happened in this poor man’s death.

Please, in the future, we need more diplomacy and peace bringing from officers. Less assertion of privilege, power, and honor.



What will your LAST WORDS be?

I can understand how some of my (more conservative) relatives thought there were two sides to the story with Mike Brown, and with other recent deaths. I disagree, but I understand their perspective. But this one… yeah…. there’s no arguing there’s something wrong with murdering a non-violent, unarmed father of six for doing nothing but standing on the sidewalk talking, and then not prosecuting anyone for that homicide.

Yeah, there’s some thing very wrong with America.


  1. carolina sun-widow
    Dec 17, 2014

    Appreciate your thoughts, Ned. I think we may have reached a tipping point with excessive or misuse of force by police. I asked a veteran crime reporter at the PI about his thoughts on Seattle PD’s same problems. He added that the folks policing Rainier or White Center, for example, are not from those communities, do not live there, and are disconnected.

  2. Carolyn
    Feb 17, 2016

    I’ll keep this article in mind when I do my own Police Ride Along in a few weeks.

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