One of the biggest churches in Alabama, the Briarwood Presbyterian of Birmingham, is introducing a state law that would allow its two campuses to have a dedicated police force of its choosing. This does not come as a surprise as Briarwood is considered to be one of the largest churches in the state of Alabama. Thousands of people come to their events and not many would argue that police would be benficial to have in events with such a large magnitude of people.
With that said, on the contrary, one could argue that police officers should be involved in more important matters as opposed to supervising a session at a church. The law states that they would be able to choose the number of police officers that they would want at their events and that could be an issue because it could take away from security and overall safety of the community.
What do you think? Do you think that police officers should be required to supervise a church? Or does that take away from the community?
In this article, a New Jersey police officer used his connections within the department to avoid jail time. The officer in question, Sgt. William Billingham, claimed to have fallen asleep at the wheel while on duty, resulting in a major collision with an SUV. The incident was handled internally at first, and the detective used his undercover pseudonym in the filings. Additionally, the officers at the scene never tested him for alcohol. A later investigation found that Officer Billingham was three times over the legal blood alcohol limit. Despite all of this, the officer struck a plea deal and was able to avoid jail time. He then proceeded to file for pension with the department and retired. He has not received the money yet, but he was never reprimanded internally for the incident and pending meetings can release some of his pension in the near future. I think that this misuse of the system is just another example of corruption within police departments that needs to be addressed.
The government of Kashmir, a state in Northern India is taking action to diminish how widespread certain posts on social media gets. “We are thinking of banning Facebook and WhatsApp. They are more dangerous than militants and unruly mobs on the streets,” declared a top police official in Kashmir, according to the Observer. While the internet in Kashmir has never been a stable service, with consistent blackouts, the state wants to change things for good after student protests in response to a police raid on a Kashmiri college gained popularity on various social networks. Live videos of the event went viral on Facebook and Instagram and displayed how poorly police officers were treating people at a peaceful protest.
If the state were to ban social media, it would be a huge blow to the citizens of Kashmir as their voices would be less likely to be heard. In the 21st century, without social media, sharing and displaying your opinion through applications like Twitter and Facebook are some of the most effective ways to gather an audience. Furthermore, the state wants to ban social media so people can no longer post examples of injustice such as photos of brutalities by its military forces.
The Mayor of Louisville recently described this occurrence as “our worst nightmare.” In Louisville Kentucky, two police officers were charged for their actions in the Louisville Metro Police Department’s Youth Explorer Program. After a six-month investigation, the Jefferson County grand jury charged Officer Brandon Wood on seven counts of sexual abuse, each punishable by up to five years in prison, and former Officer Kenneth Betts on two counts of sodomy, one of which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years.
This case is significant because it displays that police officers don’t only make mistakes in terms of brutality in the streets but they also partake in unjust matters in something as simple as an elementary school program, as well.
In the wake of many vehicle- based terrorist attacks around the globe, we are starting to see more people use their cars to create havoc. In this case, 48 year old Erik Pamais refused to pull over for speeding after being followed by officers and instead lead a chase to a shopping center. After being barricaded and essentially cornered by the police vehicles in the pursuit, Pamais proceeded to ram the police cars in an effort to escape. This all happened near a used clothing store for children that had customers inside. Eventually, Pamais broke free from the barricade and started to drive towards the used clothing store. For fear of the loss of lives, an officer chose to open fire and hit Pamais. Pamais was declared dead after being brought to the hospital, but this was an instance in which deadly force was permissible. Too often we see deadly force being used at a whim by police, but in this scenario, it was both effective and necessary.
In Georgia on Wednesday, two officers that had been with the Gwinnett County Police Force for years were removed from their positions. This is in the aftermath of reports that they forcefully assaulted a man at a traffic stop in which one of the officers called for backup. The report states that the officers pulled over Demetrious Bryan Hollins for a tail light issue and failure to signal to switch lanes several times. The officer report states that Hollins began to “act strange”, which required back- up. When this back- up arrived (according to the officer report), the officers used a stun-gun to apprehend the “resisting” culprit. However, video from people looking at the arrest shows one of the officers punching Hollins in the face when he had his hands up, and the other officer stomping on his head when he was lying on the ground with his hands behind his back. Prior to this case, one of the officers was considered “an excellent example of a team player with a strong work ethic” and received various awards and recognitions from the department. It goes to show that despite tenure and experience, the methods of policing are starting to change and if you’re not willing to adapt, you could very easily lose your job.
Two more airport police officers suspended over United Airlines dragging incident
If you have not heard about the United Airlines incident that happened this past Sunday, it is likely that you have been living under a rock for the last few days. This event has garnered an insane amount of press; being all over social media as well as television. Furthermore, the reputation of United Airlines has gone significantly with many vouching to never travel through United ever again.
To sum things up, the first class section of the airplane was overbooked and because of that, the airline was forced to kick somebody off of the plane. Instead of informing this individual before boarding, they informed the man that he would need to reschedule his flight while he was already on the plane sitting down. The 69-year-old man, David Dao had a meeting the following morning and was unable to take a later flight. He responded by saying something along the lines of: “The only way you’ll get me off this flight is if you drag me out of here” and the airport police officers did just that. They picked him up from his seat and dragged him off the flight as he was screaming in terror. This led to Dao seeking medical attention as he suffered a concussion, a broken nose, a damaged sinuses and two lost teeth. (A video of this altercation can be seen at the bottom of this page).
David Dao plans to file a lawsuit against United Airlines and some of the airport police officers involved. In terms of individual punishments for the officers, all of those involved have been placed on leave with many calling for the end of their career in the police field.
An Alabama committee recently passed a bill that would set up means of compensation to victims of police brutality for the people of Montgomery County, Alabama. Furthermore, the bill also establishes procedures on how to go about investigations that regard wrongdoings and misconducts by police officers. In fact, this bill was first introduced last year, just days after a white male police officer was charged for the murder of an African-American man. When the killing of 58-year-old Greg Gunn occurred, the city was filled with protests and intense media coverage.
This bill is incredibly significant due to the fact that it displays that Alabama and other states are finally coming to the realization that police brutality is a significant issue in America and that the creation of laws and bills on this subject is extremely necessary. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, a group that monitors policy, ten other states as well as the city of Baltimore have developed written protocols addressing police use of force incidents.
A recent Pepsi commercial with Kendall Jenner is recieving massive backlash for its wrongful stance on Police Brutality and racism. In the advertisment, despite being armed with only one can of Pepsi, Kendall succesfully breaks up an argument between the police and group of protestors simply through the process of handing over a a can of an ice cold drink to an officer.
The group of protestors are very diverse group each doing various odd acts. There are girls in hijabs, black guys with glasses making peace signs, and trendy-looking lesbians holding signs that say things like “Join the conversation!” Kendall leaves her modeling shoot, takes off her wig, and joins the crowd. After the riot police come to the scene, Kendall saves the day. Through her handing over the Pepsi, the cops are happy to leave the protestors alone and the crowd goes wild. Despite not doing too much, Kendall saved the day.
Update: As of 3 PM on April 5th, Pepsi has pulled the advertisement after the backlash it recieved on Twitter. Pepsi stated that the commercial “missed the mark.”
Here are some of the Tweets that may have prompted Pepsi’s decision: