Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Police Officers Increasingly Becoming Targets

'Two officers and a gunman killed in St. Petersburg shootout'

Around the nation, there have been increasing incidents of violence against the police. In particular, Florida seems to have been a noteworthy location of these police deaths in the last month due to police murders in Miami, Tampa, and St. Petersburg. As these police killings make the national news, I cannot help but wonder what leads individuals to target the protectors of society for their inability to abide by the established laws. More troubling is that these acts of violence seem to occur when police officers are trying to enforce minor violations such as speeding or serving a warrant. The outrage and media coverage in the Tampa Bay area due to the murders has been overwhelming, as police fear that the streets they reside in are becoming unsafe and almost lawless.

After attending a recent trial for a friend who had an altercation with a police officer, I could feel the tension in the courtroom due to other recent crimes against police officers. It would be easy to accuse video games such as Grand Theft Auto for the violent sprees that many of these career criminals go on before taking their own lives. But maybe their actions may better be explained with the choices in front of them, return to prison or go out guns blazing in a Wild West sort of way. Naturally, I do not condone action against the law enforcement and have been forced to take a new appreciation for the job they do everyday to prevent anarchy and the chaos that is present in a Blood Meridian society.


  1. Anyone from the Tri-State area certainly knows about the sad death of Russel Timoshenko ( This 23-year old cop was making a routine traffic stop in Brooklyn, when 3 felons (who were driving the stolen 2003 BMW Timoshenko attempted to pull-over) decided rather than go to jail they would kill Officer Timoshenko and become fugitives. Timoshenko was shot in the face and throat and was pronounced dead 5 days later. His partner was saved by a bulletproof vest. Anyways, I just wanted to display how common these terrible shootings are. When a cop goes to pull over a stolen car the drivers of the car almost always have long rap sheets, and this next offense could be the one to put them behind bars for a long time. Rather than go to jail they freak out and make a hasty and brutal decision, to shoot at the men who are meant to protect them. Death of police officers on the job is always a terrible thing, but it becomes even more horrific when an officer is killed for no reason whatsoever other than the fact that he/or she was doing his/or her job. This only further proves how dangerous it truly is to be a Police Officer in America.

  2. Police officers are seen by most as righteous enforces of the laws and regulations of our society. In order to be successfully tried, convicted, and punished, alleged perpetrators of crimes must be detained by an agent of the state by any means necessary. Unfortunately for the police officer, imprisonment is contrary to the wills and desires of most sentient creatures. And perhaps even more unfortunately for the police officers, who are usually acting for the greater good, many detained by an officer are willing to use violence to escape from the grasp of the state. Therefore, the state has bestowed upon the officer the ability to use violence if necessary to act out the will of the state. This power to use violence is by no means hidden, just look at how prominently the pistol is displayed in the uniform of a police officer.

    In another unfortunate state of things, many police officers use this power for more nefarious purposes than for the benefit of society. Indeed, acts of police brutality must be about as common as acts of brutality against police in the media. The media has all too many examples of police using excessive force to restrain someone who clearly displayed no threat to the well being of the officer (see this clip of an elderly woman being slammed to the ground by an officer of the law

    Police officers who abuse their power are definitely not representative of all officers, just as most routine traffic stops don't result in violence. However, a criminal faced with a loss of freedom under threat of violence might see violence as an appropriate means to preserve that freedom. Being encountered by a police officer is certainly a threatening experience - even if you are innocent of any crime, if you are accused of one the police still have the ability to use violent force to detain you if deemed necessary. And in many cases this perception of innocence may be a deluded one, for in the Shawshank everyone is innocent.


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