Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Thoughts On The Death Of Rodney King

I’m sorry for the death of Rodney King. Mr. King drowned yesterday in Southern California.

Mr. King was a fellow human being who was responsible for his many mistakes, and who also very much part of a world that he never made. I’m sorry Mr. King was never able to find a right path in life.

I’m sorry for the police who were so removed from their humanity for some amount of time that they beat Mr. King so severely.

I’m sorry for the many police officers who know a right path, but who sometimes end up engaging in actions that are wrong and who end up defending many of the persons and institutions in our society who profit when we are unable to get along.

I’m sorry that some folks in Los Angeles used the excuse of the not guilty verdict in the trial of the Los Angeles police officers accused of beating Mr. King to attack their own communities and to attack the innocent truck driver Reginald Denny.

I’m sorry for all the self-destructive behavior we see in America.

I’m sorry for the people who leave comments about Mr. King’s death such as the one you see below from the Facebook page of Houston hate speech radio station KTRH 740

“Looks like His baby days are over, the welfare state will have to pay all his babies mothers, to bad it was not a family event. Hes all wet”

I’m sorry that we are never able to come to full terms with the most brutal aspects of our national history.

I’m sorry–and hopeful–for all of us because  for both good and ill Mr. King, the police who beat him, the rioters in Los Angeles, Reginald Denny, and the people who say they are glad Mr. King is dead are  quintessentially American.

I’m hopeful because sometimes progress is made, and because so many of us realize there is better path than the way we so often treat each other in this nation.

Here is an obituary of Mr. King from the Los Angeles Times.

June 18, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 4 Comments

Police Officers—Always Respect, Call When Needed & Avoid Otherwise

Footage from a news helicopter shows Philadelphia Police officers beating three suspects on North 2nd Street near Lippincott in Hunting Park late Monday night.

In Philadelphia, a number of police officers recently beat three drug suspects in an excessive manner.

Here is a story about the beating. Above is a picture.

Being a police officer is a hard job.

Yet uniformed officers must have discipline.

My feeling about police officers is that you always respect them, you call them when needed, and you avoid them otherwise.

Police officers can be very helpful. If they help you they deserve your thanks. 

We should never forget that police are human just like anybody else. 

At the same time, police officers can get away with a lot.

They can mess you up if they choose.

When confronted with the facts about bad deeds that they or other officers may have committed, they do not always tell the truth.

Police officers should be well paid and receive good benefits.

They should also be under strong civilian control and always be respectful of that civilian authority.

People with weapons and the authority of the state behind them need strong personal discipline.

The Philadelphia police officers in this case seem to have failed the public, the profession and themselves. 

May 8, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 4 Comments

If Houston Can Find $24 Million For More Police, Maybe We Can Also Find Money For More Library Books

 

The City of Houston has somehow found $24 million dollars for more police and for more overtime for police.

If I suggested Houston find some extra money to give people health insurance or buy some more books for the library, I’d be told we don’t have the money.

I’d have somebody like the depressing, imagination-stifling Annise Parker, our City Controller, tell me to be “realistic.” She’d tell me we have to focus on what we can get done. That we must be “pragmatic.” 

But we sure did find money for more police.

Maybe we need more police. Fine.

We need a lot of things in Houston.

Now let’s find money for health insurance for Houston residents, more books in the library, more and better parks and better wages for city employees.    

Government and politics are at core about imagination. Let’s imagine something more than just a wild west city full of cops.      

The above picture is of a police car of the Devon and Cornwall Police in England. It looks like a fuel-efficient Ford Focus. Maybe HPD could ditch the use of SUV’s and use these little cars instead. That would save some money.

October 5, 2007 Posted by | Houston, Politics | , , , , | 2 Comments