Stop the Killing on Both Sides of the “Thin Blue Line”

On the seventh anniversary of my son, Erik’s, death at the hands of a police officer, America is in serious danger of exploding into chaos.

The horrific, wanton murder of Miosotis Familia, a 12-year New York City police officer, on July 5th triggered a profound sense of deja vu. Four years ago, I predicted senseless cop-hunting would occur, if badged officers continued to shoot and kill “civilians.” From Chapter 10 of my novel, “The Permit”:

“…A spark like young Steeles murder-by-cop, at precisely the right time and place, will blow Vegas to smither-frickin-reens. ….[H]eres the issue that makes this a national security concern… If all these factors come together under the right circumstance—something as abominable as Steeles execution—all hell will break loose, and uncontrollable violence will spread across the country.  …Wed have a full-blown revolution on our hands. Whole cities would be torched, and wed incur thousands of casualties. The stock market would crater, people would be afraid to go to work…. Hell, son, America as we know it would cease…to…be!”

 

Erik Scott, 38, six weeks before being shot to death.
Photo by Debbie Lavelock

We’re not there yet, but America moves another step closer to chaos every time a police officer shoots and kills, or another cop-hating nut case murders a good officer. It sounds cold and impolitic, but the wild beasts born of cops killing thousands of citizens, then claiming “I feared for my life” to ensure no officer is ever held accountable, are on the loose.

I do not condone the targeting and killing of police officers! But I sure understand why it’s happening. As rational Americans join the New York Police Department in mourning yet another officer gunned down for merely wearing a badge and uniform, we dare not lose sight of an equally disturbing fact: cops are killing an average of 3.3 people per day, every day of the year—and getting away with it 99 percent of the time.

Since May 1, 2013, police officers have killed at least 4,895 people. As of July 6th, they’ve killed 627 so far in 2017—and the total climbs every year (killedbypolice.net). Think about that: Those sworn to protect and serve Americans­—the citizens who pay cops’ salaries and benefits—have killed about 1,500 more of us in four years than al Qaeda terrorists murdered on 9/11.

The majority of police officers truly are good people, professionals dedicated to protecting and serving, and they’re rightly hailed as heroes. But honorable lawmen are being targeted and killed, because most of those good officers routinely look the other way, willfully tolerating ruthless killer-cops in their midst. All in the name of a mindless, Mafia-like code of Blue Silence and union-fueled solidarity that infects every law enforcement agency in the United States.

The blood of Miosotis Familia, five police officers killed and seven wounded last year in Dallas, as well as that of many more who died over the past decade, is on the hands and souls of heartless killer-cops like William Mosher—who panicked and murdered my son for having a cell phone in-hand—and dozens of other Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department thugs, such as Bryan Yant, Jesus Arevalo, Derek Colling, etc. These and the recently exonerated cops who killed Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Philando Castille in Minnesota bear some responsibility for the tragic deaths of Officer Familia and those five officers in Dallas. Whether cops, politicians and media pundits admit it or not, hundreds of officer-involved shootings, fatal Taser attacks and deaths-by-chokehold triggered deranged killing sprees in New York City, Dallas and other cities.

Until cops stop killing “civilians,”

every uniformed police officer in America

is in danger of being targeted.

It’s time to stop tiresome hand-wringing, somber kumbaya calls for “remaining calm” and “standing together,” and politicians mouthing empty promises to do something, even if it’s ridiculously ineffective or outright unconstitutional. It’s time to implement real solutions:

* True third-party investigations of every cop-caused fatality, based on the National Transportation Safety Board model, which has reduced aviation accidents dramatically.

* A protocol similar to the Aviation Safety and Reporting System, whereby good cops can anonymously report misdeeds committed by their colleagues.

* Federal statutes requiring all law enforcement officers wear body cameras and carry personal liability insurance. Penalties for noncompliance include immediate dismissal. If a bodycam “fails” during a fatal encounter, or its video mysteriously disappears, the officer would be considered guilty of manslaughter and subject to criminal charges.

* Zero tolerance for preemptively killing citizens “suspected” of being a threat, solely in the name of officer safety.

* Mandatory annual recertification of every law enforcement agent in the nation, to include psychological re-screening and several hours of education about the Constitution, particularly the Bill of Rights.

* A federally funded crash program to develop, test and field nonlethal means of subduing “suspects”. The program should focus on electromagnetic and/or electrostatic technologies that accurately deliver a nonlethal, disabling effect at some distance. I saw a prototype of such a system in a Huntsville, AL, lab 12 years ago. If a nonlethal weapon had been in Officer William Mosher’s hands on July 10, 2010, instead of a .45-caliber Glock 21 semiautomatic, my son would be alive today.

* Repeal of “Qualified Immunity” statutes that protect cops from prosecution. Although QI sounds reasonable, these well-intentioned laws are being perverted to the detriment of countless citizens, after a cop kills. QI is literally a cop’s get-out-of-jail-free card, a travesty foisted on American citizens by unprincipled police unions and naive politicians who failed to foresee its obscene unintended consequences.

These must be the absolute top priorities for elected officials to tackle…if they’re serious about ending the senseless killing of both citizens and police officers. God help us, if politicians and law enforcement leaders hunker down, ride out each new officer-involved crisis, and kick the issue of dangerous killer-cops down the road…again.

 

 


William B. Scott

Author, “The Permit”, a Checkmate Justice novel

William B. Scott

William B. Scott is the former Rocky Mountain Bureau Chief for Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine, author of The Permit, and coauthor of Space Wars: The First Six Hours of World War III; Counterspace: The Next Hours of World War III, and Inside The Stealth Bomber: The B-2 Story. A native of rural Colorado, he is a Flight Test Engineer graduate of the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School and holds a BS degree in Electrical Engineering.

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