For a little more than 4 years, I lived in Henderson, NV, a suburb of Las Vegas. I still have vivid memories of 2 unpleasant encounters. with Henderson police that suggested that their screening procedures for hiring emotionally mature, stable people as well as their training program, were both in need of adjustments.
Incident #1: A Henderson policeman zoomed up to me in his cruiser as I was j-walking. I fully deserved and expected a polite reprimand. Though already more than halfway across the wide street, one of Henderson’s “finest” instructed me to go back to the other side of the street and cross at the corner. When I gave him a “are you kidding look,” he said, “If you prefer, I just give you a ticket.” Appropriate? I think it not. Classic example of a bully who happens to have a badge.
Incident #2: I was returning home one evening on an interstate highway that passes through Henderson. As I approached my exit, I signaled to move into the right lane; I was going at or below the speed limit. Once in the right lane, I put on my directional to exit. Driving up the exit-ramp, a car that seemed to come out of no where started tail-gating me so close that I was sure our bumpers might have been touching. If I had hit my breaks, we would most definitely have collided. Stopping at the light at the end of the exit ramp, the car that had been tailgating me abruptly pulled alongside of me on the shoulder. Only then did I realize it was a Henderson police cruiser. The officer rolled down his window and I rolled down mine. I can’t think of another way to put it other than, he went (verbally) “postal” on me.
“Who the hell do you think you are? Do you think that by staying within the speed limit and using your directional that gives you the right to pull in front of police car? When you see a police car rolling down the highway, you get behind it, not in front of it. I’d run you in right now if I weren’t busy.”
To say I was stunned and perplexed would be an understatement. I hadn’t even noticed a police car in the right lane; there were no emergency lights to be seen or sirens heard. I was tempted to file a complaint against this nut-job cop, but friends warned me that taking official action against a cop might prove morally satisfying but would inevitably lead to worse hassles.
Today, in coming across this video of Henderson Police recently beating, kicking and verbally abusing a man who is actually going into diabetic shock, I was reminded of just how dangerous some cops can be. Note, the extreme verbal and physical attacks on this man who is guilty of nothing more than not reacting obediently to their instructions. How could he? He is going into diabetic shock! And no, while they couldn’t have known that, they should have figured out what was going on with him before deciding to treat him like a violent felon! The words we hear and behavior we witness in this video, are not those of emotionally mature people charged with protecting the public .
Giving the wrong people guns and badges can be just as dangerous to public safety as some criminals are.