I’m not going to suggest that most police officers are evil people. I personally know too many police officers to believe that line of thinking because the officers that I know sincerely want to help the public. But there are too many stories out there of abuse of power by law enforcement officers to believe that all of them wanted to have that job for noble reasons.
Unfortunately, another recent story hammers home the fact that some police officers are simply on a power trip. Jack Burns writes,
A blind man was arrested and charged with assaulting a police officer after the man says he accidentally bumped into the officer in a public restroom while trying to locate a urinal, and the officer responded by yelling and shoving him.
Marco Zepeda said he was just trying to navigate his way around a public restroom when he ran into an officer and then attempted to defend himself after the officer shoved him. Zepeda told ABC 15 that it all started as he was snapping his fingers and running his hand along the wall to find an open urinal.
“I didn’t hear anybody coming out…(then)…I heard somebody screaming to me and turn around really quick and push me…I go, ok, no, no—this is not going to happen to me,” Zepeda said.
The man, who travels by city bus, told reporters that he gets cursed at and assaulted often on the streets of Phoenix and decided to defend himself. But after he felt the officer’s radio, he quickly realized the man was likely a police officer. That unnamed peace officer quickly took Zepeda to the ground with such force his eyepiece fell on the floor. The blind man began screaming at the officer telling him he was blind and asking for mercy and understanding.
“I said a couple times to him, ‘I’m blind, please, leave me alone—I didn’t know you were a [police officer],” Zepeda said, noting that after his eyepiece fell out, he addressed the officer again.
“He saw that thing on the floor,” Zepeda said. “I turn around to him and I go, look at my eyes, I’m blind, I didn’t know you were a [police officer] and, even that, he didn’t care.”
In lieu of grace and compassion, the blind man got charged with assault on a police officer.
Think about this for a moment. When he was bumped by Zepeda, this police officer could have simply said something to him or, at worst, given a verbal “warning,” and, most likely, that would have been enough. But, no, this law enforcement officer shoved Zepeda instead of trying to prevent an escalation in the situation.
What happened to police officers seeking to be peace officers and looking for ways to help the people that they come across, including looking for ways to minimize and prevent violence? This police officer did not show honorable behavior. No, what he showed was simple schoolyard bullying, and it shouldn’t be tolerated.