From The Editor: On the Wrong Side of the Law

In a week that saw President Trump speak to law enforcement and encourage them to mistreat prisoners in custody (including those accused but not convicted), we did not have to wait very long for a story to appear that reminds us why this is a really bad idea.  Yes, we know that Trump has a totally twisted sense of humor, he really does not get the normal social cues that keep the rest of us from gnawing on our foot right up to the ankle—that and he still has the humor mentality of an adolescent.  It was not funny, under any circumstances and the story that has come out is horrific in my mind.

A lawsuit has been filed by Jordan Norris in Tennessee against three Cheatham County deputies.  It alleges that the treatment he received while jailed on drug and weapon charges was torture.  His body showed the evidence of his mistreatment, burns from repeated application of a stun gun.  The entire event was also caught on tape, from several different cameras.  Norris’ guilt or innocence on the charges aside, what happened to him was nothing short of brutal and a violation of his rights, and likely numerous Tennessee laws.

In the footage he is strapped to a restraint chair, arms and legs bound to it, and a deputy stands behind holding a gag of some kind in his mouth.  The stun gun is repeatedly applied to his chest area in bursts.  At the time of this maltreatment, Norris is currently on suicide watch as he has suffered a mental breakdown while in custody…he is in psychological distress already, in need of medical treatment, and yet is tortured instead.

This is beyond reason, how have we attracted so many dangerous individuals into the field of law enforcement?  Strapped to a chair he is told to not resist, resist how exactly?  They certainly seem to have their way with him—the deputy with the stun gun even threatens to keep going until he exhausts the battery.  While we cannot decide this case in the realm of the media, be it social or news, it appears the wrong people are in jail here.

The story reveals that the event allegedly occurred last November, so it has taken a while to appear.  The timing, however, could not be any more perfect after Trump’s comment this week.  No we do not need for officers to expand their use of force; we need them to keep it where it belongs:  The right amount to keep everyone safe.

If you would like to read the article by Alex Horton, a Washington Post regular, you can do so here “Deputies tortured a restrained teenager by using a stun gun on him, lawyers say.”  I will warn you that the story and the video are graphic and I find it disturbing—that is why it is here.  It is not the sort of thing we want to hear about, we do not want to see the worst in ourselves revealed, but we cannot change things unless we know there is a problem.

So no, Donald Trump, police brutality is not a joke, and you are not funny.  My advice is spend less time talking, less time Tweeting, and more time working.

Time to grow up and apply yourself Donald Trump.

Now I know that is not the first time that has been said—I have said it twice.



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