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Submitted 8:51 p.m.
07.23.2015
Letter to the Editor

Even if the officer’s actions are technically explainable, his police work is outrageous.”

Ian Smith

I live in Australia and have 33 years operational police experience. I have watched the arrest video of Ms. Bland a number of times. In this jurisdiction we ask ourselves three questions when we are about to arrest someone.

Firstly, is there an offence? In this case the answer appears to be yes. Ms. Bland failed to indicate.

Secondly, can I arrest? That is, is there a specific arrest power for that offence. In my jurisdiction the answer is no. I have no way of knowing if that is the case in Texas but even if there is a power of arrest we must consider the final question.

Thirdly, will I arrest? That is, even if the first two answers are yes the third question puts everything into perspective. Why is the arrest necessary? Is the person a danger? Am I satisfied with the person’s identity? What is the result I am trying to achieve?

If the officer had asked himself these questions Ms. Bland would still be here today. The officer arrested Ms. Bland because he was annoyed with her attitude not because of her offence. She was arrested because of the officer’s actions; not her own.

Even if the officer’s actions are technically explainable, his police work is outrageous.

 
These letters written in response to
News July 22, 2015
It’s not just black men who matter.