Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Blog Entry Number 5

This movie made me really angry. It was a clear cut case of police brutality and racial prejudice. Just watching the home video made my skin crawl. The cops were brutally beating Rodney King. I may not fully have known what happened prior to the taping, but what I saw was in no way necessary. The movie explained how Rodney King had been speeding but this does not justify such a vicious beating on behalf of the police. They claim that he was on PCP but yet there was no evidence of this in his blood stream. In my opinion after watching that trial, Powell was the one “on drugs”. He seemed so stupid and spaced out when they were questioning him. Right there would be enough for me to realize that what we were looking at was downright police brutality. Throughout the video he gets up many times and the police claim this was a threat to them. Maybe he was just trying to recollect himself after such a beating! But instead the police kept attacking him. I’m sorry but when there are twenty one police men to one person that is in no way a threat to the police men. When we first saw the video I didn’t realize Rodney King was black. The girl sitting beside me turned to me and asked if he was black and right then I knew we were both thinking the same thing. The only way the police could get away with this would be if the person was black. We see this racial injustice throughout the entire movie. Not only do the police get away with the beating of Rodney King, but they are heard on tape saying “it’s like gorillas in the mist” and saying how his appearance made them think he was an ex-con. In addition, the trial was moved out of L.A. and into the suburbs where the majority of the jury would be white. White jurists would find Rodney King guilty because there, innocent white police men would never do such a thing without a justified reason right? Wrong.

What made me so angry was that throughout the case they kept drilling things into the witnesses and making the problems of police brutality so visible yet nothing was done about it. At one point the prosecution questioning Powell kept asking what he meant by gorillas. Powell seemed to “play stupid” throughout the entire encounter and it made it so obvious that he meant it in a racial way. Just by showing the video should have been enough to find the police men guilty. The shear fact that once Rodney King was being beaten even after he was down on the ground and didn’t look like he was moving is clearly police brutality. The two police that were witnesses said there was no reason for the brutality and the top police officer said that there was no reason for the policemen to beat Rodney King so badly. How then, with all this evidence AGAINST the cops were they found innocent? It’s of course because the majority of the jury was white trying to decide if a black man was guilty against a group of white cops.

What makes me so angry is that everyone thinks that police are always good, but there are many corrupt police hiding behind their police badge, police that completely cross the line. A good example of this is in the movie Crash with the corrupt police man who has a problem with black people. This problem does not only exist in movies, for example in Tianimin square when the police go so far as to run over the protestor with a tank because he would not get out of their way. Or take the case that recently happened where the gentleman at the airport, who had been waiting for ten hours for his mother’s luggage, couldn’t speak English and was getting very frustrated, was tasered by the Vancouver Mounties who thought he was acting erratically, and died in the airport. Once I saw this on the news it made me so angry. I don’t believe that police officers should be allowed to use tasers. The news stated that seventeen people have died this year because of tasers. How does this not make them illegal then? There are other ways to control people! Even though the police may have just been doing their job, they still killed someone for basically no reason at all. This happens all over the world every day and we cannot allow police to get away with things simply because they are authority figures.

I found it interesting the way the prosecution decided to present the whole video at once in order to play on the courts’ emotional side, while the defence played it frame by frame using a more technical approach. I found both of these were effective. Every time they showed the full video I was so angry and upset with what I saw. However, the defence would show the video frame by frame, detaching you from the emotional affect of the video. All the facts and evidence shown made me think that maybe Rodney King was in the wrong and the police were simply trying to defend themselves. I started to think that maybe Rodney King was on drugs and was taunting the police (i.e. when he laughs at the helicopter) since they explained that when on PCP you become hulk like and King was able to keep getting up after being tasered and badly beaten. However once the prosecution showed the video in its entirety, again, I was once again emotionally so mad and brought me back by their side. I did find the defence did a good job at trying to discredit the head police officer and make Rodney King look guilty. However, before seeing the video, my mind had already been made up and after seeing that video I don’t know how ANYONE could find the officers innocent. It just made me so angry to see something like that and I am so disappointed in our legal enforcement system that they would allow something like this to go overseen and let those cops free.

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