Wednesday, May 6, 2015

U.S. Cops Should Use Pleasure Drugs On Suspects


  In the book “Brave New World” The police spray soma vapor into the air to quiet the violent.  Soma is the ideal pleasure drug in Aldous Huxley’s novel (1932). Its chemistry and pharmacology are undefined. As described, the drug resembles a hangoverless tranquillizer or an opiate.

In the United States police are armed with lethal weapons.  We don’t know how many civilians are killed by police because no accurate records are kept.  But Between 2003 and 2009, the DOJ reported that 4,813 people died while in the process of arrest or in the custody of law enforcement.

Eugene Robinson once pointed out that U.S. police officers shoot somewhere between 500 and 1,000 people per year, whereas "there were no fatal police shootings in Great Britain last year. Not one. In Germany, there have been eight police killings over the past two years. In Canada—a country with its own frontier ethos and no great aversion to firearms—police shootings average about a dozen a year."

While it is true that some police shootings take place in near panic conditions, for example the cop having to make split second decisions, there are constant reports of citizens being killed while running away from police, murdered in backs of squad cars and vans, etc.  Very disturbing are the reports of mentally ill people being killed by “peace officers.”   For example “. . .17-year-old Krisetiana Coignard was shot and killed by three officers last Thursday in the lobby of Longview Police Department in Texas, after she reportedly asked to talk to an officer while wielding a small knife.

And again on CNN, a few weeks ago, “Dallas Police Kill Mentally Ill Man Armed With Screwdriver.”  And on and on:
Family of Mentally Ill Miami Gardens Man Killed by Cops Releases Dash-Cam Video. Lavall Hall, 25, who was schizophrenic, ... Posted: April 9 2015 12:19 PM.

Back to “Brave New World:” Cops in the U.S. could use soma vaporizers or direct soma spray into the faces of threatening schizophrenics.  Nets could be thrown over the violent in some circumstances.  There are chemical agents, which cause people to go into pleasurable laughing spasms, which could certainly be used by officers of the peace.  Use your imagination:  There are dozens of similar non-violent techniques that could be employed by police to subdue suspects.

But Google the subject and one gets nothing.  Why?  I’m sure it’s multi-causal.   The cops would probably lose their macho tough guy image if they couldn’t use their guns (there are numerous reports where they use guns instead of tazers when the later would have been effective (just Google it.)  If the macho ones had to wield a pink can of soma spray wouldn’t some of us question their manhood?

Too, I suspect that, as Henry J. Giroux points out, America is a culture of violence.  He writes, “A value a sense of compassion and regard for the other that we end up in a moral vacuum in which violence finds suitable legitimation. . .  Representations of violence dominate the media and often parade before viewers less as an object of critique than as a for-profit spectacle, just as the language of violence and punishment now shapes the U.S. culture  — with various registers of violence now informing school zero-tolerance policies, a bulging prison-industrial complex, and the growing militarization of everyday life.”

In such a culture (addiction to unending war should also be noted, of course), the idea of police using weapons of compassionate non-violence is unthinkable.

There is no more space available to examine such other possible factors as the glorification of death-wielding instruments of murder and mayhem by the N.R.A.

A little more:

The killing of Michael Brown by police in Ferguson, Missouri, was no anomaly: As we reported yesterday, Brown is one of at least four unarmed black men who died at the hands of police in the last month alone.
Between 2003 and 2009, the DOJ reported that 4,813 people died while in the process of arrest or in the custody of law enforcement.

Jul 17, 2014 ... A 400-pound asthmatic Staten Island dad died Thursday after a cop put him in a chokehold and other officers appeared to slam his head ...

A federal prosecutor will review the case of a Georgia SWAT team that threw a flash granade into a child's clip a child's crib.

The news comes a day after a state grand jury declined to return an indictment.

The incident, which severely injured a 1-year-old child, occurred in May when the Habersham County Special Response Team conducted a drug raid in Cornelia