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Police brutality isn’t all that it seems

Recently in the United States, there has been an uprising of police brutality, or at least that’s what the media is portraying.

It has become very popular for these media organizations to flood the airways with fear-mongering material aimed at sparking controversy and backlash, often times only shedding light on the victim’s perspective, rather than giving the viewer an overall unbiased look at what’s really the root cause of most of these violent incidents.

In a recent interview with police Sgt. Joe Grubbs, public information officer for the Bakersfield Police Department, he had some insightful things to say about these recent events.

“What is going on in our nation is the narrative is putting all the blame on the police. There isn’t much of a discussion on different ethnic groups killing each other,” said Grubbs.

Although there hasn’t been many shootings in Kern County, in other locations in the U.S., there have been several cases of deadly force being used in situations where a Taser or some other type of force could have been used.

“Often times, in some of these situations, less lethal force is used,” said Grubbs. “It doesn’t always work for a variety of different reasons, though. Sometimes these devices don’t work or people don’t respond to them, and the officer is left with five seconds to make a rational decision.”

Often, media is blamed for a lot of the way people think about law enforcement. The theory is that if it wasn’t for all the coverage of controversial subject matter, such as unarmed shootings or racial profiling, it is possible that this negative stigma that has been created for the police, may not be as harsh as it is now.

“The media isn’t fully to blame. Law enforcement is somewhat to blame. Not all shootings are 100 percent right. We aren’t doing a good job of educating the community about how law enforcement works and how their training goes,” said Grubbs.

“It goes back to a lack of education in civics. Our education system has a lot to do with it. Officer shootings are almost always preceded by a bad decision made by the person the officer is shooting at.”

Due to all the recent riots in Ferguson and Oakland, as well as other cities and towns in the United States, some Americans believe that we are on the brink of a civil war because more and more civilians are becoming more combative with police officers and authority in general.

“I hope that it doesn’t happen,” said Grubbs. “I don’t see a civil war happening, but I do see somewhat of a national kind of event happening that will cause society to stabilize and come back to its core. And even if that did happen, law enforcement would still be there to do their job, regardless of what public opinion is.”

Some think the problem is within the hiring process of law enforcement and that it breeds corruption. It could also be that along the way, good cops become bad because of the already negative outlook on them by the people they are sworn in to protect.

“I don’t think people come on the force with intentions of becoming corrupt. Through the course of their careers, some officers have become corrupt, though. In most cases they are weeded out quickly,” said Grubbs.

“Police officers take their job very seriously, as well as their responsibilities and role in society very seriously. If these corrupt individuals are found, they are reprimanded or fired very quickly.”

For those who are interested in finding out statistics on police shootings, there is no national database, so the only way to find the information would be to search on Google for the date and location you are inquiring about. For the numbers being as low as they supposedly are, it’s questionable why they make the information so difficult to find.

“There should be a national database, there is a database for California,” Grubb said. “I think that most law enforcement agencies don’t have a problem with that. Most of our shootings are justified, so why would we have a problem hiding that information?”

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