A few years back, Lt. Max Geron was one of the Dallas Police Department's spokespersons, but he's quick to remind in his missive to The Atlantic that what he has to say on the subject of Lt. John Pike's pepper-spraying of peaceful demonstrators on the UC-Davis campus last week are his views alone and "not those of the Dallas Police Department or the Caruth Police Institute." A Friend of Unfair Park directs our attention to Geron's thoughts on the subject, dispatched to James Fallows. An excerpt:
Departments and officers must remember the we (the police) only serve at the allowance/discretion of the citizenry who employs us. If we fail to treat everyone as we would have ourselves and families treated then we cease protecting and serving and begin preying and harming. I personally appreciated your logical stipulations and from a law enforcement veteran's perspective I can see no legitimate basis for the actions that those few officers took either.
We fail our officers if we refrain from reminding them that we are dealing with human beings who need be treated as such. And while it is easy to vilify Lt. Pike and say "I would never..." or "He is evil..." he too is human, prone to mistakes and accountable for his actions. I believe a leadership change likely must be made in that department (and likely in the university) in order for them to salvage and rebuild trust in the eyes of the community it serves.
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