“To Protect and to Serve” – it has been the motto of the Police Academy since 1955, when Officer Joseph S. Dorobek submitted the phrase to BEAT magazine in a contest looking to find a motto that would best define the character of Los Angeles police.
Since that time, the motto has graduated to wider audiences, becoming the flagship phrase for police officers all across America.
Unfortunately, there are police officers that have never learned what it means to to protect and serve. Such was the case when New Mexico police opened fire on a minivan with five children and a mother inside.
The 39-year old mother, Orianna Ferrel, pulls over for speeding just north of Santa Fe. After an argument with the police officer ensues, she drives off and the officer speeds after her and pulls her over again.
Her 14-year old son gets out of the vehicle and retreats back inside after being threated with a taser.
After being forced out of the vehicle, Ferrel becomes frightened at the thought of being hand-cuffed and taken to jail in front of her five children.
All hell breaks loose.
As the mother tries to get back in her vehicle again, the son becomes involved in a scuffle with the police. Both family members make it back inside the vehicle and the police let emotions take over and escalate a non-violent situation into a life-threatening situation.
One officer is seen smashing the window with a baton while another draws his gun and fires several shots into the vehicle – later claiming that he was trying to shoot the tires out.
Failure to Protect and Serve
Let’s be clear – it’s a pretty stupid thing to drive off from the police. You’re not getting away and you’re only going to make matters worse, but this might be the poorest possible response from the Police.
In a situation involving children, the primary focus should always be on the safety on the children.
Smashing in the window and firing on a moving vehicle full of children? Unacceptable. Police officers cross the line when shooting towards innocent children and their own safety is not compromised – no defense is acceptable.
Keystone cops – misfits who yearned to be cowboys but never learned to separate the dream from the real-life job of being police officers.
This video demonstrates a need for better police training and stiffer penalties for police officers who act outside the lines of acceptable behavior.
Perhaps the most mystifying thing of all is the complete incompetence with which the issue was handled – and the fact that it was shared between several officers.
“To protect and Serve” – a motto that most police officers exemplify and a creed that must always mean something if justice is to be served in a fair and consistent manner.
Not this day though. This was simply an exhibition in how to fail as a police officer.