How About a Hippocratic Oath, Remote Cuffs, and Funding the Police?

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    By Rabbi Yair Hoffman for 5TJT.com

    The most recent killing of Rayshard Brooks, a 27 year old black father of four, breaks one’s heart.  Something does need to be done – to ensure the safety of black people across the nation.  Perhaps we should consider the following three suggestions:

    1. Institute a Hippocratic Oath for Law Enforcement – we have it for doctors and we should have it for law enforcement as well – something like, “I will uphold the constitution and above all, I affirm to do good and to do no harm.”
    2. To purchase for and train all members of law enforcement in the use of non-lethal and non-dangerous methods of restraint, and alternatives to arrest when dealing with a non-violent incident.  The Bolawrap is one such device and there are many more.
    3. To offer law enforcement financial incentives to undergo such training.

    We need our police.  We need law and order.  But we must do what we can to ensure the safety of everyone.

    This author once had a student who had exhibited irrational behaviors at times.  He had his good days and his not-so-good days.  His name was Gideon Busch.  Twice, police officers were called to his residence – a basement in Boro Park.  He was shot to death by the police the second time they were called. They fired 19 bullets into his body.

    On the other hand, across the street from my home, while returning from a family picnic, a woman once begged me to call the police because her drunken boyfriend was threatening her with a knife.  I did call the police but was very worried that an over-eager police officer might shoot the drunken boyfriend.  One policeman carefully snuck up behind the man while another was distracting him in conversation.  They disarmed him with no incident.  Sadly, when a letter was written commending the police officer and requesting that he be recognized for his actions, nothing was done for him.

    We need to create a culture and situation where actions that save lives are recognized and rewarded.  The overwhelming majority of law enforcement officers proudly serve this nation admirably and fairly.  Yet we do have some serious incidents that lead to loss of life – especially among minorities.  We have an opportunity in hand now – where we can incentivize law enforcement officers across the nation to achieve greater heights in dealing with issues between man and man.  We can do this only by placing more funding with the police – not less.  Let us grab that opportunity.

    The author can be reached at [email protected]

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    10 COMMENTS

    1. Any weapon that can knock out a cop is considered deadly because the thug can then steal the cops gun. The cop did the right thing in atlanta.
      If you dont want police brutality dont start a fight with a cop

    2. Not one of the cops who killed Gideon Busch were ever prosecuted, or even reprimanded; they all got away with killing him. Buschhad previously been maced, and the sun was in his eyes. He couldn’t clearly see, and was not advancing on the cops with a hammer. He was at least 30 or more feet away from them. Instead of those cops looking to defuse the situation, they took the easy way out, and shot him to death.

    3. Rabbi Hoffman:

      You have a valid point and position. However, I completely take issue with your description of the Brooks incident. I assume you wrote this before the rest of the facts were revealed. He stole the cop’s taser and shot at the officer. Response with lethal force was indicated. That officer needs to be commended, reinstated, and perhaps either promoted or given a raise. He did exactly as he should have done. His approach here was to be helpful, not destructive. Once there was a threat to his life, he took appropriate action. Firing him is bending to the vicious tactics of BLM, which is dishonest. I hope the courts exonerate him completely.

    4. “To purchase for and train all members of law enforcement in the use of non-lethal and non-dangerous methods of restraint, and alternatives to arrest when dealing with a non-violent incident.”

      I believe that is exactly what the police did in this incident. They did not just plainly shoot him, they tried to restrain him. Unfortunately, he resisted arrest, and then took the policeman’s non lethal taser, and then proceeded to try to use it on the policeman. The whole reason the police have tasers to start with is for non lethal force.

      Questions should be asked:
      Why do many people (especially minorities and those of color) are so anti police, resist arrest and fight back? Perhaps additional information and awareness should be made to the public.
      Why are police department being defunded, when obviously so many things should be corrected, and more training and equipment given to police; more funding not less.
      What would happen if no police show up when called? Would situations get worse, or would they resolve themselves?

      • Two police should be able to safely restrain a single drunk individual. He was obviously drunk so precautions should have been taken. He definitely should not have been able to take a taser. He should have been allowed to run away instead of getting killed. Tasers are not lethal, and a drunk person doesn’t have very good aim anyways.They had all his info. Even guilty people don’t deserve to die.

        • The evidence is not all in, and we should not be rushing to judgment in the Atlanta case. Unfortunately, in today’s atmosphere, people just look at a video, and perhaps with a predisposition, decide that something wrong happened. The Atlanta case is not at all like the George Floyd case (I marched in Dov Hikind’s Floyd protest). There are too many outstanding factors. therefore, the officer should have been put on desk duty pending a full investigation, not charged with murder.

    5. It is a terrible tragedy when people like Gideon Busch, psychologically challenged individuals, are shot to death by the police. However, when others who exhibit dangerous and threatening behavior are shot, I have less sympathy. If you are a member of a group that provides a wholly disproportionate, i.e. over 4 times the murderers and robbers than your minority group has citizens, it is time the members of that minority group learned to behave like responsible citizens. When that happens the crocodile tears that are being shed over them may become real.

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