A few days ago, there was more videotape.
– one –
Of a cop. Out of control.
– two –
This time, it was a school resource officer at a special needs school in Dolton, Illinois. What we see, and admittedly it isn’t the entire tape, is a kid walking down the hallway. The officer says something to him, the kid’s body language makes it appear as though the kid gives the officer a ‘whatever.’ The cop then puts his coffee down, sets his feet, and throws his entire body into the kid, slamming him first into the lockers, then into the floor. At which point, the officer falls on top of the kid.
– three –
I’m not going to post the video not because I don’t think you should all see it. You should, everyone should. But because it is so depressingly familiar. I have seen this exact video too many times before.
– four –
The kid, a 15-year old with behavioral problems and brain damage from a car accident when he was a kid, ended up with a broken nose.
– five –
He’d begun attending the school in May. The incident happened in May. “Well, hey, young sir, welcome to our school. How ‘bout a broken nose to go with those snazzy new sneakers you’ve got?”
– six –
The cop, Christopher Lloyd, says the kid refused to tuck his shirt in. The cop’s father later said the kid took a swipe at the cop and broke his glasses. The officer was, in fact, treated and released for a scratched eye.
– seven –
But that’s not my problem. Here’s my problem (my first of several, actually):
– eight –
Go watch the tape.
– nine –
The cop SET HIS COFFEE DOWN!
– ten –
There is no emergency when an officer has time to set his coffee down. Emergencies, actual, honest-to-cosmos emergencies, don’t leave anyone – cops included – with time to set down their fucking coffee.
– eleven –
After the incident was brought to the attention of the Dolton Police Department, Officer Lloyd was suspended with pay. Okay, I’m good with that. Do an investigation, figure out exactly what happened, mete out punishment from there.
– twelve –
But Lloyd came in and resigned before the investigation was finished. Okay, his job, he can quit if he wants.
– thirteen –
This, then, moves me to my next problem:
– fourteen –
Christopher Lloyd, late of the Dolton Police Department, was arrested in August (three months after beating a kid) for raping a woman. Allegedly, he held a pillow over her face while sexually assaulting her. And this is after threatening her previously with a knife.
– fifteen –
He’s being held on $110,000 bond and could go down for 20 years if they convict him of the rape.
– sixteen –
Which brings me to my next problem:
And I don’t use that term lightly.
– seventeen –
February 17, 2008, Christopher Lloyd – according to a lawsuit filed by his ex-wife – gunned down her new husband outside their house in front of their children. Lloyd shot the man twenty-four times.
Chicago Police charged him with bupkis because Lloyd said it was self-defense.
– eighteen –
Twenty-four times is not self-defense. No way in hell is it anything other than murder. One shot, two shots, maybe three…maybe even five…is self-defense. Twenty-four shots is reloading and shooting again. That is not self-defense.
Now, at the time, he was working as a Robbins city police officer. They suspended him – ya’ think? – but while the investigation was going on, in January, 2009, he got hired on at Dolton.
– nineteen –
What the fuck were they thinking?
Did they bother to do any sort of background check? Did they just miss that he was under investigation for gunning a man down with twenty-four shots?
A spokesperson for Chicago PD has said that the details of the investigation into that shooting “could not immediately be found….” Hehehehe…read that this way: “We are scrambling to figure out how to cover our asses because we’ve figured out that this man is, at best, a rogue cop and, at worst, a psychopath. We are endeavoring to ascertain exactly how any investigator with half an ounce of brain could look at twenty four shots and call it self defense. In other words, we are looking for a scapegoat to offer the Media Gods who demand a Sacrificial Lamb.”
– twenty –
I looked and looked for details of that shooting in the local media and couldn’t find anything so we’ll go with the details on their face. And yeah, I’m aware details could change things, but I refuse to believe there are any details that could make me say, “Hell, yeah, shoot that fucker 24 times and I’ll buy self-defense.”
– twenty-one –
How could a cop like this get through the system and get a job?
In my opinion, though it happens rarely, it happens too often. Of all the officers I know across the country, and it’s probably hundreds, I know of only one who’s a problem. He is a part time officer, but he has eight misdemeanor convictions in his past, from DUI to discharge of a firearm in public, illegal consumption and contributing to the deliquency of a minor. Yes, they were more than a decade ago, but those convictions, behind a shiny badge, look skunky. And they will look a helluva lot skunkier if he ends up hurting or killing someone or getting drunk and doing something stupid, won’t they?
– twenty-two –
The point of all this is, as I’ve said so often, is that cops are human and make mistakes. And there will always be bad cops, just as there will always be bad humans. But first and foremost, other officers have to call a bad cop a bad cop, and agencies have got to go the extra mile to make sure their candidates are qualified and don’t have these sorts of issues.
– twenty-three –
It doesn’t matter what demons are driving Christopher Lloyd. What matters is that we, as officers, have the only job in America where we can legally kill someone. We have to be held to a higher standard and we have to hold ourselves to that higher standard. We have to call out those who use their shiny piece of tin as a permission slip for their brutality and anger.
– twenty-four –