Law enforcement is a career that selects for people of severely limited intellect. Even in that undistinguished company, Jeffrey Follmer, president of the Cleveland Patrolman’s Association, is a gopher mound among the Himalayas.
Follmer is marginally verbal and displays no capacity for critical thinking. In most occupations, these traits would be a liability. In law enforcement, they earned Follmer the title of “detective.” More importantly, they equipped him to learn the Killer Cop’s Catechism of Self-Justification well enough to recite it on cue, as he did in an interview last night on MSNBC’s “All In” program.
Speaking – perhaps “grunting” is a more suitable expression – on behalf of the privileged purveyors of state-licensed violence, Follmer demanded an apology from Cleveland Browns player Andrew Hawkins, who strode to the field Sunday wearing a T-shirt protesting the killing of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, who was “armed” with a BB pistol.
The 9/11 call that summoned the police made mention of the fact that the “gun” appeared to be a toy. The officers rolled up to the playground where Rice was minding his own business and shot him within two seconds of their arrival – then, in keeping with standard procedure, lied in their official reports. Tim Loehmann, the officer who killed the child, had been terminated by a department in another city because he couldn’t meet its undemanding standards of firearms proficiency and emotional stability. Loehmann and Officer Frank Gramback, his accomplice in the killing withheld aid from the victim, allowing him to die in agony.
None of these facts penetrated Follmer’s hyper-dense, highly polished, and thoroughly uncluttered skull. All that matters to him is that the killing of Tamir Rice had been ruled “justified” by the department, and that Hawkins had “dissed” Follmer’s fraternity of privileged thugs.
Like most people in his profession, Follmer defines the powers of a police officer in terms of what they have permission to do to members of the public, rather than what they are supposedly required to do on their behalf:
“How about this? Listen to police officers commands, listen to what we tell you, and just stop,” Follmer said, ignoring the fact that Tamir Rice didn’t have time to comply with any commands. “I think that eliminates a lot of problems….I think the nation needs to realize that when we tell you to do something, do it, and if you’re wrong you’re wrong, and if you’re right, then the courts will figure it out.”
From Follmer’s perspective, the police are never wrong, and when Mundanes are “right” the courts will “figure it out” – posthumously, in an ever-increasing number of cases.12:40 pm on December 16, 2014 Email William Norman Grigg