Imagine, asking a police officer to treat citizens with respect only to have them swear at you, taser and arrest you. When you ask why you’ve been arrested, they inform you that you are being charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. (The real reason you were arrested, you challenged their authority.)
But something strange, happened during your arrest. You overheard an officer use a ‘code word’.
What did the ‘code word’ mean? Are the police using secret ‘code words’ to justify their misconduct and illegal arrest?
No, the truth is much stranger than that.
According to the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD), “EPIC is the first line of defense in preventing mistakes and officer misconduct.‘ (To learn more about EPIC click here, here and here.)
Police officers are being trained to use “different code words to let a coworker know things are starting to get out of hand, in hopes of preventing incidents…”
It doesn’t get any plainer than that.
EPIC was designed to train police to use ‘code words’ to stop officers from abusing citizens. (In 2011, the DOJ forced the NOPD to change their abusive practices.)
So why are police departments adopting EPIC?
Each year more police officers are arrested than shot
The real reason police departments are adopting EPIC is, “more police officers will go to prison this year than being shot.”
According to the ‘Officer Down Memorial Page’ 145 police officers were killed in 2016.
A recent study revealed that 1,1000 police officers are arrested every year, which translates into a lot of money for their defense and settlements.
Police officers are nearly ten time more likely to be arrested than shot. So, why do we need Blue Lives Matter laws?
Will EPIC limit police liability?
EPIC is designed to limit police liability
The NOPD quotes numerous court cases on pages 37-39 admitting that EPIC is designed to limit police liability.
“All law enforcement officials have an affirmative duty to intervene to protect the constitutional rights of citizens from infringement by other law enforcement officers in their presence. . . .” – Anderson v. Branen, 17 F.3d 552 (2d Cir.1994).
“Plaintiff can sustain a claim for a Fourth Amendment violation against an officer who did not participate directly in the use of force if that officer failed to intervene despite having had a reasonable opportunity to do so. . . .” -Torress v. Allentown Police, No. 13-3066 (2014).
Will EPIC protect citizens rights?
EPIC is about protecting the badge
Pages 49 and 50 reveal that EPIC is about protecting the police department and police officers from lawsuits.
- “We took an oath as new police officers.”
- “We care about the safety and mental health of our coworkers.”
- “We are ALL responsible for the reputation and public trust of our badge and the NOPD as an organization.”
- “Courts have made clear that police officers are the first line of defense in identifying and preventing misconduct and will be held accountable for inaction.”
Oddly or perhaps on purpose, there is no mention in the eighty-two pages of protecting the rights of those they serve.
Sure, the authorities will claim using ‘code words’ will prevent abuses from occurring but do you really think that words will change our paramilitary police culture?
Instead of addressing the problems of police secrecy, EPIC reinforces them by encouraging the use of secret code words.
EPIC, never addresses the real problems with American policing, like caring more about a person’s rights.