From the perspective that Mark Fuhrman represents, the relationship between cop and citizen is that of owner and property.
By William N. Grigg
When video emerged showing Deputy Ben Fields of Richland County, South Carolina assaulting a 16-year-old female high school student, Sean Hannity of Fox News turned to that network’s in-house expert on police conduct to explain why the deputy’s actions were “justified.” As expected, Mark Fuhrman, a disgraced ex-LAPD homicide detective, convicted perjurer, and documented bigot, conferred his benediction on Fields.
“I’ll tell you why it’s not excessive,” Fuhrman told Hannity, who is always eager to exonerate abusive police officers. “He [Fields] verbalized, he made contact, he verbalized, he was polite. He requested her. He verbally did that.”
When the emotionally troubled – and recently orphaned – teenage girl remained sullenly uncooperative, the “next level is he put a hand on her,” Fuhrman interpreted. “She escalated it from there” – which means that she tried to pull away from the armlock that had been applied to her by an apparently steroid-enhanced, armored, gun-toting male stranger twice her size. “He used soft control. He threw her to the ground, he handcuffed her” – and in doing so inflicted injuries that required hospitalization.
For all that the girl endured as summary punishment for being uncooperative in class, she should be abjectly grateful that Fields was restrained, according to Fuhrman: “He didn’t use mace. He didn’t use a Taser. He didn’t use a stick. He didn’t kick her. He didn’t hit her. He didn’t choke her. He used a minimal amount of force necessary to effect an arrest.”
If Fuhrman were a more literate man, in his blithe endorsement of Fields’ conduct he might have heard an echo of Edward Gibbon’s trenchant comment in Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire: “A nation of slaves is always prepared to applaud the clemency of their master who, in the abuse of absolute power, does not proceed to the last extremes of injustice and oppression.”
From the perspective that Fuhrman represents, the relationship between cop and citizen is that of owner and property, and the latter must submit to whatever the former sees fit to inflict on him – and the former is entitled to “level-up” as necessary in order compel submission. Sure, there are rules – but they are for more mundane specimens of humanity than the uniformed elite who supervise them, from Fuhrman’s point of view.
“This job is not rules,” Fuhrman explained thirty years ago in tape-recorded conversations with film producer Laura Hart McKinny. “This is a feeling. F— the rules; we’ll make them up later.”
So comprehensive was Fuhrman’s contempt for rules – both official and informal — that he broke one of the most sacred rules of the Blue Brotherhood by condemning his partner in a conversation with a mere civilian – but only because the younger officer apparently believed that police were bound by the same rules that everyone else has to follow.
“He doesn’t know how to be a policeman,” complained Fuhrman. “’I can’t lie.’ . . . Oh you make me f—— sick to my guts. You know you do what you have to do to put these f—-ing a—holes in jail.”