Letter: Training reality check

By Gus Bode

Dear Editor:

Typically, I do not find myself writing to the DE in response to letters that are written by my fellow undergraduate students, but I feel compelled to address what was written about a student’s response to an incident involving police brutality. Yesterday’s letter titled “Reality check” admonished the protest and outcry of the student body towards the city of Carbondale’s police department, dismissing their concerns and the seriousness of the situation and defending the police officers actions towards Mr. McNeil as merely a “routine arrest.”

Now I am no expert, but I could have sworn that seven people taking down one man who had given up and decided to comply with the police after they chased him down is a far cry from routine. And how many so called “routine arrests” actually end with a man being hospitalized with head injuries that need to be stapled shut? How many “routine arrests” resulting in said injuries of the so-called lawbreaker end with no actual charges being pressed but simply a citation?


But say we are to take what the police officers say at face value and ignore the numerous eyewitness accounts that claim Mr. McNeil was not putting up a violent resistance before the police brutalized him. Does this not speak to an extreme lack of adequate training – both physical and psychological – on the part of our city’s police officers of not being able to adequately detain one individual, without a squad of seven men?

As a person who knows police officers through the martial arts training I have received, I know a well-trained and prepared police officer can adequately and competently make an arrest without sending a perpetrator to the hospital. If anything, the reality check this incident gives us, it is that those who are sworn to protect us may actually in fact be inadequately prepared to do their jobs competently.

Ken Suzuki

senior studying political science and anthropology