Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Officer William Giulian says that Philadelphians who care about civil liberties are the real racists

Infuriating letter to the editor in today's Philadelphia Daily News from Officer William Giulian, responding to Marc Lamont Hill's column last week about the illegal traffic stop he endured. (The city settled his lawsuit instead of filing it.)

Some excerpts:
Now, today, I have to read about the struggle an apparently educated but blatantly racist college professor (aka Marc Lamont Hill) must go through on a day-to-day basis - oh, the humanity. His entire day was interfered with for five, maybe 10 minutes by a working police officer.

You have some brass ones to question why a police officer approaches a car he's pulled over to investigate, for a legitimate purpose (whether you agree with that or not doesn't matter), with his hand either over or on his weapon?

How about asking the family of Danny Boyle why we do that, or Sgt. Liczbinski's kids, or Daniel Faulkner's wife? I'd say to ask them, but you can't - they're dead, murdered in cold blood for simply doing their job. You have to look no further than the officer you have such a problem with for a reason that we approach a car with caution.

The problem I have with you, Marc, is that, just like so many of the people I serve, you want us to "do our job" (a phrase we hear almost daily) - but you also want us to do so at no inconvenience to you. What are you so nervous about? I know there has been some negative print regarding the Philadelphia Police Department recently, but not even the Daily News has printed an article about a police officer just walking up to a car and shooting the driver.

I'D LOVE to know how much they paid you for what amounts to nothing more than a regular old car stop in a bad neighborhood. Lucky for you they love to just throw money away around here.
This letter probably did more to damage the reputation of the Philly PD than Hill's unjustified car stop did. What Officer Giulian is suggesting here is that Philadelphians should be grateful to be stopped and felt up by police without probable cause just, you know, because they're in a bad neighborhood. And if you think the police have pulled you over illegitimately, hey: DEAD COPS! DEAD COPS!

Forgive me. I think the shooting of cops is evil. I understand why police officers feel the need to be cautious when they pull over a car. But that doesn't justify pulling over a nice car for no other reason than a cop's gut instinct. It just doesn't.

From what I can tell, Philly cops don't care much about the rights of Philadelphians. And they've used the martyrdom of their fellow cops as an excuse not to care much about the rights of Philadelphians. I'm grateful for a police force that keeps my family safe. But I'm angry that there are so many Philly cops like Officer William Giulian, who presume the rest of us are criminals until we prove otherwise.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

excellent points. this letter is brutally damaging to any PR attempts PPD is making to revamp their image. sentiments like these are like admissible evidence in the case for PPD's wanton disregard for upholding the rights of philadelphians.