Do We Really Value Life - By David Hakim

Rejoice! Rejoice!
We Have
 A Choice To Carry On!

Welcome To David Hakim.com


DO WE REALLY VALUE LIFE?

Shortly before the end of August, 1995, two police officers chasing a speeder crashed into and killed each other. Several years ago I was almost struck by a police car that was chasing a speeder. The officer had on neither the vehicle's flashing lights nor the siren, and normally I would have had more than enough time to cross the intersection had he been traveling a reasonable rate of speed.

If the officer had struck me, he most likely would have been found at fault. Yet, he initially acted arrogantly as if I were guilty of interfering with his lawful pursuit of a speeding vehicle.

As an attorney who has worked with the police and as a citizen who has been assisted by them in time of emergency or near emergencies, I have come to respect many law enforcement officers and see many as my friends. And yet, as with all of us, many police have certain traits which society seems to condone or even encourage.

One of these traits seems to be a police officer's portrayal of the image of an early western cowboy. In fact, police in some states even wear hats similar to cowboy hats, which combined with the wearing of revolvers, assists in creating the image of police as being macho. This machismo sometimes is carried to extremes, even to the point of indifference of the rights of others, especially when such indifference can be said to be excused by the officer's diligence in performing his duty.

Yet, I was greatly upset by the deaths of the officers. Such tragedy is sometimes needless. Couldn't the police write down the license number of the vehicle and apprehend the offender at a later date, as they do elsewhere? Aren't police who chase speeders who themselves by the act of speeding are jeopardizing the lives and property of innocent third parties also guilty of jeopardizing the lives and property of others?

Is the apprehension of a speeder or even of a suspected felon justified when the lives and property of innocent third parties, including the lives of children, placed in jeopardy? Isn't permitting law enforcement officers to continue to conduct themselves in this manner symbolic of the apathy and lack of self-respect and respect of others that is so rampant in our society?

David C. Hakim

Sterling Heights, Michigan

August 31, 1995