Shaming Addicts and Little Kids

Police Officers in the City of East Liverpool, Ohio came upon a horrific scene. Two grown-ups were high with a young boy in the backseat. So of course what’s an officer to do but take pictures and post on the city’s Facebook page. I mean what else do we do in this digital age? I hope they had a Twitter and Instagram account too. Oh, and Snapchat.

The officers, or the City of East Liverpool, I’m not sure which, decided that enough was enough. They were posting pictures of those adults because the world needs to see the garbage that they deal with. Let the world see, and, in their words, they hoped that the picture would stop another addict from getting high.

Because we all know that public shaming will cure addiction. We all know that public shaming will prevent addicts from getting high. Ok, so maybe in some fantasy world there are people who believe that, and please God, tell me that there is no police officer in this world who has not been around this heroin scourge long enough that they truly believe public shaming will do anything to address the addiction problem. For reals? This is what police officers thought? And from some reports, a police chief? God help us all, especially the addicts.

I saw a headline about this earlier today. It made my blood boil. I took some time, gave it some thought, revisited it, and my blood was still boiling. I do have compassion for the child involved, especially considering that it wasn’t the City of East Liverpool that shaded his face. No, on their Facebook page his face is clear as day. So this poor kid has to deal with life with an addicted parent AND having the police officers who claim to want to help him putting his face out there for all the world to see. Because that helps him. How again?

Police officers deal with a lot of crap. I was married to one. My brother is one. My sisters-in-law were also officers. So I know the stuff they deal with day in and day out. But the court of public opinion, and certainly not the comment section of any social media site, well, they don’t take the place of anyone’s right to the presumption of innocence nor does it do anything to tackle the problem we have with addiction.

This post, by the City of East Liverpool, is doing nothing to combat the drug problem. Maybe the officers involved eased some of their frustration, but that’s about all it did. Oh, well it also gave millions of strangers the opportunity to call two addicts ugly names. It did nothing more. We should all expect more from our public servants, even while sympathizing for what they must deal with on a regular basis.

 

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