It will take more to clean up the reputation of law enforcement than officers playing catch with kids, stopping people with ‘good tickets’, or buying groceries. The local representation of law enforcement (i.e. the police) are not, should not be, impervious to scrutiny, criticism or other accountability. If police indeed are here to ‘protect and serve’, then the standard of accountability is set. There will be an expectation of honor, sacrifice and fairness that should make enforcing law equitable!
Yet, this is not seen. Especially, in neighbors whose vox populi are Black and Brown.
It took video, nationwide outcry, international pressure and 5 years for Officer Daniel Pantaeleo to be fired from the NYPD. Since he murdered Eric Garner, he was on administrative leave. He has been on this paid leave for 5 years! Keeping in mind, this chokehold he used was illegal—and he had no reason to accost Eric Garner. Last week, the NYPD has protested his firing.
And you wonder why I say, ‘Blue Lives Don’t Exist.’
The problem which law enforcement seems to be ignoring with perfunctory purpose, is accountability. We know that modern day policing is steeped in Fugitive Slave Law practices, reinforced and reworded through black codes, racism and Jim Crow. Yet, accountability is integral in any profession which will or does serve the public! Any profession that uses taxpayer money to fund it, needs to subject to the taxpayers!
This is not hard. Yet, clearly, there is disconnect.
I am in favor of civilian oversight boards. I am in favor of abolishing revenue generating policing! I am a proponent of prison reform! Abolish private prisons! I am tired of being criticized for holding an entity which is designed to protect subject to an external scrutiny!
You do not get to carry a gun as part of your job without someone asking you a question!
If you do not want to be held to any additional merit or standard, you should not carry a gun as part of your daily uniform!
Police reform, no matter what Shawn Carter says, lies Linda Fairstein tells, is still a major issue in this nation. Police brutality is still an issue in this country! This issue of the rampant bigotry which has always been a part of policing in certain communities, is not going away. It would not even be noticed if people whom are aware of this treatment, did not draw attention to it!
We as the free public are not wrong in asking the people whom have the power to take said freedom–by virtue of their words and collected evidence!–to be held to a standard! It is not wrong to have oversight boards, Internal Affairs Bureaus or hotlines to report police corruption!
It is not wrong to police the police!
If the federal government needs to have checks and balances, so can the officer in a sundown community who keeps stopping people ‘they don’t know.’
This issue is not going away; the black and white flag with the blue stripe only calls more attention to it.
[images from Pintrest]