Submitted by RobbMLewis on Fri, 07/08/2016 - 09:57

This past week, hell the past month, has been a heartbreaking time.  We have seen senseless killings all over the world.  The shootings in Orlando, bombings in Turkey, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and I'm sure many other places around the world.  These deaths were due to perverted, extremist ideology.  

In the past 3 days, America has suffered many senseless killings within its borders.  Three of them made the news though.  Two were the killing of black men by police officers, and five were the killing of police officers.  All these killings did not need to happen, and each new death leads to another death.

Focusing on the problem in America.  The relationship between police and minorities have never been good.  Hell, the relations between white man and anyone that looks different has never been good.  Just because the northern Europeans developed better weapons than the people they meet in the age of exploration gave then the sense of superiority because they could easily dominate any culture they meet.  We can't change the past though.  Us apologizing for what some of our ancestors did also rings hollow.  What has happened is in the past and we can't change it, but we should learn from it.

Over the past few days, I have seen many opinions voiced over what to do.  I have seen people say that the police should be abolished or severely hamstrung in how they serve.  I have seen people say that blacks should not fear the police and do everything that they request of them.  Neither will fix the issue though.  What I feel the issue is comes in large part from human nature.  Many, not all or most, but a noticeable number of people that go into policing do it because it gives them power.  They feel that they are better than others because they enforce the law, and they know that the relatively minor infractions really don't apply to them, letting them get away with more and more.

We need those in law enforcement to start actively policing their own.  We need the police to admit that they have a problem within their ranks, and work to remove it.  We need the police force to look like the community they serve, and to actively get people from that community on the force.  I am sure that if the police officer was from the neighborhood they were patrolling, serving the people they grew with, they would be less likely to shoot and more likely to help.  We need the police to get to know the community they are serving.  This means they should be doing foot patrols when possible, talking to the people.  They should become part of the community, even off duty.  I strongly feel that if we started to head back to the neighborhood policing policies, these types of incidents will decrease.

We also need to aggressively prosecute the police that break the laws, and not give them a slap on the wrist.  We need truly independent review of incidents like what happened in Louisiana and Minnesota.  I would honestly say we should automatically send cases where it looks this bad to trial and let the courts figure it out, and let the prosecutor be hired by the family of the deceased.  Are there times when a shooting is justified?  Of course there are, but that should be the last course of action, not second or third, and it should be the exception.

I know I am putting a lot of this on the police.  I don't hate the police, and I have never had any issue with them personally.  I am a white man.  That is what privilege gives you, and I recognize that.  I do believe that the vast majority of the police do a good job and are not directly a part of the problem.  I do think though that the police are where the changes have to occur as they are the ones who have given minorities a reason to not trust them .

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