The release of the information today that Michael Brown was shot at least 6 times is disturbing. The townspeople of Ferguson demand justice. Why hasn’t the police officer been arrested?
There is no doubt that the rioting taking place in Ferguson, Missouri is wrong. Riots bring out the worst in people but sometimes the best as well. Local townspeople are protecting local businesses from looters. These acts are commendable.
What is not commendable is what seems to be a national pattern of shooting first and asking questions later. The police are supposed to protect and serve. Who are they protecting when they shoot unarmed civilians?
Ferguson is not alone in this alarming trend of police violence. Those who are ill with a mental illness, young people afflicted with autism and people having the wrong color have been victims of police brutality.
My daughter lives in England, where deaths by gun were at an astoundingly low figure of 8 last year. The police do not carry firearms unless they have reason to believe that they will be facing someone who is armed. They have a culture of cooperation with the police. It is not uncommon to hear a television blast asking the viewer if anyone was in the vicinity of a crime that took place at a given address. And guess what, people actually call in and help the police apprehend the alleged culprit.
Many modern police forces are armed to the teeth as if they expect to face an invading army. Granted police work can be dangerous but haven’t we gone over the top on this? We need not be as worried about the police harming us as much as protecting us. We need to change the culture. The law should not allow the police men and women to protect themselves from prosecution by forming their thin blue line of excusing bad cops and bad behavior.
Some alleged conservatives worry about the federal government being too intrusive. But honestly we seem to have more to worry about regarding our local police departments going too far that we have to worry about the federal government coming in to take our guns away.
I personally would like to see America try an experiment and see how it works. The experiment would be to not shoot anyone unless we have a good reason to believe that the person that the police person confronts has a gun. Actually, I thought we had such a policy, but the events around the country in the last several years, leads one to believe that any civilian can be shot at any time and the police person who shot that person will get away with it. Orange County, California, has had two such incidents and no convictions were issued.
The issue of race is still too prevalent. I have heard the whispers that only people of color riot and that conservatives do not. Well, it was the Bull Connors of the world who brought the dogs out and it was the so-called conservatives who lynched people of color for generations without any justice being served.
Recently, on film we have seen citizens curled up in a fetal position while a policeman beat that person unmercifully. Anger was spewing forth with every hit of the baton. We need to have stricter standards on who gets to become a police person. The increased use of GPS and cameras may help discourage a policeman from using excessive force or in some cases murder by the police.
But right now the people of Ferguson are angry that the policeman who shot Michael Brown multiple times is still free. No person who is unarmed and allegedly with his hands up deserves to be shot down. It does not matter whether he committed a crime earlier. The policeman who shot him did not know that. Every human being deserves to have his day in court. What we do not need is a police force who will be judge, jury and executioner.