We fan the flames that destroy relationships between law enforcement and their communities.
We let our media run free as they widen the rift between cops and the communities that need them most.
We belittle officers for the career choice they made, most of whom are law-abiding citizens to the umpteenth degree.
We sensationalize our hate for them - not only the bad eggs, either - then wonder how or why officers could be willing to shoot their way out of a situation to escape with their lives. Of course they’re going to shoot first and ask questions later. The public has been radicalized against them.
While fear and hatred of law enforcement are byproducts of bad policing, they are also taught. But those sentiments, at the source, depend on naivety and misunderstanding. Law enforcement bodies aren’t entities with one face, though they’re often portrayed that way.
Law enforcement entities are made up of many different faces, most of which belong to great people. And just look around you… Scores of officers nationwide have been turning in their badges because they’re upset with what they’re seeing.
We misunderstand each other almost as a point of pride, as if we are ”too smart for that,” instead of just listening. We should work to understand each other without feeling like we’re put on the spot and always have to say something or opine.
Sometimes, if you listen hard enough, you’ll learn things to which you’ll have no response. I imagine there’s a lot of that going on right now, and that’s fine. Learning without knowing what to say isn’t bad.
And sometimes people don’t like hearing it, but much of the answer to police brutality lies in recruitment and setting precedents. Much of the answer lies in local youth becoming the cops that police their own neighborhoods – becoming part of the change literally, no matter how difficult or shitty that will be.