I don’t comment on every tragedy, but here in Minnesota, we’ve had another incident of a policeman using lethal force against someone who was not a danger to themselves or others. These incidents have been happening more and more, and I believe there is a very simple reason why:
We have turned our police into a military force who are trained to kill.
The concept of the “warning shot” is a quaint idea for a long forgotten past. We have been giving military equipment to the police since 9/11 as we’ve been dumping money into “Homeland Security”. Crime is it the lowest levels since WWII, and yet we are all freaked out about it due to endless media reports and politicians telling us that the US is a war zone and we are surrounded by carnage. Police leaders tell us that they are in constant danger so that we don’t investigate them too closely. Officers are trained to empty a clip into a suspect. When the police kill someone involved in a minor offense, we are immediately shown the most thuggish picture available, and they are presented as a subhuman danger to society.
Police no longer “walk a beat” where they walk the neighborhood and get to know people. They don’t live where they work. They are taught the military way of looking at the world where everyone is a potential enemy.
41 officers were killed by gunfire last year, a tragic number, but not the “hundreds” our President and his people have said. 1162 citizens were killed by police last year.
Here in Minneapolis, an officer with a history of violence against suspects shot and killed a meditation instructor who had called 911 for help. We won’t ever really know what happened because the officers involved parked their car where the dashboard camera couldn’t capture what happened and they did not turn on their body cameras as required to.
The media is demonizing protestors because THAT IS WHAT THEY ARE TOLD TO DO. However, this doesn’t make their message any less valid.
Our police are to serve and protect, not be judge and jury. We need to demand that they return to their function and if they don’t, we need to demand that politicians force them to return to their functions, and if they don’t? We need to shut it down, shut it all down.
Our lives are at stake.