Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/06/09/police-reform-was-never-going-be-easy-nows-time
Branding matters. terms like “Defund” “abolish” and “dismantle” are not going to go over well with a lot of the population that still views the police as essential to their safety. Hard, current, evidence is scant, but it is a safe assumption to make about white middle america.
Call it something with a more positive flair. Like “Reinventing,” or even “shaking up”.
Props to Jackson for being savvy with his language.
“Police Reform Was Never Going To Be Easy…”
Nope, reform has already been tried, doesn’t work as we can see the last few weeks. Hell cops are still killing AA’s as we speak. I posted about one killed in TX. yesterday, for failing to dim his headlights as he passed a police car.
No, the system in place must be torn down and start over, it’s the only way to have any type of justice when it comes to policing in this country.
Reform only gives us lame legislation like what was put forward by the left wing of the repug. party. Not going to work.
Here is a useful organization:
COMMUNITIES UNITED AGAINST POLICE BRUTALITY
I watched a video clip on youtube showing a black man in a red t shirt sitting on the side of a sidewalk when approached by two white Police officers demanding he ID Himself. He refuses to do so asking what he did that was wrong and they indicated they had a warrant for his arrest. He replies that there no warrants for his arrest but they insist they have one and that he needs to identify himself.
They end up handcuffing him and one of the cops then searches and pulls out the guys wallet. the guy they arrested was a FBI agent. Suddenly he no longer fit the description of the guy they had a warrant for and they were quick to take the cuffs off.
As far as these “white officers” are concerned when they say to a person “you look like someone we are looking for” or “you fit the description of a man we are looking for” all they see is the skin color. To them every black person looks the same.
You will never see them arresting a white guy because some white guy has a warrant out for his arrest.
As the FBI officer stated at the end. You guys are just DUMB.
Another video showed an off duty black fireman going to his car with a duffel bag as he heads to a gym. Several cops pull up and demand he identify himself. He asks if he is suspected of a crime and one officer goes on to say “You fit the description of a pedophile spotted in the area” and when the person asks "what description " they say “A black man in shorts and a black T shirt wearing a gold chain”. This happened to be how the guy was dressed. After some back and forth and the arrival of a supervisor he is allowed to go on his way. The man looks into the suspect pedophile they were looking for and it was a white middle edged male, balding and with a pot belly.
It was flat out racism in both instances coupled with stupidity.
These are commonsense reforms.
One thing that may have to happen is not to allow police to have union representation for a couple of years, and only let police unions come back slowly and limit what they are allowed to demand for police officers, wages, healthcare, work hours, but NOT policy and certainly not protection of officers from the penalties for mis-conduct.
I’m not sure I agree with having police unions at all. They don’t participate, or even support other unions, or their union activities. In years past, when firefighters and police had parity in pay and benefits, they let the ff unions negotiate wages, healthcare, etc. for them. That doesn’t exist anymore, they are usually paid far more than firefighters and EMT’s. As a past firefighter local union president, I stopped trying to engage the police union members in any type of union action we were involved in, they always had excuses why they couldn’t back us up against city management. Today, their main focus is summed up in the last part of your last sentence.
I propose one simple reform. If a police officer is convicted of murder or aggravated assault causing bodily harm, his or her police chief must resign. I think conservatives call it “zero tolerance”.
How about applying a “Three Strikes and You’re Out” policy to police officers?
There are at least two major reforms needed to make this work:
1. Real Accountability with an INDEPENDENT Community Board reviewing ALL complaints against officers, with assumption of guilt if an officer had turned off or was not wearing his or her body camera.
2. A National Database to ensure that officers dismissed after three verified incidents of misconduct could not EVER AGAIN be hired in ANY law enforcement capacity anywhere in the U.S. — not even as a private security guard.
Of course this is in addition to Zero Tolerance of serious violations, as noted by others above.