Sometimes we wish we could “rewind” something we have just seen, because we can’t believe our eyes. What we thought we saw can’t be what really happened, we reason.

In recent days, the media has permitted us to take another look at what occurred March 25 in Minneapolis. There, a black man, George Floyd, was arrested for a non-violent offense. He was taken into custody by four police officers. He was handcuffed, then forced to lie prone on the street.

While two officers held him down, a third knelt over him, with his knee pressed hard onto Floyd’s neck. Floyd died.

Over an over again we have watched Floyd be killed by a police officer.

It did happen.

In cities throughout the nation, his death sparked protests and riots. Note that we differentiated between the two.

Rioting is unacceptable, in large measure because it too often harms members of neighborhoods and communities. Seldom does it harm the object of rioters’ anger. Burned police cruisers will be replaced. Small businesses damaged in civil unrest sometimes cannot be salvaged.

Protesters demanding justice for George Floyd — and for other victims of violent bigotry, both past and future — are finding their message lost in coverage of rioting.

That cannot be allowed to happen. Here is how we as a people can get back to the discussion about bigotry: The overwhelming majority of police officers, sheriffs’ deputies and other law enforcement agents really do believe in protecting and serving everyone.

It is they who must lead our conversation about race in America. It is they who must find the bad apples in their midst and rid their departments of them.

That will require great courage. Law enforcement personnel tend to adopt a bunker mentality, that an attack on one is an assault to be resisted by all.

It is time for change. We demand they safeguard us from rogues in uniform, too.

(4) comments

Spock Here

Judging by several remarks on the BLM "cartoon" today, the message was never gotten by some.

slowe

Yes, the good cops MUST lead here. They MUST report the bad cops and the bad actions from even other good cops. THe thin blue line must be broken. The tribal protection of fellow police family men bears must be challenged. For this to happen there needs to be whistleblower protection for the good cops who report the bad cops, because it would not be safe for them to do so otherwise. If the good cops don’t want to be lumped in with the actions of the bad cops, they need to differentiate themselves. Silence by them is consent by them. It makes them complicit with the bad cops. THey become enablers, accomplices in all their bad actions. To save their well earned and desired reputations, they must clean house and assure the bad cops and the bad wrong actions are exposed, condemned, and punished. THey must win back the public trust, which they have in a large part lost by the numerous and widespread bad, wrong actions by a few. (Note: we assume it is by only a few!). The police unions must rise to the task, and while protecting their members’ working conditions, they must publicly root out the bad apples contaminating their collective reputations. THe FOP must step in and work to expose racism and excessive force amongst it’s members. It must reject those members as quickly as some police chiefs are firing officers for mis-conduct. THe elected officials, all, should create a citizens’ review board to review all reports of police misconduct. Police need to be trained and re-trained on minorities, racism, and levels of acceptable force. Else, we will become a “bad” police state.

Ali

One thing that I can imagine people are fed up with is the mantra of “things have got to change” followed, consistently, by inaction and no change.

Spock Here

May, not March, 25. I doubt the entire nation would have been as outraged as it is now without the evidence for all to see. A cold blooded executioner staring calmly at ….what?

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