Here’s a meme which quote I agree completely with. The issues between police and poorer communities… the black community, especially… is not an “either/or” proposition. It’s a two-way street. The quote in this meme, ostensibly by Jon Stewart, sums up my opinion almost perfectly.
Police DO have a hard job. Police are put in dangerous positions. Police do do things that the average person would not be willing to do. Police have family and friends and loved ones who care for them, and as such have the right to reasonably defend themselves. Note that I said “reasonably”. All of that is absolutely true.
But, at the same time, police are NOT judge, jury, and executioner. Police do not have the right to indiscriminately shoot and ask questions later. It’s very disturbing that the default tactic for many situations has become a sort of blitzkrieg-like assault on suspects, denying any and all culpability or liability if done in error. Some of these tactics are noted in Radley Balko’s book, Rise of the Warrior Cop. I read this book a couple years ago when it first came out, and it is absolutely infuriating.
Simply put, the police need to be reigned in. No more “black ops”-type raids. Uncover your faces and wear name tags. Provide open accountability when assignments go awry. Take away the power for police to investigate themselves. This breeds corruption. I would say that a police officer deserves a little extra consideration and leeway considering the job they do, but they do NOT deserve immunity of any kind. If they break the law, they should be investigated by an outside legal investigating organization, and if warranted be prosecuted accordingly.
It’s really all about respect. The person wearing the uniform of a police officer deserves the base respect that the uniform is supposed to warrant, but additional respect should always depend on the officer’s and the department’s actions. Respect, even for police, is a two-way street.