Let’s be clear; most law enforcement officers are concerned with protecting and serving the people of their cities and states. However, as in all professions, there are some ‘bad apples.’ The problem with ‘bad apples’ in law enforcement is that they have the ability to take human life.
The problem does not exist only with the ‘cops on the street.’ The entire judicial system needs to be modernized, not militarized. Both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton recognized this fact, but not your illegitimate president. He and his attorney Jeff “Beauregard” Sessions believe that law enforcement is maligned by the African American community. Their lives are important, while the life of a poor black man is ‘collateral damage.’
I grew up in Los Angeles in the 1950’s and 1960’s. I graduated high school in 1964. I was in a Catholic school until my junior year when I left to attend Venice High School. Venice was a perfect example of diversity. Whites, blacks, Hispanics, Asian Americans, Jews, and virtually every other race, religion, and ethnicity attended my school.
My African American friends told me stories that were at first difficult to believe. They talked of harassment by police, and even physical assault. There exists a single difference between those times and now, and they are called wireless phones. Everyone has a camera today, and atrocities committed by anyone can be recorded for everyone to see. This is where we see the real problem.
Law enforcement officers are rarely punished for their crimes. Grand Juries, and the courts protect their own.
It is rare to see a rich, white man or woman punished to the full extent of the law, while low-income and poor black Americans receive the most severe punishment allowed by our antiquated laws.
Law enforcement officers fail to receive adequate training. Understanding the legal requirements and learning how to accurately discharge a firearm are insufficient. Much more time is needed for psychological evaluation, and community awareness.
Jeff Sessions is seeking a reversal of President Obama’s order requiring leniency for non-violent crimes including possession of illegal substances. There is only one reason for this foolhardy and cruel action; incarceration of more African Americans and for a lengthier period of time. Did I mention that Sessions is from Alabama?
America has approximately five-percent of the world’s population, but 25 percent of known incarcerations. In 2013, Blacks and Hispanics composed 58 percent of the population who remained in jail or prison, although they compose approximately 30 percent of the population. Blacks in America are nearly four times as likely to be charged and imprisoned for the use or sale of marijuana. Sessions believes that only ‘bad’ people use marijuana. Trump supports his AG.
Today Trump issued a proclamation; the White House will be lit in ‘blue’ every Monday evening to honor the 394 police officers who lost their lives in the line of duty. Trump has denounced the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement. He has labeled them ‘thugs and villains.’ For Trump it is obvious that “black lives don’t matter.” He has failed to offer his support or condolences to the families of black men and women who lost their lives at the hand of a law enforcement officer who swore to protect them.
This is how Trump reaffirmed his belief in white supremacy; you don’t need to read between the lines.
“You are the thin blue line between civilization and chaos,” Trump said. “Because you don’t hear it nearly enough, I want you to know that patriotic Americans of all backgrounds truly support and love our police. The very sad thing is that today many politicians don’t want to say that, they don’t want to talk about that, because it’s not politically correct, and they think it might hurt them with voters. I will say it, and I will talk about it proudly.”
Trump added one more comment, and once again ignore the truth; blacks are treated more severely than whites by our legal system.
“We will protect you, and we will say, ‘Enough is enough,'” Trump said.
One final statement; one final truth.
When I was younger, I was taught to respect the police. The reasoning behind this instruction was accurate. I was a young, white man, and police officers treated me with kindness and respect. I don’t know how I would have been treated if I had been black or Hispanic.
Regardless, it is different today. We see law enforcement officers shoot first and talk later. They arrive at protests and other gatherings wearing military gear in military vehicles. They come expecting to use physical and even lethal force.
The ‘boys in blue’ do not exist today. This fact is the fault of government at all levels who fail to see the needed changes in society to protect all Americans, not just the white and the wealthy.
by James Turnage
Photo courtesy of Rob “Doc” Wilson
Follow me on twitter; @jamesturnagenov