On December 19, 2015 I posted an article on Political Pawns And Puppets entitled ‘Fix The Problem With the American Police Force Now.’ This article was critical of police, police departments and politicians around the country for, in essence, giving police officers around America Card Blanche to use excessive and even lethal force on those whom they have sworn to serve and protect.
This criticism was based on the fact that very few police officers are charged with a crime for their conduct when they use excessive or lethal force and that those who are charged are very seldom convicted and are regularly allowed to keep their job. I implied, by virtue of the article, that this phenomenon makes me frustrated and angry with the system as well as with those responsible for it who are content to do absolutely nothing to correct the problem.
I said that those police officers who abuse their power in this way do it because they can and they know that they will not be held to account. I recently read a couple of articles in Vox.com; one by Dara Lind and the other by German Lopez, regarding this issue. These reporters who have more resources available to them to research these kinds of problems than I do did not answer the hypothetical question that I said these unscrupulous police officers posed to America, which was, ‘so the best word for our actions is hubris, what are you going to do about it? But they did shed some light on why Grand Juries do not indict them and conventional juries tend to allow them to go free even when they are charged with a crime. And since the purpose of all of my articles is not only to express my opinion about a situation but to provide information on it that will be beneficial in encouraging you to be informed and involved in improving and/or correcting it, I want to share those articles with you.
Although I remain frustrated and angry I realize and accept the fact that we are a country of laws and that I should not just discount those laws because I am frustrated and angry with the system and the complacent attitude of those responsible for overseeing and administering it. The aforementioned articles provided food for thought for me as to what my point of focus should be with respect to excessive use of force and the use of lethal force by police. Perhaps they will do the same for you and help you to determine whether your point of focus on these subjects is an area that needs to be reevaluated.
It is in that context that I am providing you with the following link to my December 19th article and the articles in Vox.com in the event that you would like to read them:
- Fix The Problem With The American Police Force Now
- When is it legal for a cop to kill you?
- Grand jury says police shooting of Tamir Rice was legally justified. That’s the problem.
It does not mean that I have changed my mind and believe that police officers who commit despicable acts are justified in doing so because I accept the fact that there are laws in place that might play a part in why these jurors allow police officers who abuse their authority to go free. Instead, it means that perhaps my focus in my efforts to play a part in correcting this problem is in the wrong place and if I want to be successful in those efforts, I need to focus elsewhere.
If it is the laws that are preventing those who are responsible for overseeing and administering the system from holding police officers accountable for their actions; and if it is the laws that are forcing Grand Juries and conventional juries to allow unscrupulous cops to avoid consequences, then perhaps the focus should be on getting those laws changed. The laws should be changed because breaking police department rules, regulations and policies is not a crime. Even with these things in place, if they were applied, they are virtually trumped by the existing laws and rendered all but meaningless.
If the current laws are instrumental in enabling police officers to abuse their power and avoid the consequences of their actions and if they serve to proliferate such injustice and a system that is obviously broken then these laws should be changed. America must not continue to operate under this system simply because it is challenging for our elected leaders to change it due to its political implications. I want to make it clear that while we work to get these laws changed we must not stop doing the things that we are already doing to affect change and achieve a system that allows for equal justice under the law.
Allow me to leave you with these suggestions; continue to hold those accountable who are responsible for overseeing and administering this system, keep the pressure on them and demand that they do whatever it takes to correct the problems with it. Stay informed and be sure to vote in the upcoming elections. If you just cannot get yourself motivated enough to vote in the primaries, at least, be sure to vote in the 2016 presidential election! Finally, always remember that whether you are a Democrat, Republican or Independent, your vote is the most important one of all…unless you don’t use it!