It is with great sadness in my heart that I write this blog post. There is an epidemic happening right in your backyard; police brutality. Police are continuing to shoot first and ask questions later, and it is tearing this country apart. Beyond taking lives, they are not being held responsible for their heinous crimes. Something must be done. Here are 8 steps that the United States can take to bring police brutality to an end. First, here is a video of the last words of 11 people that were killed by police. It will shock you.
Last Words of 11 People Killed by Police
1.) Investigations led by Independent Prosecutors.
Incidences of accused police brutality, not only resulting in death or injury to suspects, should be investigated by an independent prosecutor, because district attorneys rely on the police department in their districts every day for information, evidence and testimony. The police department and the district attorney have to have trust and cooperation between each other. Some district attorneys may not prosecute to their full potential because they are afraid to alienate the police. If an independent prosecutor investigated crimes internal to the police department, then there would be an un-biased investigation that would result in more incidences of charges of police brutality being brought to trial.
2.) Defunding of Police Departments by the Federal Government.
The Federal Government could defund police departments that are in violation of good practices. This would not completely take away the funding for the police department, as they receive funding from other places. This would not be a permanent solution; it would be temporary until they complied with fair practice. There needs to be a consequence for departments that do not follow the rules and incentives, other than just being humane, to be a fair police department.
3.) End to the “Broken Window” Policy.
Localized only to New York City, there should be an end to the “Broken Window” policy. This is a policy that states that every small crime is treated as an entry level crime to bigger crime. This means that anyone doing something as petty as jumping the subway turnstile can then be arrested for a misdemeanor crime as if they were committing a more serious crime. Strictly enforcing minor violations does not deter more serious crime but simply harasses and antagonizes residents of high-crime neighborhoods.
4.) End to the “Stop and Frisk” Policy.
End the “Stop and Frisk” policy in New York City. This policy allows the police to stop and frisk anybody in New York City that they feel should be stopped, not because they are breaking the law. The “Stop and Frisk” policy creates racial profiling, suspicion, resentment, a sense of unfairness and stereotyping.
5.) End to the Blue Wall of Silence.
Put an End to the Blue Wall of Silence. This is the thin blue line. Cops do not inform or testify against fellow police officers because there is a culture of sticking together no matter what. Cops feel like they will be violating or turning against their “brothers” if they speak up against injustices. Also, a lot of cops do not speak up against their fellow officers when they see an instance of police brutality on the job. They do not question each other’s actions to put on a united front.
6.) Cut off Supply of Surplus Military Gear to Police Departments.
End the supply of surplus military gear to police departments across the United States. If the government creates a war zone, it will be a war zone. It is using unnecessary force on society for police to advance on protestors as if they were a bunch of terrorists. The people are not the enemy, we are society and the goal of police should be to protect citizens, not suppress them into submission. This only increases the mentality of brutality.
7.) Tolerate Peaceful Protests.
Tolerate protestors without using beanbags, tear gas, rubber bullets and dispersal as the first resort. Citizens have the constitutional right to protest, express themselves and peacefully assemble without being dispersed. It is not the police officer’s job to clear the sidewalk of people gathering peacefully. These forceful tactics cannot be a first response but should only be used when the protest gets violent and out of control.
8.) Create an Open Dialogue Between Police Officers and the Community.
There should be an open dialogue between police officers and the community that they are serving. Police officers should be able to tell the community the struggles that they face and what they need from the public to perform their job better. At the same time the community needs to be able to tell their local police department the concerns and issues that they face.
Police departments all over the country should have retraining on how to deal with aspects that have lead to unnecessary violence, injury and death. They cannot continue to shoot first and ask questions later. This would help them have a new approach and it would send a message to the community that they are trying to change their tactics. I do not want to generalize all police officers and assume that they are all on a power trip, but we have a serious epidemic on our hands that must be stopped. I respect most police officers and have had good experiences with them, but some officers are acting in an unacceptable manner. Police officers are here to protect the community, and I was under the impression that they put their lives on the line for the greater good every day. I was not aware that police officers could shoot down any unarmed civilian and then claim, “I was scared.” This must not be tolerated any longer!!!