Here is an EXCELLENT essay by John W. Whitehead:
This is no longer a debate over good cops and bad cops. It’s a tug-of-war between the constitutional republic America’s founders intended and the police state we are fast becoming.
So how do we fix what’s broken, stop the senseless shootings and bring about lasting reform?
For starters, stop with the scare tactics. Despite the propaganda being peddled by the government and police unions, police today experience less on-the-job fatalities than they ever have historically.
Second, level the playing field. While police are entitled to every protection afforded under the law, the same as any other citizen, they should not be afforded any special privileges.
Third, require that police officers be trained in non-lethal tactics. Train police in non-lethal force, crisis intervention training, de-escalation techniques, and how to respect their fellow citizens’ constitutional rights?
Fourth, ditch the quasi-military obsession. With police agencies dressing like the military in camouflage and armor, training with the military, using military weapons, riding around in armored vehicles, recruiting military veterans, and even boasting military titles, one would be hard pressed to distinguish between the two. Still, as I point out in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, it’s our job to make sure that we can distinguish between the two, and that means keeping the police in their place as civilians—non-military citizens—who are entrusted with protecting our rights.
Fifth, demilitarize. There are many examples of countries where police are not armed and dangerous, and they are no worse off for it. Indeed, their crime rates are low and their police officers are trained to view every citizen as precious.
Sixth, stop making taxpayers pay for police abuses. Some communities are trying to require police to carry their own professional liability insurance. The logic is that if police had to pay out of pocket for their own wrongdoing, they might be more cautious and less inclined to shoot first and ask questions later.
Seventh, support due process for everyone, not just the people in your circle. After all, you could be the next person who gets shot by a police officer for moving the wrong way during a traffic stop, running the wrong way in the vicinity of a police officer, or defending yourself against a home invasion when the police show up at the wrong address in the middle of the night.
Fixing this problem will not be easy, but there are a few things that we can be sure of: America should not be a battlefield. Police officers are not soldiers.
And “We the People: are not the enemy.
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