As we are led to believe that we are facing a country filled with many issues and faults, I find it very curious that we consistently fail to attack the main problem. This is no more true than what has occurred during this supposed “crackdown” on systemic, corporate, educational and individual racism that has taken place over the past few months.

As the people of America have relentlessly attacked the police forces for their alleged constant acts of “racism, crimes against humanity and unjust punishment,” they fail to realize that judging an entire orchard based on a few rancid grapes is the exact same act of prejudice they claim to be speaking out against in the form of systemic racism.

In fact, this entire “revolution” has me scratching my head about what this movement is actually about, because many organizations that have been well-established with roots of eugenics, prejudice, human injustice, and public indecency have gone entirely untouched, while companies, local businesses and people who do honest work and treat others fairly seem to be the ones unfairly put in the forefront of attack.

All of what has occurred points to the idea that this entire system is based on agenda, an agenda to rid the country of fair law enforcement, civility and the freedom of expression. I am very much a person who seethes at the idea of racial injustice. People such as Derek Chauvin have no excuse for their awful actions, but judging the entire police force over an estimated 25 unjust African American killings in the whole year of 2019 is a gross overgeneralization of human nature and tendency. I would love to see that number shrink to zero, and I wish that any unjust killing by an officer to a man of any color would be punished to the first degree. However, abolishing the United States police force is no way of doing this reasonably. In fact, more people of color will die because of an absence of police.

According to a New York Post article by Heather MacDonald, in 2019, homicides of African Americans went down by 120 from 2018 in New York due to the actions of police being more involved in minority residential zones. That’s almost five times the lives saved compared to lives taken without justification, from one state alone. This does not justify the killings that occurred, but puts into perspective how much for granted we have taken the police in our country.

It’s time we give the police the respect and honor they deserve. Yes, there are terrible men in uniform out there, but I know for a fact that a vast majority of the people brave enough to wear the badge are kindhearted individuals who would lay their life down for the safety and well-being of the American people. That even includes those who riot against them.

John Desautels

Fleetwood

Recommended for you

(5) comments

johnedesautels@gmail.com

(Reply to previous comment)

I really appreciate you giving me your input! I will say you have very well-constructed this statement, and for that, I commend you.

To start off, I understand that not *all* of this movement is calling for an outright removal of the police. My generalizations went a bit far there, and for that, I accept my mistake. However, I am mainly referring to the message the mainstream media is playing into. They continue to give this message and idea that all police forces are here to control minorities and to exert control over the people in a brutal way. I can with confidence say that this is simply not the case. The media also is covering most of the people who *do* want total abolition of the police in favor of a less effective measure of law enforcement that uses no lethal or subduing force, which would cause almost as much trouble as not having any law enforcement at all. Them covering mostly *just* those people who do want to abolish the police entirely gives many who watch them the same idea, and from what I've seen from my peers, total abolition is a lot more common than you're leading us to believe with your comment here.

And to answer your question, no. I am not a police officer. I don't have near enough the amount of grit or bravery to be one, as that job, especially now, is among the most treacherous to be a part of. I'm actually a college student who has been involved in both sides of the political spectrum for a while. As for what you said about a reform in officer training, I totally agree with you! I believe it is very important that police officers get trained with more hand-to-hand combat, and are also trained in proper etiquette. However, I also believe in the power of a gun. Police are threatened with firearms more than anybody else in the United States. Therefore, I think it's important that they should be trained accordingly on how to use their own firearms to non-lethally neutralize a suspect that is armed and dangerous. I also agree that officers need to not be afraid to tell one of their own to stand down when they're behaving in an excessive manner.

As for respect, yes, respect is earned, but all I ever see for the police force is disrespect, regardless of their integrity, etiquette, and heart. I find this to be absolutely saddening, as I know and have run into many officers who only care about everyone's best interest in the end. I feel like our disrespect needs to be directed VERY specifically towards the police officers who execute malpractice, and their parent police force. We need to attack the problem to rid the potential of it, not attack the potential problem to bring it out in them too.

Again, thank you for commenting! I enjoyed reading your piece and liked acknowledging your feedback. Have a good morning.

thechaosaysmuuuu

=)

Alright! This is what I like to see! Civilized discussion and a mutual respect for differing opinions. Thank you so much for your thoughtful response! Apologies if my original comment came off as overly combative. I've just gotten too used to folks on here that simply refuse to engage in any semblance of discussion. I suppose that's in part my problem though; I'm a loud-mouth =P.

I would agree RE: the media's portrayal of these events. What can I say? Sensationalism and extremism gets clicks, unfortunately. That's what you get with advertising-based news models (but that's a whoooole other discussion...) I'm still not sure that I agree many folks want total abolishment, though I do know they are out there. I wish we had some data/surveys we could reference to actually have some facts from which to draw our opinions, one way or the other, but there's not much there. So, on that point I am more than happy to agree to disagree, or better yet, to await more data.

Yeah, I'm no officer either, for much of the same reasons. While I do personally have issues with over-policing of society, I also believe that our officers are sorely under-paid and under-trained. Much like many of our public servants and our foundational labor force, from healthcare workers to service workers to teachers (my own profession), these folks are often treated...well...extremely poorly, quite frankly, and almost always underpaid and under-appreciated. Thoughts and prayers don't put food on the table.

I don't completely agree RE: the use of lethal force, as I think that it ignores part of the systemic issues behind it, i.e. do we really need such an overly-armed, gun-toting society? Don't get me wrong, I own a gun, and I respect one's right to own a gun, *but* Americans do tend to take it to the extreme, often caring more about the right to bear arms than the basic human rights of their neighbors. But again, that's another issue entirely, and you are correct that regardless of this, the reality we are in right now is one of rampant gun violence. I certainly don't want to be an officer in this reality. Frankly, I'm not sure the best way to address this problem, it's too far outside my own wheelhouse. At the very least, however, I think that investing more in deescalation training would go a long way. Without coming off as "fat-shaming" I would also like to see stricter requirements for physical fitness in our officers. I really think that that coupled with martial arts training would go a long way to help reduce the use of lethal force.

I do also agree RE: the level of respect for officers. It's a tricky situation. I grew up with a number of family friends who were in the police force, and they were some of the kindest, hardest working folks I've had the pleasure of knowing. It made me proud to know that they were out there on the front lines. I think what was different though, at least in my own personal experiences, was that these folks refused to get into the whole "brotherhood" concept of policing. I.e. that fellow officers always come first. If someone was out of line, they were called on it and most often removed from the force. That seems to be disappearing, or rather, maybe not as common as where I grew up. That's my primary issue. I do also agree that one's ire should indeed be directed primarily towards those engaging in egregious acts. However, I think that we must also hold accountable, at least in part, the police force from which these individuals emerge. Especially in the case of someone as clearly unfit for duty as Chauvin. He should have been removed after the first offense.

Anyhow, I just want to thank you again for your thoughtful and kind response. This is what we need more of right now.

Stay safe, stay healthy, and be well!

failte2111@gmail.com

straw man

thechaosaysmuuuu

Hahaha! I'll bite. Which part?

thechaosaysmuuuu

De-funding does not mean the total abolishment of police forces. De-funding means redirecting funds towards more community-oriented programs (like social services), as opposed to militarizing our police forces. It also means *retraining* police forces in de-escalation techniques. Frankly, I think that *every* officer must be trained to *at least* purple belt level in a martial art (ex: ju-jitsu). If an officer does not know how to handle themselves, their bodies, or the bodies of a criminal in the act, then they get scared, and end up relying on deadly force. If you can't defend yourself without deadly force, you have absolutely no place being an officer on the street. Period. Full stop.

Now back to the main point:

*Very few* are calling for outright abolishment and removal of police. I think you should be applying your own logic to this. You are arguing against the most extreme example of this view, and you are judging an entire movement by it's outliers. In other words, you're doing the exact same thing that you are decrying others for doing!

I must also ask. Are you an officer? I only ask because another reason that so many are upset, beyond the gross injustices that I think we all should be enraged by, is that *rarely* do officers speak out against the actions of their fellow officers, even acts as despicable, and frankly evil, as what happened to George Floyd. Even less often do they intervene in the moment. Why did none of the other officers remove Chauvin? They spent nearly *nine* minutes watching him slowly kill him!!! What exactly are we supposed to gather from that? Until officers begin standing up themselves in an effort to root out these "bad apples," until they being intervening in the moment and preventing these tragedies, how are citizens supposed to trust that these officers have our best interests in mind? Standing by silently, or worse, justifying these kinds of acts (which some have done) is compliance. Compliance to a system that allows these kinds of despicable actions to occur.

To a citizen like myself, then, this silent compliance tells me that many officers must therefore condone these kinds of actions, at least in part, otherwise they would be standing up en masse to speak out against it. They would be joining peaceful protesters in the street, not tear-gassing and beating them. They would be doing massive house-clearings of these "bad apples," not crying "persecution!" as we saw a couple months back with the NYPD. It's not like this was Chauvin's first disgusting, violent act as an officer, he had engaged in over a dozen egregious acts over the years, yet was allowed to continue being an officer?! It's this kind of systemic rot that citizens are angered by. This is why many are calling for de-funding, taking note from what was done in Camden, NJ. Tearing it down yes, but for the purpose of re-building a more sane, just police force! *That's* what the vast majority of people are calling for in de-funding, not a return to some anarcho-primitivist, police-less society (they're in the minority.)

I will grant that everyone deserves respect, respect as a living human being. But respect of power and authority not the same. That kind of respect is *earned*, not given. Authority does not automatically grant one respect and deference. Until police forces and officers begin actively addressing these issues and calling out (and stopping!!!) their fellow officers from committing these egregious acts, then they can continue to expect a lack of respect from citizens. (again, I speak specifically of respect for authority here).

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.