Black Lives Matter
White Lives Matter
Pink with Purple Polka-dot Lives Matter
But Black Lives deserve the most attention. Why? Because they are statistically
the most likely victims.
In a stressful, urban environment where there might be under-trained police, stressed police,
or police with an attitude and those police are heavily armed, there is the potential for things to go badly wrong.
And when there is no redress for the victims it becomes institutionalized.
It is on the news weekly and sometimes nightly.
Most cops are public servants going to a job, doing the best they can as per
their training and conscience.
Like everyone else, they hope to arrive home safely that night to their home and their families.
They also like to pick up a paycheck come Friday.
Not markedly different from the rest of us.
However, they have a special responsibility.
They wield deadly force.
And the "Rambo" factor is at play. As their environmet gets more dangerous and hiring and payrolls go down,
the temptation is to "automate" with larger caliber weapons, larger magazines, new tools, techniques etc.
It is probably interesting from a hardware point of view, but it is like handling a large rattlesnake. You can't let go of the head.
Similarly, you can't just unholster that gun.
This author's game warden was an artillery officer with elite units in Afghanistan.
He could probably annihilate whole counties if the occasion warranted.
He takes great pride in defusing every situation and talking everyone down out of their tree.
That is a buttress for the argument of community policing.
If the local Irish cop O'Malley knows everyone on the block, he also knows who steals cars and people come to him willingly with info.
If he shoots their teenage son because his gun was out first, he's not very welcome and the intelligence network dries up.
If the policeman knows your name, remembers you played serious baseball in high school and wants to know who's your pretty girlfriend,
it's a totally different environment than "Up against the car!".
This approach of human policing is a good start on making black lives matter.
And a history of this kind of policing creates a culture, both in the police force and on the street.
It doesn't happen overnight and few bad eggs will resist retirement to the bitter end.
But the procedure must start now before another teenage son is killed.
Of course there is more and it gets complex, but all journeys start somewhere.
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