ago, it was Terence Crutcher in Tulsa. In 2004, a military friend tricked me into
watching an internet video of Nick Berg being beheaded by Iraqi Islamists. It
has proven impossible to forget. For many Americans, the Scott and Crutcher
images (and so many others) will be impossible to forget.
Today, every officer has a over a dozen rounds in his/her pistol and an AR in
the car. A military grade SWAT team waits in the wings with one or two
armored vehicles shipped in from the Iraqi conflict. Police and Sheriff
departments receive military style equipment and training for community
policing. Are we the enemy? I value law enforcement, but must I fear them? If
you are friends with a police officer, ask if he/she trusts every member of the
department. There ARE bad cops. I am not one that sees this as a race issue.
This is a training issue. This is a judgement issue. Sheriffs are elected officials.
The mayors and commissioners that hire police chiefs are elected officials.
Protests can be nonviolent.
Several years ago, my father was involved in a verbal dispute with officers. He
was pulled through the car window and brutally beaten. He was a paraplegic in
a clearly placarded vehicle weak from multiple surgeries and cancer
treatments. The issue cited by officers was failure to follow instructions. My
father was a former chief deputy. My father was white.
More recently, my small community has settled lawsuits over involvement in a
regional drug task force that grenaded an asian infant and shot dead a
caucasian preacher as he ministered. To imagine that police never make
mistakes is blindness. To pretend money resurrects the dead is madness.
Keith Scott's brother-in-law made a beautiful point during the presser today.
He said, "We shouldn't have to humanize him... he was an American citizen
that deserved better." I don't know if the man had a gun. Terrence Crutcher
didn't. I want the police to shoot dangerous criminals. I believe in the death
penalty and even that some people don't deserve a jury. And yet, I need to see
that authorities are held to the same standards of prosecution as I am. Blue
lives matter, but the blue shield needs to disappear. Betty Shelby's arrest is a
good first step. Hillary Clinton's would be even better.
A police person that empowers community is like gold. One that breeds
mistrust and division is cancer.