It’s been sprayed all over the media lately, every day on the front page of many news outlets and social networks, unnecessary fatal force applied to specific races and social classes by community members designated to protect and serve their community.
So, my first instinct as a Journalist and Human Rights Advocate is to look to the facts. Our emotions can sometimes cloud our vision in situations, which is understandable to a degree especially in situations such as the Latest shooting in Ferguson that has left many rightfully broken hearted, and calling for change. However, it is important in order to promote positive change and growth, that we remain objective. I wanted to know, how many Civilians have been shot by Police in 2013/2014..I wanted to know out of those people how many were armed? How many were unarmed? How many were actual suspects, perpetrators, and how many were just in the wrong place at the wrong time, I wanted to know how many were men, women, children, and what race and social class each person belonged to as well… though let’s face it, that thought alone is TIRED, AND OUTDATED. We ALL bleed red, we all look the same from a skeletal level, we all share one planet, and we are ALL one human family, so the division lines have to stop in general, however, the purpose of these questions for me served more to gain clarity, and answers. I wanted to know if this is just escalating as injustice against a certain class because these are the cases we are choosing to focus on, or if there really is prejudice occurring in which case, I am NOT OK with ANYONE attacking my friends of any culture, race, or nation. I wanted to know if this is a national epidemic where members of the community honorably appointed to protect us, are pulling the trigger first and asking questions later.
Unfortunately, a credible national database on use of force by police is not really existent so upon researching you come up with more questions, than answers… this is the first step to put in place and one that criminologists have been asking for, for years. I don’t care who you are, or what badge you wear, as everyone else, we must maintain a level of accountability to appropriate and non-discriminative action from ALL members of the community from the Chief of Police, to the Security Guard, to the Attendant at 7 Eleven, to the 11 year old child, lines of consistency MUST be in place, and maintained, period. This alone would eliminate a majority of questions and assist citizens in regaining clarity, despite the heartache, i.e. is this just a few rare situations, or is this truly a current racial prejudice from members of the system designed to serve and protect ALL of the citizens which on NO OCCASION is divided to state that specific rights and privileges apply to those of specific race, classes, backgrounds, etc.
What we need now, to move forward as a society, is clarity & accountability. WE as the people must be accountable for our actions; we must make educated choices to not put ourselves into positions such as rioting, looting, robbing, vandalizing, attacking, etc. where any of these potential attacks are going to happen to begin with, THAT is where we accept responsibility for forward change. Law Enforcement officers must go back to the original codes of conduct that they were sworn into, they must be able to see all citizens as equals and any prejudices must be put aside if they are going to be appointed to (and I will say it again) PROTECT & SERVE – the community. And that is what they are appointed to do, not to bully, not to berate, not to intimidate or act with unnecessary force to prove their self as “better” or “stronger” in any situation.
As with every situation, there is “good” and there is “bad” let’s also remember to speak to the members of police who have on more occasions than can be documented come to the service, aid, and rescue of people of all classes, races and backgrounds on many occasions, there ARE people out there now who uphold themselves to the highest standards of integrity and ethics and today, let us all take a moment to thank them.
And then there are bad seeds, such as the officer who chose to shoot an unarmed suspect 6 times, twice in the head for no apparent reason… apparent being the keyword, and if he is found to have acted out of line, he should and I can only assume will be held accountable to the highest level appropriate by the courts, i.e. Justice.
More importantly than that, US as citizens must maintain a level of composure, respect and peace throughout and during protest situation. These intentional and premeditated deliberate acts of violence, looting, and riots do NOTHING to get the point across that what we are seeking is peace, justice, and consistent treatment from members of Law Enforcement within all races, classes, and communities, period. I would like to thank the many who have showed up peacefully, in support of just that. I would also like to offer up my heartfelt condolences to the families of all who have lost someone to such tragedies, and offer up a hope for peace and unconditional love within all communities going forward.
My heart see’s not colors, only love, and now more than ever I call for rightful action and justice.