Thursday, June 11, 2020

Something's Got to Give

If the past few weeks have taught me nothing else it's that policing as we know it simply cannot go on. I have no idea what the solution is -- and am open to any and all ideas. 

Veteran gay activist Andy Humm writes: 
There's a lot of hand-wringing about calls to "DEFUND THE POLICE" as if such rhetoric will hand the election to Trump. All the "smart" political strategists have gotten almost NO ACTION on their calls for police "reform." Activists are marching by the millions worldwide, tearing down statues, and demanding that policing be rebuilt from the ground up--not tweaked. The activists ARE getting ACTION. Politicians who have stood by police unions for decades are now having to go along with banning chokeholds, slashing police budgets, requiring transparency on police discipline, ending no-knock invasions, and much more. It's the same with health care. Mainstream Democrats said MEDICARE FOR ALL will scare people. The pandemic taught us that it is more desperately needed than ever. Don't fault activists for demanding what is needed. If we end up with less than everything it will be better than compromising before we got started.
Again, I'm all ears. We've got to figure out how to stop the police from killing members of the communities they serve.

Still, I will admit I did get a case of the (nervous?) giggles reading this exchange on Twitter, which then led to my coming up with scenarios -- with friends and Damian -- ever since. 

Operator: 911, what's your emergency?
Caller: My car was stolen.
Operator: OK, sir. We have a grief counselor on the way now. 

Operator: 911, what's your emergency?
Caller: My husband just beat the shit out of me.
Operator: Sit tight. We have a life coach on the way.


uptonking said...

Minneapolis City Council has said it will take a year to formulate a plan of action... ??? Mayor has suspended negotiations with the police union. ??? In the meantime, all gun safety classes are booked through the end of the year and gun sales are through the roof. Ummm. Short-sighted? My money is on our chief of police. Smart. He's seen it all. Come up through the ranks. He wants the bad ones out, to make way for some new energy. I think he will be the one to pull this one out of the fire.

barryearle said...

These fake exchanges may seem funny, but here's a real exchange: Police to homeless man with mental issues: Put down that knife or we'll shoot!

He didn't put down the knife. So, he was killed. This happened several years ago in Albuquerque where I live. Of course, the police were exonerated because of the Supreme Court ruling that allows them to kill people if they think they are in danger.

Perhaps if a social worker skilled in this kind of situation had been their with the cops, this person would still be alive.

There are situations where a person in uniform with a gun is necessary. But not all police calls are right for the police. Their training in weapons far exceeds the time they spend learning about community relations. Perhaps it's time to let the police do what they do best and use other agencies to manage those situations that don't call for weapons. Also, it's time to spend more time training police on how to talk with the public and less time on killing them-us.

James Dwight Williamson said...

Let’s not clutch our pearls, anymore than locking up gone with the wind and tearing down all the rebel monuments is gonna stop racism, It’s gonna take some time to find solutions . People need to understand there is a need for a police force. There is also a need for filters on policemen.