Blood on Your Hands: Police Violence


Continued excuses and inaction on excessive police violence is doing more than costing civilian lives. It is costing police lives. It is degrading police relations to the point that the people who the police are supposed to protect are afraid to call the police. Many people of color are terrified of a routine traffic stop, but more and more, even middle-class whites fear the police.

How is this costing police lives? One way is that it is inspiring crazy people and angry people to execute police officers in vengeance. Five innocent officers were shot in Dallas inspired by the wave of police killings. A black female officer in New York was executed a few weeks ago. An innocent cop deserves to be killed for being a cop no more than an innocent blank man deserves to be killed for being black. But it will happen more and more as lack of justice for unnecessary police violence continues.

Another way that inaction on police violence is jeopardizing police is that fear being killed or abused by police is so great that people are more likely to flee or attack when dealing with police officers. This will lead to additional violence and death – both dealt upon and dealt by the police.

As things are now, fear of the police and fear by the police is becoming a vicious cycle. The anger against police, caused by police violence, makes the police more on edge; which leads to more mistakes, abuses, and violence; which leads to even more anger against the police.

Actual criminals aren’t going to fix this. They aren’t going to back down to try to reduce police violence. The public is not going to stop being mad and scared by unnecessary police killings. The only people who can fix this are the police. Police officers, departments, and unions can step up and start doing things now, or they can let it get worse; costing more lives, causing more violence, and destroying more public trust. Eventually, the police will be forced to clean up their act. Why not do it voluntarily, do the right thing, and save some blood?

Simply put: tolerating police violence, racial profiling, and militarism is killing people. Apologizing for cops that shoot people unnecessarily is killing people. Failing to demand retraining of our police force is killing people. Police departments allowing half-assed use of body cams is killing people. Police unions who cannot find a way to stand up for their members without condoning murder and brutality are killing people. White people who didn’t care about the non-violent message of Black Lives Matter until the police shot a white woman have killed people – indeed their inaction helped lead to her death. Allowing “I was afraid for my life” to be a literal “get out of jail free card” for police is killing people. Jeff Sessions’ inept, understaffed, and corrupt management of the Justice department in a time of violence is killing people. Politicians whose only response to the killing of an innocent person it to say their “condolences” are killing people.

There are a lot of solutions besides letting this continue or trashing the police. Here are some suggestions:

  • The two rulings that make “I was afraid for my life” an excuse for sloppy, reactionary, and brutal reactions need to be challenged legislatively or in the courts. The solution needs to give cops in actual life-and-death situations latitude, but dial back when it can be used with reasonable and clear criteria
  • Training programs to “weaponize cops”, “turn cops into soldiers”, and “make cops warriors” need to be outlawed, and the hate-filled scum who run these courses should be sued into poverty. There are police training programs that train police to protect themselves and the public; they are effective; and by now, they should be mandated.
  • Racial profiling needs to stop. Statistics show that racially and socio-economically motivated police interactions have a dramatically higher rate of abuse. They are also simply racist and Unconstitutional.
  • Body cameras should be required, and police should not have the option to turn off the cameras or erase video of interactions with the public. Perhaps we should chip officer’s guns and make it impossible to fire when the camera is not on. That is extreme, but if the police insist on cheating on accountability, that should be the price they pay.
  • Increase police pay to attract a higher quality of candidates for the job, and purge people with anger issues and people who can’t handle a life-and-death situation without cracking from the officers working the street.