Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Not Anti Cop. Not Anti Black.....

“You know, the hardest part of having a conversation surrounding police shootings in America, it always feels like in America, it’s like if you take a stand for something, you automatically are against something else. 

It’s either one or the other. With police shootings, it shouldn’t have to work that way. For instance, if you are pro black lives matter, you are assumed to be anti police. And if you are pro police, you surely hate black people.  

It seems like it's either pro-cop and anti-black, or pro-black and anti-cop, when in reality you can be pro-cop and pro-black, which is what we should all be. It is what we should be aiming for. You shouldn’t have to choose between the police and the citizens they are sworn to protect." Trevor Noah

Uh-huh, yes. That pretty much sums it up. I am not pro-black and anti-cop. I am not pro-cop and anti-black. I am anti perpetrators of violence.  I am pro black. I am pro cop.

To declare there is not an issue with the police abusing their power and authority….ever...or rarely..contradicts a shit load of evidence to the contrary. To declare all cops are corrupt and abusive equally misses the mark.

While I firmly believe that the majority of cops are good cops who deserve our support and admiration, there are bad ones too. And from what I’ve read, some of them are “swing votes.” Their behavior and ethics depend on their peers and the culture of their department.

On any given day, in any police department in the nation, 15 percent of officers will do the right thing no matter what is happening. Fifteen percent of officers will abuse their authority at every opportunity. The remaining 70 percent could go either way depending on whom they are working with. Quote taken from a Vox article and attributed to K.L. Williams who trains police in the use of violence.

Does the problem stem from peer pressure, the desensitization of empathy caused by dealing with criminals and violence every day? I don’t know. There is a problem, though, and it seems that minorities get the brunt of it. Wrong place, wrong time, wrong color…wrong guy?

I’ve heard/read a lot of stuff about the shootings this past week or so. Conservatives vs liberals; both bandying about polar opposite views. Perhaps the single most impacting story of all for me emerged from the news conference with the medical team from Parkland Memorial Hospital. Particularly from an emotional Dr. Brian H. Williams. He was the trauma surgeon who tried to save the lives of the wounded Dallas police officers.

What makes his story unique is that he has one foot in both worlds. He is a respected doctor who deals with the police on a daily basis but also as an average everyday black guy in street clothes who fears the police.

"I will defend you and I will care for you," he said. "That doesn't mean that I do not fear you."

He's been stopped by police himself over the years and said he is mindful each time that he must act and speak in a way that doesn't seem threatening. He lives each time in fear that he could be killed. He sees the news about other black men killed by police.

In one traffic stop, he ended up "spread eagle" on the hood of the cruiser. In another, when he was stopped for speeding, he had to wait until a second officer arrived. Just a few years ago, he was stopped by an officer and questioned as he stood outside his apartment complex waiting for someone to pick him up and drive him to the airport.

He doesn't have such encounters every day but when he does, he's on his guard and, "I'm always just praying for the encounter to end."

He said this about the cops he couldn’t save…..

I think about it every day. That I was unable to save those cops when they came here that night," Williams said. "It weighs on my mind constantly. This killing. It has to stop. Black men dying and being forgotten. People retaliating against the people who were sworn to defend us. We have to come together and end all this.

Not anti cop. No anti black but rather anti perpetrators of violence.

Take a few minutes and watch the videos....HERE and HERE. They are very impacting.

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