National Poet Steven Willis stated it best in one of his poems, "I'm not saying I agreed with what they did. Just saying I've learned not to judge a people for how they grieve." When I see the outburst of anger and rage in Minnesota streets becoming the volcano ash of a people. I understand. We are tired of marching. We are tired of hashtags. We are tired of police that kill black folks. We are tired of not being able to come home safe. We are tired of not being able to trust a police system and nation that shows a complete and utter disrespect for black life and what a black body is worth.
The truth is that The United States of America’s police system is broken and it is time that we address it. Laws must be changed so that police officers that kill black folks and police officers that watch other officers kill black folks are charged and convicted of murder. The data clearly shows that black folks are at a much larger danger of deadly force when stopped than their counterparts. There is a legit fear that creeps into every black person when stopped. It is a source of anxiety that should be classified as a Public Health issue. Time after time again the issue persists because America is not facing the truest issue.
Three main issues create this public health crisis:
- Our police system’s training of new cadets is flawed.
- Our police system’s implementation of deadly force is not working.
- Our justice system is not holding the failure of cops to serve, protect, and not murder citizens to accountability standards.
"Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced." - James Baldwin
We have to face and correct the main issues to create a new norm for how police engage black folks. How do we correct this?
I propose that:
- We change laws, the procedures and training of officers, in regards to, the use of force. We have to emphasize deescalation, conflict resolution, bias and prejudice training with a support system for mental health observations of all officers on a regular basis. This is possible through census, voting, and holding our people that represent us to standards for pushing agendas that we need to keep our community and each other safe.
- We create a third party system for reporting and investigating police incidents that are both internal sanctions and external situations with a public recorded file. I am tired of police policing police. The connections are too close and it is clear that internal affairs and other current methods are not enough.
- We make police officer’s personal insurance policies, severance, and pensions held liable in lieu of city funding as a first option of liability payments to the victim’s families. If their is a bond of misbehavior to their crooked pockets then hopefully that will deter some.
In focusing on the three ideas above, the police will have a better regard to the humanity that they serve. We want arrested, charged, and convicted officers of those individuals that use the badge as protection to murder. Enough is enough. How many more black bodies must fall before we realize that the system is broken? It has to be. How else can you keep justifying how month after month we find our selves adding to a growing list of black bodies killed by the people who are sworn to protect us? How much longer when you keep closing your eyes and ignoring the injustice before you? What will it take- are the riots not enough? One day a response strong enough will come and everyone will find out that you can only push a people so long before their own sense of survival becomes a process of preservation. I pray then that you have the peace that you keep wanting us to keep and the prayers to a God that will forgive the rage.
May Justice be fought for and sought for all those named and unnamed:
Amaud Arbery *police coverup