This next series of posts will include both criticisms and ideas for improvement in how we police our communities. Many politicians, like Pennsylvania’s Senator Pat Toomey, like to throw around robotic catchphrases like, “I support the police”, but what does that really mean? I believe that the police officer is an honorable profession. We have many fine men and women in uniform who put their lives on the line everyday and I believe we do them a disservice ignoring the flaws of a broken system. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) Between June of 2016 and the end of March of 2016, they were able to identify between 87-156 deaths every month during that period related to arrests, but this was only according to media reviews. Upon further surveys of medical facilities and law enforcement agencies, the numbers were much higher.
Some statistic has also shown evidence of potential bias with African Americans being about three times more likely than whites to be shot or killed by the police. Of these African Americans, only 1 in 3 was allegedly armed and suspected of a violent crime.
The death rates are perhaps not as high as the frenzied media would have us think, however, I think we can agree that even one wrongful death is one too many. These statistics, however, fail to account for the many acts of police brutality involving beatings and inhumane treatment. It is the job of the policeman to protect and serve and to provide for public safety. It seems to me that if people cannot feel safe in their own communities, and even less so around a law enforcement officer then they have failed to do their jobs and have thus done a disservice to the citizens and the taxpayers that fund their positions.
Most “good cops” seem to agree that there are bad apples that spoil bunch, we also do them a disservice by ignoring the flaws of the policies and procedures they are forced to abide by. The following posts then will be a critique of those policies and procedures as well as suggestions for how the system can be improved.