Today I watched a Q&A with Dallas Police Chief David Brown. He brought up a good point during this broadcast. When we have an issue that we cannot handle, we expect the police to be able to handle it. I watched this on periscope, but it was also covered by the local (and possibly the national) media.
“We’re asking cops to do too much in this country” said Brown.
“Every societal failure, we put it off on the cops to solve” said Brown. He listed mental health, drug addiction, loose dogs, failing schools as problems the public expects ‘cops to solve.’
When he said this part of his speech, it did almost feel like he was going off script. Like he was being frank and candid. I can honestly say that we do expect more from our police than we should. Police shouldn’t have to handle school disciplinary action, they shouldn’t need to worry about addiction and mental health issues, and honestly we shouldn’t expect them to. We should expect our school administrators to carry out disciplinary actions at our schools and parents should be involved in their kids schools. State and Federal funding should be allocated for mental health and addiction treatment and it made more accessible. Because making on average of $52,810 really isn’t worth being hated, yelled at or worse… killed. (FYI: I made roughly that amount when I was working for BlackBerry sitting on my ass playing Plants VS. Zombies half the time, you would think that police would make more than a mobile phone/tablet tech.)
Maybe this is why I have the viewpoint that cops aren’t like what they were when I was around them all the time. Maybe it’s because they weren’t having to do as much. Cops now apparently have a lot of things on their plate. None of the cops that I grew up with had to patrol schools, handle mental health calls (they did have to deal with drug related issues), and the only cop that dealt with stray dogs was the animal control officer. Maybe today’s cops are just too damn stressed out.
However, this doesn’t justify the murder of unarmed people that are in their custody, or being detained for questioning, or just being asked for their ID and the acts of a few jackass cops doesn’t give the right to murder anyone wearing a badge. If “An Eye for An Eye” is the law of the land; then we are all eventually going to be blind. Look, I don’t know how to fix the divide between the police and people of color in America. I just know that killing each other isn’t a logical or viable solution.
It rarely ever is.