It appears all sense of reason has escaped us as lines are drawn before the facts are in. Vigilante justice has taken the place of the courtroom in too many instances… both on the side of some police officers and in the streets among some protestors. Worse, some see political advantage in the discord that disturbs the vast majority of us.
There can be no question that young male African/Americans endure more police interference than the rest of the population. There is also no question that Black youths are disproportionately responsible for the vast majority of the violent crimes committed in American cities. One need only reference the FBI crime statistics. There is a connection here, but that does not justify the harassment that many innocents endure.
Police are in a difficult situation where they must make a life or death decision in a matter of seconds. In such cases, someone is likely to die. No one is prepared for this. A recent video of a member of the Arizona protest leadership demonstrates the problem. He bravely volunteered to act as a police officer in a “shoot/don’t shoot” experiment. He failed the test! He shot an unarmed man. He was also “shot” when he failed to take timely protective action. His conclusion: “Compliance is essential.”
There is a problem, but it is not insurmountable. It will take a lot of effort and focused attention to solve. Furthermore, all elements of society must come together to address the issue before it gets further out of control.
Just because the police shoot someone does not make that person an innocent victim. The death of police officers on duty should provide adequate evidence to prove that. However, some persons shot by the police are totally innocent. There is proof of that as well.
Police have to be better trained and protesters have to recognize that knee-jerk reactions to shootings often are misplaced and generate further violence and more victims. Reason and law has to prevail in all instances… not a rush to judgement.
There are some who desire violence. They have infiltrated peaceful demonstrations and intentionally create problems. Of fifty recently arrested in Baton Rouge protests, thirty-two were from out of state. That says something that must be acknowledged.
Sadly, I believe President Obama has once again taken the wrong path. Instead of immediately calling for calm and re-assuring the Black community that an objective federal investigation will be conducted on the heels of the recent police shootings. He instead lectured Americans on the plight of Black males without even knowing the facts surrounding these incidents. He only stated “the facts are all not in” when commenting on the death of the Dallas police officers. That should have been his opening statement in all cases.
President Obama and the Attorney General Holder set the wrong tone from the onset. This aggravated already bad situations. The supposed “perpetrators” in both the Travon Martin and Michael Brown cases were exonerated because the evidence proved their actions legally justified.
The prosecutor cannot win a case against the six police officers in Baltimore. The demonstrators were wrong; the President was wrong.
This says something about encouraging unjustified rushes to judgement bordering on vigilantism. These court decisions render street calls for punishment unwarranted. In the cool light of the legal process, the result was justifiable homicide or an unclassified death in the case of Baltimore.
America must be ruled by law…not emotions. When the police are wrong prosecution is warranted. When the victim of violence is proven to have been the aggressor that fact has to be established in advance of protests. It’s all about the rule of reason and respect for the legal process.
When those sworn to uphold the law forget their responsibilities…a problem can become a crisis. When we lose the rule of law… God help us as a nation.