Reflections on Past Half-decade of Policing Issues

Let’s start with a question: Who would want to be a Police Officer in America today? 

We all know the job of a police officer has never been an easy job. Society has come to rely on police officers for all types of issues. Not only do they respond to criminal activity, but domestic disputes, neighbor disputes, automobile accidents, drownings, suspicious people, mentally ill people, all deaths whether tied to a crime or not, and the list goes on.

We also know not everyone has the ability to be a police officer for a number of reasons. The one ability police officers have in common is the desire to serve their communities. Being a police officer is not like any other profession in world. The best way I can describe being is police officer is as follows: Picture a 10-story skyscraper and all of society is represented by what floor they can get off on. From the 1st floor with poorest of people to the Penthouse with the most affluent people, and the rest of society in between. If you’re on the 7th floor you cannot get off on any other floor and the same goes for everyone else. Police Officers have the master key, and they can get off on any of the floors. 

Police Officers are the only people who interact with all members and levels of society. One interaction could be arresting a murder suspect and the next interaction could be saving the life of a child drowning in a swimming pool and then the next interaction could be in a gated community with multi-million dollar homes.

So what happened to policing in America? One of the major events occurred on August 9, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri when Michael Brown shoplifted and assaulted a convenience store clerk and was approached by Officer Darrell Wilson after the fact. I struggle ensured while Michael Brown was attempting to grab Officer Wilson’s gun. Michael Brown was killed during the struggle.

The narrative was Officer Wilson killed Michael Brown in cold blood because he had his hands raised in the air. The chant of “Hands Up Don’t Shoot” became the slogan of Black Lives Matter and the mainstream media. After an FBI investigation, Officer Wilson was found to be justified in shooting of Michael Brown.

This incident has been a catalyst for all other police encounters since, where the suspect is African-American and dies by the hands of the police, whether it is justified or not. This has caused a ripple effect throughout policing across America. Police officers are now less likely to engage the public in fear of having their split second decision reviewed by the mainstream media and mob rule. With little to no support from the political climate in cities across America has caused the police to pull back as well. Crime in America is skyrocketing out of control in all the major cities. Liberal policies of not engaging the mob during so-called peaceful riots has emboldened the Mob and propelled this anti-police, defund the police atmosphere.

Cities across the nation are considering defunding- or even completely dismantling- police departments. Progressive activists and politicians alike are joining in on this call, and yet the idea of defunding seems to mean different things to different people. 

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