I don’t claim to have or fully grasp the Solution, and I also don’t claim to know what it’s like to be a police officer who must at one time be a social worker, mental health expert, grossly underpaid action hero come to life, protector AND a human being (ie, Father, Mother, Daughter, Son, Spouse, etc.) but after some research and reflection, I FEEL LIKE I KNOW THIS:
A recent poll of nearly 8,000 white police officers revealed that 92% of them feel that his country has NO PROBLEM with systemic racism; that we live in a post-racial society, and that there is equality. And yet black men are 3 times more likely to be killed by police, and 40% of incarcerated people are black, which are hard facts. Clearly there’s inequity, but the majority of officers don’t see it as a race issue, and so what’s left to assume is that they believe that black people are more dangerous and violent than white people. And so this is what’s playing in their hearts, minds and impulses, consciously or unconsciously, when working in a black community or interacting with a black person, say, a KITTEN LOVING, VIOLIN PLAYING YOUNG MAN. They are more inclined to fear for their lives, and act out of that fear.
I feel like I know this fact so hard I could stand on it. I could crack part of it off and float across the ocean on it. And while I like being open about my shortcomings, and acknowledge my own limitations, I’m sick of the phrase ‘I don’t claim to know.’ I will strive instead for, HERE IS WHAT I DO.