Tue 2020-06-02 18:18
While I absolutely and without equivocation believe in the need for the immediate and full-scale demilitarization of municipal police departments, I think our lawmakers are missing the point if they think preventing the transfer of military hardware to police is going to address our current problem of widespread police brutality. Derek Chauvin didn't kill George Floyd with a surplus M16 or roll over him with a surplus armored vehicle. He put a knee to Floyd's neck and held it there until the man was dead - while onlookers begged him repeatedly to stop.
Our problem in the United States is that we have police departments across the country hiring and retaining fascists and psychopaths. Officer Friendly has been marginalized and replaced by Officer FuckYou. If we want to solve the problem of police violence, perhaps we need to start with psychological evaluations of every police officer and administrator in every major metropolitan police department. Maybe while we're at it we could quiz them on the Bill of Rights and assess their positions on the subject. Let's find these bad actors and get them out of the police force. We also need to demand a full-scale effort to change the culture in these major police departments, and restore the historical notion of protect and serve.
I want to be clear about something: the problem isn't every cop. There are good cops in our nation's police forces. I've met some and talked to them. And you know something? They are just as pissed about this shit as the average person. But they feel like the current system is rigged against saying or doing anything about the problem. Bad cops watch out for other bad cops. We need to support the good cops by finding and firing the bad ones.