First, what happened to George Floyd was reprehensible and the officers involved need to be held accountable. I don’t think anyone would disagree with that. We trust the police to protect us and help maintain order, we trust them enough to give them certain authority over us so they can perform those duties. This is why when a police officer abuses that trust, it hurts all of society.
Police are granted “Qualified Immunity” to carry out their duties, what is that you ask? Qualified Immunity simply put, means a public official can’t be sued for actions they take while acting in their official capacity. It was put in place to shield government officials and officers from harassment, distraction and liability that may come from preforming their official duties. Qualified Immunity doctrine was first introduced in 1967 by the Supreme Court.
I think we agree with 96% of the police officers and the other 4% shouldn’t be employed. There are about 796,000 total police officers in the United States. Out of that number, about 3-5% (on the high side) are bad and shouldn’t be on the force. Leaving about 32,000 who are unworthy to wear the badge.
Let’s be honest, there is no profession on earth that doesn’t have people working for them who have no business being there. Bad police get more attention because they are high visibility and when they do wrong, someone usually gets killed.
Now, the answer by some of the brain trust is to de-fund the police. Am I the only one that thinks in the history of bad ideas this is #1? I mean really, who actually thinks this is a good idea? A safe idea? Stop funding the police and what do you think will happen? I’ll tell you, things will go from bad to worse almost overnight. Police do much more than the average person knows. Their mere presence deters crime. Why do you think some cities have police walking ‘The Beat”?
They protect our children in schools (some people want them out of the schools too). They save many lives since they are usually the first to respond to car accidents and other horrible situations. They do so many things it’s impossible to list it all here.
Rather than taking such a drastic step, why not try reinstating the old recruitment standards. Police over the years have loosened the standards they used to use. Being a police officer was once a hard thing to achieve. Height to weight ratios, physical requirements, testing both physiological and educational. But over the years requirements have been relaxed to be more inclusive. The military style standards used to recruit were thought to be unfair. Maybe the standards should be raised again. Maybe it should be harder to become a police officer. I’m just saying let’s start with reasonable changes, not cutting off our nose to spite our face.
Can we address the way police officers are being treated now? A Las Vegas officer was shot in the head during a protest. Hundreds more have been injured across the nation as the riots continue. On June 8, 2020, Frederick County Sheriff Chuck Jenkins tried addressing a large group of protesters that assembled in front of the police department building. While trying to answer questions that were being fired at him nonstop, he was forced to listen to the mob yelling “Fuck the Police!!” and “Fuck Sheriff Jenkins”. Through all that, he stood there, professionally, trying to start a constructive dialog with the mob. Yes, I said mob.
I’ve met and spoken to Sheriff Jenkins a few times and he has always been professional, approachable and very honest, he did not deserve the foulness of that mob.
Yes, we need to make sure that no more George Floyd’s happen again, but do we do that by getting rid of the police or is there a more level headed approach? I think if everyone gets together we will come up with a solution everyone can agree with.
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