In the wake of countless abuses, beatings, and killings of often innocent, unarmed, mostly, if not entirely, nonwhite men, women and pre-adults, by white cops and white vigilantes, loose lip service to change, reform, and answers is not nearly enough, and will no longer be tolerated — even, at last, by those of us who are not directly affected by it or are its victims.
A legitimate complaint has been made, here in Massachusetts, about a particular long, long overdue real and authentic police reform and answerability bill, S-2800.
Limited public information, as well as public input into it was ever brought forth.
There was no public comment period. The powerful, entrenched police unions have complaints as well. I wonder if hearings could have been held properly and in a timely manner.
As happens often, the unions, with their backers and followers, would have made certain to be well represented — and those few who wanted to keep the floor all to themselves, would have tried mightily to do so.
Mind you, without strong yet sometimes ineffective unions, we would all be much worse off, and lacking in any protection, without any type of organized bulwark against the excesses by the criminal police among the ranks.
When I hear valid objections against the weaponry and mentality that turns (mostly good) cops into armed, dangerous, unthinking and unfeeling robo-cops sent out among us, in unacceptable “us versus them” situations, I worry about my, or any other innocent citizen’s safety from whatever may occur. This stems from the National Guard, with blood on its hands often, which is are a part of the military. Then, over time, especially during the 1960s, nationwide police forces of all kinds, in all cities and towns, North, South, East and West alike, were excessively empowered, given legal carte blanche, as to their actions and lack of accountability, with the violence, injustice, and deaths that continually increased.
Here and elsewhere, the groundswell for needed and overdue change has not happened overnight.
We don’t see protesters armed and dangerous (with very few exceptions) or wearing bullet-proof vests and masks (even before coronavirus reared its ugly head), carrying thick truncheons “head-knockers,” or pitching tear gas canisters or firing real or rubber bullets.
Far more often than not, removing these extra weapons from cops accepted arsenal would only often defuse potential deadly situations.
As is true of their employers, you and I, police officers must be answerable and accountable for their actions and be investigated by an independent entity whenever the situation calls for this.
Please permit me to throw back a comment which I, and everyone else has heard uttered far too often: “If you are innocent and have done nothing wrong, then you have nothing to fear.” It applies to the police, too. Equally.
I hope that S-2800 and other bills like it, nationwide, pass, are signed into law, enacted as they must and should be. Then we will all feel and finally be much safer and more secure from criminals, uniformed or not.