When Will America End "Slave Patrol" Policing?
America must have a conversation on the history, purpose and practice of policing
There’s much celebration in America that a murderous, psychopathic cop will spend the rest of his life in jail for killing George Floyd.
While this moment – this rare moment where a white cop who kills an unarmed Black man actually is held to account — does appropriately get nationwide recognition, it also should provoke nationwide introspection.
For example, why did a police officer’s knee end up on the neck of a man who was accused of passing a bad $20 bill? And why wasn’t that one of the central questions in this trial?
Why was a cop patrolling a neighborhood he doesn’t live in? And how has Ronald Reagan’s decision to hyper-militarize our nation’s police with surplus military equipment widened the gap between police officers and the communities they are supposed to serve?
Why is the behavior of police towards citizens in Black and poor neighborhoods so different from that of police in white and affluent neighborhoods? How is this part of a larger system of racism, regionalism and economic exploitation that sustains poverty and creates communities that resemble war zones?