There are many areas in society that need reform, so where do we start? I believe we start with the most visible organizations, the nation’s local, county, and state police agencies. How these agencies operate, are supervised and controlled must be changed.
Here is what is needed to begin the never-ending change:
Civilian oversight boards must be instituted for each agency, with the authority to access all necessary records to review police actions, with results reported publicly. This includes personnel and disciplinary records, incident reports, body and car cam footage, witness statements and recordings that are available.
Laws need to be enacted to outlaw any type of dangerous physical restraint, such as choke holds or knees to the neck. Only the minimum force necessary must ever be used and only after deescalation tactics have failed or are determined to be untenable.
Agency policies and procedures must be enacted and enforced in the steps an officer must take once a suspect is in handcuffs or under some form of physical restraint. These procedures must result in protecting EVERYONE‘S life as much as is humanly possible. Policies must be implemented that removes officers that have proven complaints against them. The removed officer should be retrained or terminated, as determined by department leadership.
As we all know, or should know, George Floyd was murdered by four Minneapolis police officers on May 25, 2020, and that it was captured on cellphone video. Mr Floyd was arrested by police for allegedly using a counterfeit twenty dollar bill to buy a pack of cigarettes. For this heinous offense, Mr Floyd paid with a death penalty being imposed on him. He was “tried”, “convicted”, and “executed” by members of the Minneapolis “Thin Blue Line.”
Mr Floyd was prone on the ground, handcuffed, and had ex-police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on his neck. This lasted for well over eight minutes. Mr Floyd repeatedly said, “I can’t breathe,” but was ignored by the four officers. Ex-officers Tou Thao, J Alexander Kueng, and Thomas Lane stood by observing while Chauvin murdered Mr Floyd. Not one of them rendered any assistance to Mr Floyd to save his life.
Mr Floyd is just one more name in a long and sad list of African Americans killed by police in America, with many of the police being found not guilty by a jury or never charged with a crime. Finally, after nine days, all four Minneapolis ex-officers have been charged by the Minnesota Attorney General. Chauvin, originally charged with 3rd degree murder, is now charged with 2nd degree murder. The other three ex-officers have been charged with aiding and abetting 2nd degree murder. Each faces the maximum penalty of 40 years in prison. At least, unlike Mr Floyd, they will get to breathe.
Everyone feels glum, distressed, or perturbed as a result of life's experiences; but if these feelings last for a long time, they disrupt your life. Learning to notice and identify these feelings and mastering the habits of a healthy lifestyle takes practice. I will be sharing my personal stories and stories of individuals (on emotional issues) whose names won't be mentioned. Most of these stories will be written in the first person narrative. Promising you a noteworthy read! Cheers!