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All Lives Matter
Black Lives Matter
Black Lives Matter has been a cry from activists over the past few years in America, many of them well intended, yet the result has been to further divide our Nation. The movement may have its merits and well-intended goals, but it often overlooks what the underlying issues are. In addition, it vilifies the very persons who put their lives on the line very day to protect and serve the communities of our great Nation. The anti-police sentiment has grown quickly out of proportion. The police are not the enemy of the people; they are there to protect the communities.
Black Lives do matter, yet so do Caucasian, Asian, Hispanic, Pacific Islanders and any other ethnic group, all life matters, regardless of ethnicity.
Blue is for You
One of the main points of the activists has been that police are targeting African-America persons specifically, and are making a point of killing unarmed and peaceful Black men. The reality is quite different. Law Enforcement does not target African-Americans; they do not try and kill people without cause. That is not to say that every use of deadly force has been justified, there are cases of bad judgment and there are a few bad officers, just like there are bad professionals in every other field. Yet the majority of these uses of deadly force have been deemed justified. Police Officers do not go out each day with some quota or intent to kill African-American people. The Officers are there because they want to help the community, to make it safer, to help people. Officers have been trained to protect themselves and their community, yes they do protect themselves, they have families they want to go back home to. The first rule of Law Enforcement is going home at the end of the day. Wives, husbands, and children worry daily that their spouse will not return home at the end of the shift; those concerns rise every day as the communities turn against those who protect them. These men and women are there risking their lives to better those of the community. The reality is they do not want to kill someone unless they must. The same laws apply to officers as they do to any other citizen, and if an officer does use deadly force and it is unjustified then that officer is subject to the same prosecution as any other person.
Often these uses of deadly force are manipulated to appear that it was the officer at fault, camera angles from bystanders do not show what the officer sees. With the use of body-cams officers are now more easily shown to be justified in their actions, yet the issue often is that the media does not have access to the body-cam footage. Even the footage from a cell phone is often not analyzed closely enough. For example, the recent instance in Baton Rouge Louisiana has been described as unarmed African-American man just trying to sell some CDs to provide for his family. Yet the call that brought the officers to the scene described him as threatening people with a handgun, resisted and a Taser was deployed, though it appears to have been ineffective,.Sterling can be heard saying “thanks for the free gun” as he reaches for and appears to actually grab a hold of the officers weapon. If that is indeed what happened then the incident may prove a justified use of force. Officers are trained in their academies to protect themselves and not to let their weapons be taken, there are actions which are trained, and one of those is to use the weapon against the person attempting to take it away. If the incident proves to be wrongful use then the Officers will face charges for their actions. Yet there are numerous cases where the actions of the Officers are justified including the Ferguson Missouri incident.
There are incidents where an Officer takes action unjustly as was the case with Officer Michael Slager of North Charlestown, who in 2015 unjustly shot Walter Scott after Scott fled from a traffic stop. Slager also attempted to frame Scott as having a weapon. A clear example of an Officer who was in the wrong, that Officer is now facing charges, as he should. However, these sorts of incidents are few and far between. The majority of Officers are good people who serve and keep your community safe.
Law Enforcement is for some reason classified as an Anglo-American occupation when in reality it is made up of every ethnic group in America. They do not have some sort of quota of African-American persons who they are tasked with arresting, citing, or killing. The thought that they target ethnic groups is ridiculous. True in the past there were issues, yet Law Enforcement has evolved over the past century and those issues are rare.
Another question which has been brought up often is why there are more arrests of African-Americans than other ethnic groups. The reality is that it is resultant of past issues, not target actions against a specific ethnic group. Due to past land red-lining by bank and government policy, there are certain areas where there is an exceedingly high population concentration in inner cities, and due to these prior policies, they are most often made up of African-American ethnic groups. High populations and low economic situations result in highly increased criminal activity. This sort of criminal activity would occur regardless of what ethnic group was placed in that situation. Due to previous government policies the African-American ethnic group has been placed in this situation, and then those individuals have been provided with just enough assistance to stay in their current position but not to emerge into a better economic opportunity.
All Lives Matter
Perhaps instead of simply crying havoc against the symptoms something should be done to alleviate the problems at their roots, provide more opportunities for people to gain better legal economic opportunities to better their condition and their families. Cry then for the help and backing to change the world for the better and not the worse.
Due to the heavy population centers, crowded and with low economic circumstances crime increases, and as a result so does police activity to combat the crime. This pollutes the percentages of arrests and deadly conflicts. The culture in these areas can often be anti-police and those involved in criminal activity may be more likely to carry weapons or threaten deadly actions against officers. This results in more incidents where those of a particular ethnic group are brought into armed conflict with Officers.
There was a question in the Sterling incident and others of whether the Police were targeting them because of numerous traffic violations they had received. What is often not considered is that those who tend toward certain behaviors will often repeat them. Including criminal behavior, repeatedly speeding, not stopping at a stop sign and various other activities may seem small and benign yet they may be indicative of other issues. It is not because these persons who get repeated tickets or have a large criminal history are being targeted it is because they are unwilling to learn from their mistakes and instead continue to challenge social norms that keep society operational.
Unfortunately, Law Enforcement personnel become jaded often times, depressed by the anger and resentment that they are so often faced. Yet they still go out every day to protect their communities, and the people within, regardless of ethnicity. Take the recent Dallas attack, Officers dived to cover an African-American woman who had been shot and her child, one of them died for his effort, they did not hesitate to protect her because of her ethnicity. They protected her because they are committed to keeping the persons in their community safe. The person that shot this woman believed in Black Lives Matter, he believed that Officers were the enemy but he still shot a woman of African-American ethnicity and it was Officers, including white officers, who came to her rescue.
Law Enforcement does not disagree that Black Lives Matter, but they must argue that ALL LIVES MATTER.