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Three days of Horror

Updated on July 8, 2016

An American tradgedy

In Baton Rouge, Alton Sterling is pinned to the ground by two police officers. One draws his weapon and shoots Sterling at point blank range several times, killing him, and sparking outrage in the community and around the country. Only a day later, in Saint Paul, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton said in no uncertain terms Thursday that Philando Castile ended up dead at least in part because he was black. Castile was pulled over for a busted tail light. He informed the officer that he had a gun which he was licensed to carry and that he was reaching for his wallet to produce his drivers license as he was told. The officer then shot him resulting in Castiles death. The outrage in the community and across the country intensified with protest rally's taking place in most major cities; including Dallas Texas. The Dallas police department has a strong record in race relations, but what took place was probably inevitable and predictable. A gunman filled with rage over the continued murders of black men at the hands of white police, took matters into his own hands, and ambushed the police who were providing the security for the protestors in Dallas. In the end, 5 officers are killed and another 6 people wounded in what was a retaliation for the the murders that were captured on cell phone video in Baton Rouge and St. Paul. The gunman is finally killed by the police but the death toll is overwhelming. It's the largest number of police fatalities since 911, and Dallas is rocked by the events that took place. This gunman decides to paint the police with the broadest possible brush and determines that all white cops must be killed, in what has to be a racist attack in its own right.

And there we have it. It's the underlying problem that has existed as a result of America's original sin. Racism has been with us from the beginning. And it remains the problem that simply won't go away.

Nobody should be so naive as to think that these incidents of police treatment of blacks is some new development that has become exposed by the advent of technology through cell phone video.This kind of thing has been going on for a long time now and is only becoming exposed through the use of the new technology that's at our fingertips.

After each of these incidents including Eric Garner's brutal murder at the hands of police on Staten Island, captured on video and shown to the entire nation as a "snuf film", or the killing of Michael Brown or Freddie Grey, or the murder of Walter Scott in South Carolina in which not only is the shooting of Scott in the back captured, but the planting of evidence near the body to cover up the incident is seen, the demand for justice is met with platitudes and indifference. The cop that's responsible for Walter Scott's murder is indicted, but the problem still continues to fester in other parts of the country. On October 20th in 2014, Laquan McDonald is shot 16 times by the Chicago police. In this case it's the DashCam video that captures the incident, but that video doesn't become public for two years. The officer that does the shooting is charged with murder. But the incidents continue.

Eventually after more and more of these incidents become known with no indictments for the most part. it should come as no surprise that the fuse has been lit and an explosion of violence directed at the police is coming.

The answer that's given by authorities is the call for more "training" in handling routine encounters with the public. That is what is needed. But that doesn't really address the most basic problem that exists. Racism exists in this country. And it's absurd to think that the police are immune to it. I'm sure not all cops are racists. But I'm also certain that some are, and that's something that must be rooted out and eliminated within the ranks of the police. To give a cop with racist views a gun and badge of authority is a lethal combination.

No racist should ever be accepted into the ranks of any metropolitan or State Police force. So, it's not just extensive training that is necessary, but psychological evaluation must be employed. We simply can't give a racist a gun and badge and let him/her loose within a community of people that he/she has a predisposed hatred or animosity toward.That's a lethal combination that is bound to result in the very incidents that we are seeing today. The results are seen in Dallas with the racially motivated attack on the police. The Dallas police chief said an attacker told authorities “he was upset about the recent police shootings” and “wanted to kill white people, especially white officers.”. How could anybody not see this coming? Did we think that these incidents would continue to take place without some form of retaliation? People will reason that violence must be met with violence.

I think that the only solution here is to weed out through psychological evaluation those candidates for the police that harbor racist views of any sort. Then apply the most rigorous training to cover the various situations that may come up. And training must be ongoing. It must be a constant within the police departments in this country. Eliminating the racist from any possibility of being in a position of authority within a community that he has a pre-disposed hatred toward should be priority number one. And for those already on the force, they should be required to take psychological evaluation tests to determine their fitness to hold their job. If they hope to keep their job, they need to purge themselves of their bigotry, bias, and hatred for those that don't look like them. Then and only then will the extensive training make a difference in the communities.


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