Do you think police officers need more accountability?
Why or why not?
Although some police do abuse their power; I think that lately there is a dangerous precedent of demonizing all law enforcement and that is only going to worsen the situation. Should they be held accountable for wrong doing? of course, they are not above the law (or shouldn't be).
However, these are people who, for the most part, sign up to protect and defend others and serve their communities honorably. They are often called upon to go into harms way, in dangerous areas, into unknown circumstances and may only have a few moments in which to gauge a situation and react. Unfortunately, even with the best weapons training, this can often lead to errors in judgment.
It's a complex situation. I can see the problems certainly in having a militarized police force, but at the same time; I feel for the officers who work in dangerous situations/areas as well, who are being demonized now for simply doing their jobs due to the questionable actions of the few.
If you ask men and women whether sexual harassment and assault are major problems you will get a widely differing answer. Who's right? More than likely the group who is the object of the abuse.
Similarly on police accountability, the answer from whites and minority/poor communities will be very different. Who's right? Well, again, more than likely the group who is the object of the abuse. No offense to white people, but many of us do not live in or near these communities and really have no idea what it is like.
The protests in Ferguson, which have spread to many parts of the country, are not about this isolated incident, they are about lingering and widespread patterns of abuse. That doesn't mean all police are bad, or that all departments are bad. Hardly, but it doesn't necessarily take much for it to be a problem.
In the case of Ferguson there seems to be some clear problems. The department and politicians are strongly unrepresentative of the communities they serve, and it would not be surprising if the vast majority of the police officers do not actually live in the communities where they work. The cities second largest funding stream comes from the court system: $2.6 million in 2013 from a city of just over 20,000 people. That amounts to an average of $321 in fines per household, and this is not a high crime city. It is fairly average. Something is wrong there. http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik … olumn.html
I think the fact that they showed up to a protest with full riot gear and tanks proves the point. That isn't the actions of people who care about a community. That is the action of people who are afraid of a community.
Some have ego problems. Because they have the permission to use guns or force, they go overboard. They may even have teachings that allow them to intimidate people. The problem is, when people are minding their own business and don't want any trouble. Some cops out of habit or past conflicts, are wired to start trouble. Call it low self esteem, the need to feel tough, or psychology issues. Citizens should have the right to stand up to them if they haven't done anything. Nobody should have to be afraid or tremble because of their aggressive attitudes. It's a simple solution, if people haven't done anything, leave them alone. If they can't abide by that, then leave the force because sooner or later the people will fight back. People are not going stand for abuse of power very long. Even if it means losing their lives, they will take down some of them too. It is already happening in some areas. So they need to come up with a way to monitor the aggression of the force.
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