2015-04-08

Monsters Are Not Heroes


I often see people getting defensive when it comes to other people criticizing law enforcement. I somewhat understand that. Their purpose is to serve and protect, and if you believe that is what law enforcement actually does, it can get frustrating to hear people say bad things about the people you feel put their lives on the line to serve ALL the people.
However, for many of us, police aren't really there to serve and protect. They harass, they treat many of us with suspicion, some people are seen as the enemy. I don't necessarily blame law enforcement entirely for this, but I blame the systematic racism that is pervasive in this country. Law enforcement officers are indeed human, and they are flawed. Many of us see them as a representation of the powers that keep the status quo, that keep that systematic racism alive and kicking. This is why we are critical, and when we see stories like Walter Scott and Michael T. Slager, we get concerned, because we know without that tape, this story would have ended differently. People would have told us to wait for all the evidence, and people would have proclaimed we played the race card, ignoring the statistical data that shows us again and again there is inequality in how the law is dealt. People will justify police officers playing judge, jury, and executioner; and expect those who are the primary victims of this type of law enforcement to put up with it and be ok with it.
We're not ok with it. You shouldn't be ok with it either.
You don't want us to talk about the current state of law enforcement and it's problems, you want us to be ok with it; and we can't. If we don't discuss these issues, things will never get resolved. You cannot continue to dismiss case after case of police brutality and murder by treating the victims as monsters and the monsters as heroes.
Acknowledge the law does not always protect and serve everyone, it doesn't mean all law enforcement is horrible, it doesn't negate their jobs, but it does help us acknowledge and hopefully fix the issues that seem to be pervasive all over the country, causing harm and death to too many people.