The rule of law is ignored.
Cops kill with impunity based seemingly, given the stats, on the race of the victim.
The system shuffles the shooting cop off stage, hides his identity, misplaces the dash board camera footage, gives us a bs song and dance that doesn’t fly, for, after all, to give one recent example, how can you justify killing a black man, Philando Castile, in Minnesota for having a busted tail light?
If Castile had been arrested for anything, had he not been killed, or if any one of us were arrested, the police would circulate a sorrowful mug shot, showing us off to severe disadvantage, and whisper “on background” to some journalist or other a brief slanderous history.
But the Castile cop is on administrative leave, traveling under the radar.
What we can expect, following Castile’s death, is that they’ll clear the officer 6 or more months later – after a “full and fair” investigation – behind closed doors – and announce the results when most have moved on to another tragic public incident.
The law fails when it lacks force and suffers from favor.
One protester of the recent shootings by cops carried a sign that said, “Who do you call when the murderer wears a badge?”
Into the breach, only days after Mr. Castile bled out in his car, Micah Johnson, a young black sniper emerged in downtown Dallas; a former Army vet, Micah likely acted on the suspect premise that, if it’s ok for cops to kill blacks, then it’s ok for blacks to kill cops.
Some quite dull public officials publicly asked aloud what could have been his motive.
Ever since 9-11, in our never-ending “war on terror,” we have become comfortable with death, as measured by our indifference, our failure to do anything, to stop gun violence, and to resist the bullying intolerant among us.
An active and growing segment of our society does what it wants, replacing, on a whim or impulse, what’s lawful with the lawless.
The land of the free and the home of the brave fears this insecure world. But not sufficiently the cancer within our borders.
We have guns everywhere, and stumping pols hurl racial and religious attacks, stirred into this toxic brew.
After Dallas, we acted surprised, with seeming disbelief, and wondered how and why this violence could have happened.
Of course, it was deplored, in the vague repetitive cant of the moment, binding no one to do anything that mattered afterwards, uttered once again as it has been said before, all too frequently, in what’s become a tiresome futile ritual, accompanied by prayers, bowed heads, hands held in seeming unity, embraces, silences observed, and then, well, nothing at all happens, not by enforcing the law that is, nor passing effective legal reforms to make us safer.
We have officers down in Dallas, rightly presumed entirely blameless for the bad acts of other officers who have killed blacks; the survivors hurt, family and friends hurt, and intolerance and blame-shifting have increased, and with a new strain more virulent than the last, as the nation dives in a dizzying downward spiral of retribution.
What to do?
We must establish civilian review boards.
We must have transparency – no cop cameras off or missing going forward.
We must stop the militarization of our police force. This is not Fallujah.
We must reform how we treat persons of color and from different religious backgrounds.
We must support good cops who see what’s wrong but fear to come forward.
We must cure this addicting fetish for every American to possess a weapon no matter how needless the ownership or incompetent or inapt the person to wield it.
We must punish those who shoot cops – as we punish the offending cops.
Our pledge before the flag proclaims, “with liberty and justice for all,” but that’s not the case presently; we must work on this.
Our society’s indifference and incapacity to change has navigated us into these dire straits.
We act en masse like the disinterested curious driver passing by a roadside accident that has nothing to do with the driver but to delay him on his way.
These violent acts have everything to do with all of us.
We have allowed this cancer in our nation to thrive and metastasize and must now cure it –if our cancer hasn’t already passed the point because of our delay when the condition was operable.