According to recent letters regarding police brutality, we are again given the choice of blindly accepting police violence, or some version of “never call 911 if that’s how you feel!”
I salute law enforcement. We need them, and I certainly couldn’t do that job. I also think it is fair to ask them to use constraint and follow the rule of law. As San Luis Obispo police Chief Steve Gesell mentioned: “The principle that all people and institutions are subject to and accountable to a system of laws that are fairly applied and enforced.”
Black people are three times more likely to be searched during a traffic stop than white people, twice as likely to be arrested and four times as likely to experience the use of force (U.S. Department of Justice).
At 70 police departments across the country, black people are arrested 10 times more often than all other racial groups (USA Today).
One in three black men can expect imprisonment in his lifetime, one in 36 Hispanics and one in 106 whites.
We must rein in our “warrior cops.” We must support law enforcement in weeding out the brutes, and in tweaking their training to not encourage such racial biases. It’s time to follow the rule of law, yes?