Had the incidents at Ferguson and Staten Island and many before them not occurred, would anyone be talking about the police brutality and their malevolence in dealing with such abnormal situations? Probably not! In this article will try and analyze the possible implications of racism in police killings and the ways such incidents can be kept under control.
As the two recent unfortunate incidents and their grand jury decisions have broken all hell loose, it certainly demands actions to prevent such circumstances arise in the future. There are two ways this issue can be carried forward with a positive outlook and dealt with. One is to get more insights about the events happening at such sites and the other -and the most preferred- to prevent such untoward loss of lives in such frivolous manners.
The latter is preferred for obvious reasons that it is always in the human interests to save lives and not to see lives passing away in such fashions. (Indeed the video was much disturbing). Another important thing to consider is if these ongoing protests condemn the so-called police brutalities against civilians or that against a particular community.
Positively it is expected from the police department to be fair in their services to keep up social harmony by maintaining law and order, giving no room for racial discrimination.
But, the world may not be as fair as we think and it is hard to rule out racial hatred, says Reddit Hudson, a former cop, in his Washington Post column. He talks about his experience as a cop and how his colleagues were biased in dealing with the community they disliked.
His comments goes well along with the fact presented by columnist Nicolas Kristof that colored men are 21 times more vulnerable to police shots than white men. On the contrary, Fox’s Bill’ O Reilly says that it cannot be claimed that white men are less vulnerable to fatal police actions giving statistics that 123 colored men were killed by cops during 2012 compared to 326 whites. Why the facts are contradicting? A definitive trend in police shooting relating it to race cannot be traced, say experts, because of the absence of a mandatory reporting system. What is widely followed is a self-reporting system in which many killings are counted upon as justified, making the precise figures muddled. But even a mandatory reporting system serves the purpose little, as it has been already said, that it is in our best interests to save lives. A mandatory reporting system could give accurate figures but cannot save lives.
With such inaccurate figures and a hazy reporting system -and as it is wiser to think and prepare for the worst- it is less likely to deny the possibility that the police officials could be carried away by their inclination towards racism when they decide to act against people, even if they have committed the least level of crime, like selling untaxed cigarettes.
As we have now learnt our lessons, our decisive actions should stop such incidents from happening and in case if not prevented, there should be some clear evidence of what had happened that made the misfortune unpreventable. There are two possible solutions.
Body cameras are one possible way to know, if not exactly, the happenings and they need to be capturing the moments of confrontation without fail. Even though it has been argued that body cameras do little in assessing the situation, it is better to have some form of insights rather than being clueless, as happened with Michael Brown in Ferguson.
Reddit Hudson, the former cop in his Washington Post column writes about the reason cops are heedless when reacting harshly against the men they dislike. He talks about the leeway these police officials are given when they use force or act aggressively and they have to care little about the trial as they would be conducted mostly by their friends. If this is a credible testimonial, we have too many things at stake and need a lot of change in attitude.
The second and the most important solution, as suggested by Hudson is accountability. Being a cop is a responsibility, handling thousands of human beings, controlling them to keep them safe, which has been served with dedication by many number of cops. But there are always exceptions.
Cops need to be made accountable for their action as they have one of the most responsible jobs in public administration at their hands that cannot be misused under any circumstances. It is also possible that many times, a cop’s life could come under threat. It is a part of their valiant job and that is where the pride lies. Cops are no lesser than superheroes to risk their lives and save many.
Image Source: Washington Post