Applying The Brakes To Police Violence

Search any form of news delivery source, and you will find details on another killing of black people by the Police or law enforcement officer. The Police is killing, mostly African Americans. Follow this up with news of Protests and riots, Campaign Zero and Black Lives Matter, and more killing, where is the pause button to stop this mayhem. Why is so difficult to apply the brakes to all this killing?

Another study was in the news on this the closing days of 2015. Police have killed over a thousand people. The vast majority are African American males, with the studies also showing a rise in the killing of females. Collateral damage seems to be black children and elders. In Atlanta, Georgia, 100% of police killings are African Americans. A December 2015 report said, the police killed some forty-two people. There are still two 2 days left in 2015. How absurd is this in a city governed by African Americans. Whatever happened to the promise of a reduction in deaths from guns that were trotted across billboards during the city gun buyback program? Give us back our guns; we need them to protect us from the Police.

Right here in Georgia law enforcement officers are killing a great many people by shooting them in the back. How do citizens make the police accountable for the violence they are inflicting on those they are sworn to protect? Some say Citizen Review Boards. Others believe that a racially balance police force at the top and bottom will do the job. Both have merits and both can lose their effectiveness over time. Political squabbling, budgetary short-changing, and deficiency of data are weakening most efforts to establish effective police accountability policies.

What is the basis of this appalling violence? Is the problem a lack of personnel, supervision, equipment, funding, or training. Atlanta’s Mayor brags about the increase hiring of public safety officers. Yet, the local newspaper writes about the inability of the police department to hire enough officers as experienced officers leave the force. A shortage of trained officers is evident. But, what can be said when it is documented that some of the hired officers are not keeping up with training requirements. Their oversight could be grounds for the release of violent criminals. Why are they released; because an improperly certified police officer performed the arrest.

Training needs to be extended beyond weapon and physical restraining instruction. A low hanging fruit is training that will reduce the confrontational atmosphere when officers are involved. Teach them techniques on how to speak to people when they are called to high-tension situations.

Pay them well too. Increase the pensions and benefits for volunteering to reside in the city. Give them down payment assistance, no interest home improvement loans and exemption from city and county taxes. A way to pay for these benefits is to include a public safety tax or fee on all alcohol sold all ammunition, and all developments.

Going forward education, decent salaries, and more public oversight can do much to move the police from a combat posture to that of guardians.

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