In keeping with my focus on the importance of the rule of law in Democratic societies, I am at pains to be laser-focused on the need to have good, competent and professional police, all while holding them firmly accountable.
If our societies are to have peace and fealty to the concept that the laws are sacrosanct, and therefore where our loyalties are supposed to be, the laws must be enforced fairly and equitably regardless of defining characteristics.
This makes the role of those tasked with enforcing the laws critical to the peace and tranquility in the society.
It is arguable that some of the most severe instances of public anger unfolding and overflowing into civil disobedience may be placed at the feet of bad policing.
Interestingly, however, it is usually the politics of a particular country that influences the quality of the policing or the lack thereof.
My native Jamaica is no exception to that concept. Politics, incompetence, liberalism in the courts and other maladies are a direct result of the poor quality of the policing services the public receives.
And of course, all of those maladies have their genesis at the doorsteps of corrupt and incompetent political leadership.
In the United States the supposedly ost advanced society on planet earth, ad policing is a staple as it is in the poorest developing nation.
Race as a determinant in how the laws are enforced has had a profound effect on how the police are viewed in the diverse and myriad communities throughout the US traditionally.
Today a power dynamic of rich over poor has been added to the white over everyone else paradigm, inexorably creating an even greater degree of angst racially.
As a consequence, over forty million African-Americans (M$40.000,000, and probably an even greater number of Hispanics view American police with skepticism and distrust.
Additionally, other smaller ethnic minorities, including religious minorities across the nation view police with dread and trepidation.
They believe they will not be accorded the same degree of respect and deference given their white neighbors or will be treated fairly.
They are usually correct.
Regardless of how one views policing, the tone of policing, negative or positive is set at the apex of the political food-chain. It is because of that why it is important not to demonstrate against police or hate individual police officers.
Police officers do the right thing when they know they will be held accountable for their actions.
The reverse is true when they know they are protected by the people above them.
In the United States today as it has always been, police abuse of people of color was the law. Arresting and incarcerating Black people after the emancipation declaration and the period known as reconstruction was the law.
The general consensus was that Blacks had no rights whites were obligated to respect. Today that principle is no longer codified into law but policing across the board generally follows that principle.
Legislatures, from Federal to Municipal, have consistently refused to draft and pass legislation which holds American Police responsible for civil rights and human rights violations against people of color.
The Judiciary at both ends of that same spectrum is also complicit in the continuation of the police abuse culture which is such a sore point in America.
Shockingly, politicians and Judiciary fall over themselves to pay false homage to law-enforcement, even when it is clear that the cops are in the wrong.
Powerful police unions hold tremendous sway over politicians and judges alike which creates the regressive result of the tail wagging the dog.
Ultimately, for people of color, it is often dire consequences as their survival depends on a deranged racist, trained for 4 – 6 months if at all, having the power of life and death over them.
Usually, the results are deadly.
Even when a politician grows some balls and tries to hold a dirty or corrupt racist cop accountable, other politicians race to place the police even if it means licking their boots.
The recent case in which a Florida city commissioner called out a cop who had illegally arrested him, then lied on the arrest report was overshadowed by that city’s Mayor who stepped in immediately after to lick the boots of the police is particularly disgusting.
In a New York Times article; titled “‘You’re a Bad Police Officer’: Official Confronts Deputy at Awards Ceremony.”
An award ceremony honoring a sheriff’s deputy turned unsettling after a city commissioner called him out for “falsely arresting” him four years ago.
During the weekly city commission meeting last Wednesday in Tamarac, Florida, Commissioner E. Mike Gelin disrupted the congratulatory tone of the ceremony with his brief condemnation of the officer.
“Joshua Gallardo, can you come down for a second?” he asked.
Minutes earlier, Gallardo was honored with a Deputy of the Month award for the month of April for arresting a man wanted for a murder committed in El Salvador, per WBFS-TV.
“It’s good to see you again,” he said as Gallardo walked down to the front of the chambers.
“You probably don’t remember me, but you’re the police officer who falsely arrested me four years ago,” Gelin, who is black, told Gallardo. “You lied on the police report. I believe you’re a rogue police officer, you’re a bad police officer and you don’t deserve to be here.”
The mayor, afraid of the police union decided to lick boots rather quickly, and true to form the police union began with the threats.
In an email, the mayor said she believed Mr. Gelin’s remarks “were highly inappropriate.” “This was neither the time nor the forum to air personal grievances,” she wrote. “This is NOT the way we treat employees or people who work for our city. There are proper channels to follow, but the commissioner chose not to use them.”
The pathetically weak bootlicking Mayor had no comments about the wrongful arrests or the allegations the cop falsified the police report.
The trauma suffered by the Black commissioner was of no concern to the groveller.
As I have said many times the fight needs to be waged against these pathetic politicians who see the police as their private armies and not at a bunch of people who have received 4 – 6 months training.
Mike Beckles is a former Jamaican police Detective corporal, a business owner, avid researcher, and blogger.
He is a black achiever honoree, and publisher of the blog chatt-a-box.com.
He’s also a contributor to several websites.
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