Thursday, August 14, 2014

Protect & Serve

We know it's not an easy job. We know it's a very dangerous job. We know this is the kind of job that most of us are too afraid to take up.

However, none of that excuses this. None of that excuses the horrific human rights abuses we've seen at the hands of the police in Ferguson, Missouri.

Ironically, much of the very brutality we've criticized in Iraq, Syria, Russia, and other nations with rather spotty human rights records is now underway here in America. Think about that. No wonder why the rest of the world often doubts our "commitment to freedom".

The violence in Ferguson didn't erupt overnight. It's the product of decades of racist housing policies, limited economic opportunities for communities of color, and local "law enforcement" who have provided anything but.

We realize that law enforcement has come under attack in recent months. Right here in Las Vegas, 2 Metro Police Officers were murdered by 2 Patriot Movement/sovereign citizen extremists. And just this week, a sovereign citizen in Dallas attacked firefighters and police officers. With radical right domestic terrorism on the rise again, public safety officers have become moving targets for these extremists.

However, this does not condone police violence against unarmed civilians. The threats posed by extreme right militias that grew out of the racist "posse comitatus" movement do not condone extreme violence against historically oppressed minority communities. And the day to day pressure of "life on duty" does not condone the brutal slaughter of Michael Brown and other unarmed civilians.

President Obama just called for calm after multiple nights of police attacks on protesters, police violence against journalists, violent riots, and looting in Ferguson. However, this problem isn't limited to Ferguson. It's a problem that's prevalent across the nation.

We've even witnessed it here in Southern Nevada. Even today, Las Vegas Metro Police's top cops refuse to acknowledge the severity of their growing list of "officer involved shootings". Justice still hasn't been served in cases like the Adam Greene's. Police brutality is just as much of a problem here as it is in the St. Louis region.

It's time to talk. We can't ignore this any longer. And really, we also need serious action to curb this disturbing trend of police militarization and excessive force against civilians. Law enforcement will never enjoy the respect they should otherwise expect if they don't respect the citizens they're supposed to protect & serve. It's time we address this problem and prevent more of these horrifically senseless deaths.

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