UPDATE (Monday, 7-18-2016): In what might be called a cruel irony, one of the police officers murdered Sunday in Baton Rouge was black — ironic because the gunman supposedly was angry at white officers shooting black suspects. Three other officers were wounded, one reported on Monday to be fighting for his life with a head wound. The gunman was shot dead.
Communities affected by the controversy of police shootings of black suspects, and maybe potentially affected ones (everywhere?), need to have meetings right now between the police and citizens and there needs to be clear guidelines on police stops and detention and a transparency that makes covering up racism or even the appearance of racism in police departments all but impossible. This is a crisis that affects people of all races. It affects the free movement of people in a free society. I am talking about talk, but what I mean is action, and action now.
My initial post on this from Sunday (7-17-16):
So I’m taking a day off from work and then I check the internet and there has been another attack on police, this time in Baton Rouge, La., with three feared dead and several others wounded, and this coming on the heels of at attack in Dallas, Tx, where several police officers were killed and wounded (plus at least one civilian). All supposedly over the controversy of white police officers gunning down black people in questionable traffic stops or encounters (even with videos we do not necessarily know the whole story, and may never, in these incidents).
But to the situation at hand. This to me seems like some kind of civil insurrection, and it threatens our democracy. Also in this current attack, it is reported the ambusher has or had a high-powered automatic weapon.
And this folks is what we are getting by allowing the free flow of weapons in society.
Other civilized western democracies don’t allow this. That does not mean they are free from harm — I know, France. We can never be totally safe. But it is these automatic assault rifles and other weapons of war that are the problem. There are too many of them in circulation and they are too easy for nut cases to get.
If this assault on the police continues, ironically, we might be headed for a police state.
We need to stem the flow of weapons. We need take steps now to ensure the public that racist police officers are being weeded out, and that people are not detained solely on the basis of their color. But we also have to make it clear to the public that obeying lawful police orders when they are given without hesitation is not just an option, it is a must. Police cannot be effective if they cannot command respect and exercise their lawful authority — it is for our own protection.
We need to respect the police and the police need to respect us.
If ever the police nationwide needed some community relations work it is now. They also need our support.