The Crusader Newspaper Group

Cowardly cops need training…in a whole different profession

By Vernon A. Williams, Gary Crusader

Every parent, at some point, has to deal with a child who is afraid of the dark.

Even though 95 percent of the thoughts conjured by a frightened mind never actually come to fruition, morbid fear is paralyzing – whether a threat is real or perceived.

If you dread heights, the last job you might want is to be a skyscraper window cleaner in the Loop. If you fear water, you make an awful lifeguard. If animals make you nervous, never study zoology. If you hate the sight of blood, don’t even think of aspiring to become a surgeon.

You get the point. Some people are in the wrong line of work. Reasons are all over the place but it really does not matter. They need to quit and do something else – for their good and for the sake of those impacted by their incompetence.

A drunken pilot endangers unsuspecting travelers. A lawyer who fails to prepare properly may subject an innocent person to incarceration. In life, there are consequences.

Those members of the “blue fraternity” cruising urban neighborhoods on a daily basis with contempt for those they are sworn to serve and protect, afflicted with itchy trigger fingers, need to resign or be terminated.

How long the madness has been allowed is irrelevant. The past is history. But something MUST change. The agonizing refrain common in the aftermath of lethal shootings of unarmed Black people is, “I feared for my life.” That hollow utterance, especially accompanied by tears, has provided a virtual “license to kill” in the U.S.

This is no blanket indictment of the entire law enforcement community. This missive specifically targets the rogue cops. They know who they are.

Americans have looked past differences and politics for numerous causes – including womens’ rights, legalization of marijuana, same-sex marr- iage, anti-tobacco legislation, and other major social changes effectuated by a broadened base. That must be the case again if this nemesis is to be thwarted.

Unfortunately, some complicate the situation, confusing their support for law enforcement with their humanity. While they know it is wrong to shoot dead a 12-year-old two seconds after exiting a squad car, the nullification process too often makes police the beneficiary of their empathy.

Of course it is particularly challenging to do the right thing when the police officer is white and the victim is Black. The news media suddenly becomes complicit in digging up the most minor offenses in the life of a shooting victim. When it was the 12 year old, they simply planted the excuse that he looked older and had a toy gun.

Changing the culture will not be easy – not as long as racism persists as the bane of the United States of America. Finding a remedy for this toxic atmosphere in the streets of our city will be a daunting challenge. But nothing is impossible, people. And what’s the alternative, waiting for the next victim, the next torn family, the next candlelight vigil?

So what can we do? Make it political. Hold police chiefs and those who hire them accountable on a regular basis – not just in the wake of tragedies. Launch a COP WATCH. Post local incidents on social media on a regular basis – not just incidents but sort of a “where are they now” column for cops who get off after unpunished shootings.

Insist that the police force in your neighborhood and city wear body cameras. Make it a felony for them to suddenly lose transmission at the peak of an incident.

Go to court to force police departments to reveal recordings – no matter how much they resist – and use social media to disseminate to the entire community. Expose through media, officers who have a track record of abuse. Keep a watchful eye on that notorious bunch in every city, every precinct.

The brutality has to end. This is the time. This is the place. And you are the one.

Everybody has a role. Pastors need to preach it from the pulpit, teachers need to incorporate it into curriculum, community leaders need to generate neighborhood dialogue, politicians need to participate in ongoing public forums, everyone on social media needs to keep exposing violations of human indignity. Get more aggressive.

It goes without saying that when crimes are perpetrated in the Black community by our own, and serious police work seeks our contribution to solving crimes, foolish is anyone who allows suspicion of law enforcement to interfere with your cooperation. This newfound resolve can only be complete if we aim equal tenacity toward solving those who would prey on our community from within.

If you see something – say something. If you choose instead to remain silent, then expect absolutely nothing.

Finally, I bring you full circle back to my original point. Rather than vindicate police officers who claim that they “feared for their life” and send them right back to the mean streets, police administrators should help them transition to another form of livelihood or at least restrict them to nothing more than desk work.

You can’t achieve maximum efficiency if you are constantly scared to perform your job responsibilities.

Clearly, by their own admission, these gunslinging nomads who murder the defenseless are indeed afraid of the DARK – in more ways than one.

CIRCLE CITY CONNECTION  by Vernon A. Williams is a series of essays on myriad topics that include social issues, human interest, entertainment and profiles of difference-makers who are forging change in a constantly evolving society. Williams is a 40-year veteran journalist based in Indianapolis, IN – commonly referred to as The Circle City. Send comments or questions to: [email protected].

Recent News

Scroll to Top