Millions of Americans are on the streets, shouting "Black Lives Matter." Millions more are at home thinking, “We need police reform!”
Well, people have been fighting for police reform for decades. Sometimes at great personal cost. And still, seemingly every day, there’s another headline RE: David McAtee. George Floyd. Breonna Taylor. Philando Castile. Tamir Rice. Too many to name. So many it hurts to try.
“What is the alternative?” you might say. We cannot snap our fingers and remove police from the streets...then snap ‘em again and remove violence from our society.
But let’s say you’re calling 911 for a home invasion. Or more likely: domestic violence. Or a loved one who’s having a psychotic episode (perhaps with drugs or alcohol).
Would you want someone to respond who’s, say, a professional de-escalator?
Or would you want someone who spent one long, boring day watching PowerPoints or video trainings on the topic...a sidenote to the "real" business of policing?
And who might enter your home, guns blazing? Who might shoot the culprit (extrajudicially, I might add!) Or might accidentally hit "bystanders": your family. You.
The second scenario is already keeping many Americans from calling for help.
Now some of you will take to the comments to say: “You ignorant snowflake, many departments already have negotiators!” So, let's be clear: 99.99% of us will go our whole lives without ever seeing one of those. And if you think that police shootings cannot happen to anyone, then please, ask around here in Frederick County.
It is time to seriously discuss replacing the whole model of policing entirely - and what our system should look like instead.