Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, state and local governments are facing unprecedented revenue shortfalls, forcing them to make tough decisions about their 2020-21 budgets. Stunningly, however, police departments across the country are not facing any budget cuts, with many actually receiving budget increases. As we observe police departments deploy tanks, riot gear, tear gas, rubber bullets, and thousands of officers at the same time doctors and nurses have no PPE, teachers have no school supplies, and civil service jobs are being cut, it’s critical to ask: is the continued militarization of our police really the best way to spend taxpayer money?(Alice Speri, The Patriotic Millionaires)
The Washington Post today comments on the amazement and confusion felt by policemen at the upswelling of general hostility towards them. Had they more empathy towards the scores of citizens killed by the brutal behavior of a minority of the colleagues, they would not be surprised.
My comment: A few years ago my wife and I returned home to find two policemen in our hall, the front door open. It seems we had not turned on the alarm correctly, and a supposed incursion was reported. In fact, the policemen were polite and respectful, and I thanked them for checking on the house. But that isn’t the point. The point is that the sight of these two huge, armed men, looking threatening, filled me with fear for a moment. The incident was harmless, but the point is that even I felt freaked out.
The less one has to do with the police the better. If I, an elderly white man, am fearful or apprehensive of armed police, how does a poor black man feel? It shouldn’t be this way. Of course, the unremarked horror is the prevalence of guns. Control them and get some form of disarmament and you can have more civilized policing. Some hope!