I've known a few police officers in private life over the years and none of them were oppressive extremists, and I have no doubt that most police officers intend to do exactly what they're allegedly hired to do, "to protect and serve," as the slogan goes. However, when I see what many police do on the job I often wonder who they're supposed to protect and serve; and whether they're more concerned about following orders from a corrupt political system than they are "protecting and serving" the majority of the public.
The highest profile issue that has been in the media about conflicts with police is almost certainly the high number of people they kill every year, which is clearly over a thousand, and it doesn't seem to be slowing down. There've been a large number of claims that Black Lives Matter have been responsible for increases in murder rates in some cities, although this has been discredited by many sources including the New York Times which explains that Black Activists Don’t Ignore Crime 08/05/2016 and they're often involved, at the local level, with efforts to reduce crime and additional studies have shown that this has often been very effective, making cities safer for everyone including both African Americans & police.
Unfortunately these studies, grassroots organizations, and many of the best academics that can explain how to reduce violence, get little or no attention from the mainstream media, especially Cable News which gets far more viewers than print or internet articles, and politicians do little or nothing to help support these organizations, often pushing policies that increase leading causes of crime, including poverty, income inequality etc., by allowing corporations to suppress wages, shipping jobs over seas, cutting education, pushing charter schools, and many other policies that benefit campaign donors at the expense of the majority of the public.
This is just one example of many where people at the grassroots level organize to stand up to corrupt activities by governments or corporations, but they get little or no media attention and politicians often pass laws that are strictly enforced to prevent them from informing the public about corruption that is leading to epidemic social problems including massive environmental destruction, fighting wars based on lies, epidemic levels of corporate fraud, increasing poverty, depriving people of health care and many other issues.
There are numerous studies showing that pollution is killing millions of people every year, and activists around the country routinely protest against this; in a functioning democracy politicians respond by addressing their concerns and standing up to corporation profiting by the pollution. In our country politicians accept massive amounts of campaign contributions from these corporations and the media sells them massive amounts of air time for their propaganda minimizing education about the subject. They only cover candidates that collect these donations and make promises during campaigns then break them once in office.
As far as the establishment is concerned "Hope and Change" is just a broken promise from politicians that they push long enough to get elected.
Then when a small percentage of the public does their research through more reliable environmental sources, that are often ignored by mainstream media, and carry out protests, when media routinely ignores them they eventually get frustrated and obstruct something, peacefully, to draw attention to what amounts to negligent mass homicide at best. Only then are police instructed to enforce the law, not to prevent billionaires from profiting by polluting and killing millions of innocent people, but by arresting peaceful protesters so they can intimidate them and discourage them from acting on behalf of their communities.
When this happens they're not "protecting and serving" the vast majority of the public as, I'm sure, many of them intended to when they joined the police force; they're preventing corporations from being held accountable and enabling them to continue with their fraud and environmental destruction, even though that's not what many of them intend to do.
The same goes for one issue after another, including some that have some direct, or indirect link to reducing violence. When we fight wars based on lies the people telling those lies, like Bush, Cheney, the Clinton's and many more including generals, media pundits & the vast majority of congressmen or women aren't held accountable; those trying to expose them, like Phil Donahue Scott Ritter and Mohamed ElBaradei are fired or no longer allowed access to the media to warn public they're being deceived.
However, when a scandal that's so bad, like Abu Ghraib they feel they have to blame someone because they can't spin their way out of it, they blame the people that are trained to blindly follow orders, because they follow illegal orders; but those that gave the orders aren't held accountable. and those that disobey illegal orders are also charged for disobeying, including when entire war is base don lies like Iraq or Syria and many more.
Despite all the hype about how they respect their troops they routinely damn them if they do or if they don't; even though most veterans avoid being charged for either obeying or disobeying illegal orders they're routinely abandoned when the military no longer has a use for them; while they lavish enormous amounts of money on large corporations enriching wealthy people that donate to campaigns and don't have to worry about sending their own children to wars based on lies.
And, of course, anti war protesters are routinely arrested as well, instead of holding those accountable that start these wars base don lies or sell weapons to just about every tyrant in the world at one time or another, often that are being turned against us, after former allies turn against us and our government suddenly starts admitting that they were tyrants all along like Saddam Hussein, Manuel Noriega and many others.
The political class also routinely demands arrests for protesters on many other issues, without addressing legitimate grievances, including about suppressing wages by shipping jobs overseas, demanding respect for Oligarchs subsidized by the government including Walmart, closing schools, depriving people of health care while giving corporations massive subsidies in the form of monopolies through patents, enabling insurance companies to control who gets health care and much more.
This is all justified by the claim that this is a democracy, or so they say; however, a real democracy has to have access to accurate research to base their decisions, and the vast majority of the public doesn't know where to find that, thanks to the consolidation of the media. we also need to hear from all applicants for political office; however, consolidated media only covers those they support ensuring that the vast majority of the public never hears form most honest candidates since they never develop name recognition.
The media is now controlled primarily by six large corporations that dominate over 95% of the national news and the next biggest half a dozen or more media outlets are also owned by billionaires or multi millionaires catering the same small fraction of one percent of the public.
And amazingly, many of these people that you often arrest are trying to solve these social problems, and have often learned to seek out alternative news sources or research that isn't covered by mainstream media. In many cases these activists are actively educating people on the most effective ways to reduce crime, which often means standing up to corrupt corporations.
The wealthiest parts of the country routinely make all the political decisions, rigging the economy in their own favor, while the poorest people routinely pay the highest price, often being deprived of the education and economic opportunities they need to get ahead. According to The Myth of Rags to Riches 07/11/2012 "only 4 percent of those raised in the bottom 20 percent ever climb into the top 20 percent." and even worse for minorities, "Fifty-six percent of blacks raised in middle class families fall to the bottom two quintiles as adults." This article doesn't go into the reasons why this is happening but given time there are plenty of sources that can show that the economic system is clearly rigged against the poor, especially minorities, and this is a major contributing cause of violence. One of the best sources showing how the economic system is rigged against many of the poorest minorities is "Savage Inequalities" by Jonathan Kozol and there's many more where this came from. I could easily point out dozens more books providing additional details, assuming anyone was interested in checking them; although I suspect the ones most interested are already doing this on their own.
And on top of that some of the most effective solutions are being implemented at the grassroots level in many communities, not by the traditional political or media establishment. I've often tried to point out many of the best academics that teach about leading causes of violence, and how to prevent them. These academics practically never get much if any media coverage so they can educate the public as I've pointed out recently in Must We Hate? Must We Beat Children? and Burying Solutions to Prevent Gilroy, Dayton and El Paso Shootings as well as a series of studies starting with Ignored evidence linking corporal punishment, poverty and crime grows and ending with Politicians increase crime; Grass roots efforts reduce crime; Politicians steal the credit which summarizes the articles and concludes that when people are educated more at the local level about the issues and how to reduce violence they're better able to hold their political leaders accountable, and this enables them to keep violence down in their own state or local areas.
I still have no doubt that crime could be greatly reduced if we addressed many of these social problems, and frankly some good police officers ahve made statements indicating that they agree with me including former Dallas Tx. Police Chief David Brown and former Madison Wisc. police chief David Couper, who both advocated for major reforms in policing and even though police chief Brown focused mainly on reforming the police he also made a good point during his speech when he said:
Not enough mental health funding, let the cop handle it. Not enough drug addiction funding, let’s give it to the cops. Here in Dallas we have a loose dog problem. Let’s have the cops chase loose dogs. Schools fail, give it to the cops. 70 percent of the African-American community is being raised by single women, let’s give it to the cops to solve as well. That’s too much to ask. Policing was never meant to solve all those problems. I just ask other parts of our democracy along with the free press to help us.
I would think that most police officers would agree with this part of his speech although apparently there's a lot of disagreement with some of his other reforms. I would also think that this would be followed up by a reversal of cuts in social programs that address these problems which lead to violence; yet, it's been almost four years since this speech and little has been done to do that, at least that I know of. Many of the most effective programs are implemented at the local level, and they get little or no media coverage, which could help educate people about how to implement this on a much larger scale.
In some cases the Black Lives Matter organization has been involved in implementing solutions including the Wheel Chairs Against Guns organization which is afiliated with BLM as indicated in the following excerpt from their web page:
Other community organizers including Samuel Sinyangwe are also trying to educate public about effective ways to reduce violence, which will also make confrontations with police less likely, he pointed the following study which shows that local community organizations often help reduce violence, confirming some of my own conclusions in my reviews:
The conclusions of this study may be over simplified, as they often do in statistical studies that can't consider all the details that are addressed at the local level with some communities doing a better job than others with their local organizations, but the point is sound we need more effort to teach people about the leading causes of violence and how to prevent it and many of these local organizations are trying to do that with little or no help from mainstream media which doesn't report on good research or politicians who are constantly trying to push policies to enrich campaign donors.
I'm sure that many police would argue that this isn't their responsibility; however, this is only partly correct. It should be the responsibility of the mainstream media to report on the best research that can reduce crime and address many other social issues where we have good research to solve many problems. It should be the responsibility for politicians to base their policy decisions on the best science available, instead of studying how to manipulate their constituents to turn them against each other and against you.
However they're clearly not doing their job and many of these protesters that you routinely arrest for obstruction, trespassing, or other incredibly petty charges, at the orders of corrupt politicians, are trying to address legitimate concerns, which should be considered a basic function of democracy.
John F Kennedy once said, "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable," and rightly so. Right now by only covering candidates that are supported by big money from corporations the media is ensuring that honest ones never get name recognition to be elected, and those that do get elected routinely betray one promise after another to the public to benefit their campaign contributors. The lawyers that benefit from this corrupt system claim there's no quid pro quo presumably because they don't want to see one.
Our political establishment has proven to be incredibly corrupt and there can be no justification for allowing a small fraction of the richest people in the country to control over 95% of the media giving them an enormous propaganda advantage enabling them to corrupt the political establishment. Fifty years ago Stanley Milgram conducted an Obedience to Authority Experiment which he claimed was to understand why the Germans blindly obeyed orders during the Holocaust so that it can be prevented in the future. There's often outrage when people co pare things to Hitler and the Holocaust, but there's a gradual build up to these atrocities, and even though nothing that extreme has happened since many of the activities preceding it have, so it's important to recognize this progression before it gets to too much of an extreme.
The alleged message was that we need to learn when to disobey illegal orders. However as I indicated in a previous article, Eli Roth’s Milgram/Obedience experiment much more extensive than most people realize this research was supported by the Office of Naval research and they're not in the habit of teaching their recruits to question orders, in fact they do the opposite, and Milgram's research can help them understand how to improve their indoctrination tactics.
Another famous experiment was also done to allegedly study why guards become so cruel with many similarities as I reported in Philip Zimbardo, Lucifer Effect, Stanford Prison Experiment. This research was financed directly by the Office or Naval Research & it shows how training can lead to indoctrination and cruelty. Zimbardo also admitted to similarities to boot camp indoctrination as if he was trying to stop this but it was financed by the organization that developed those boot camp indoctrination tactics teaching to blindly obey orders. And the same tactics are used in many police academies. David Couper reported about how it teaches cadets to be abusive in his article Hazing and Bullying in the Police Academy 12/16/2013 and provided more background in his accompanying book.
Instead of teaching blind obedience to police when orders are coming down from corrupt politicians enabled by a corrupt media establishment, police should be taught to "protect and to serve," as the slogan goes, as well as do your part to defend the democratic process. When corporations profit off pollution while the media minimizes coverage of the causes of it and makes an enormous profit selling propaganda ads; then the political establishment demands that you arrest protesters, instead of those polluting and killing innocent people, if you obey orders your not protecting and serving the public or defending the democratic process; your enabling epidemic corruption and negligent mass murder. The same goes when you arrest community activists that are trying to educate about the most effective ways to prevent violence or exposing wars based on lies.
And in some cases in addition to passing up opportunities to reduce violent crime, pollution related deaths, war based on lies and other social problems, the police pay a heavy price for it when there is blowback by angry people that strike out when they see their own government hasn't been protecting them, insome cases the same people the government trains to fight in wars based on lies that learn they've been betrayed.
the tow mass shootings in Dallas and Baton Rouge killing eight police officers were both done by veterans who were sent to wars base don lies and trained to use violence to solve their problems instead of seeking other alternatives. They also took place in cities that have been abandoned by the political establishment with murder rates at least two and a half times the national average, which is already higher than most developed countries. Chris Dorner, who was trained by both the Navy and the police department to protect us, also struck out violently when faced with racism and corruption in the police department. Even though his response was clearly ineffective and unjustified, ignoring the corruption that leads to a hostile work environment and was a contributing factor won't help solve the problem. This has proven that John F Kennedy's quote has come at least partially true, although these irrational attacks hardly qualifies as a revolution.
And there are many more attacks on law enforcement, often by troubled people that didn't get access to quality education economic opportunities or protection from an abusive upbringing. Some of these attacks may have been partially motivated by previous abuse from police; there are certainly plenty of stories like the video of a Seabrook NH police officer arbitrarily slamming a prisoners head against the wall while other cops laughed that surfaced a few years ago. People living in the poorest cities know about many more of these stories, and they know they're not all being made up because they often see them first hand, it's only because of increases in technology that so many are becoming public lately. There's a strong chance that the Las Vegas shooter at CiCi's Pizza and Walmart may have been a victim of police brutality. Even a quick look at the police officers memorial board shows that there are more deaths in areas with high crime and murder rates than those without them, although like all sociology statistics there are some exceptions.
Your unions routinely fight tooth and nail to prevent police officers from being held accountable for the most abusive obvious shootings that are taken to extremes. the police officer that was caught red handed slamming an handcuffed prisoners head against the wall even demanded his job back while denying wrong doing. I'm not talking about the shootings where there's someone shooting at you first, I know the majority of fatal police shootings probably fall into this category, but there are many that are clearly way out of line especially when the target is unarmed and there's no reason to believe he was armed.
If you can negotiate for this you can demand not to be used for political purposes when politicians refuse to address political grievances or when the media refuses to cover good research that shows how violence can effectively be reduced. You can engage with these community organizations and invite politicians to attend meeting s as well. If they begin to realize that they may not have police officers willing to suppress some of the best informed citizens in this country then they may realize they'll have to do the job they were supposed to do in the first place.
As long as the political establishment thinks they're uncountable then they'll use you to suppress us, even though I have no doubt that this isn't what the best police officers ever intended. the media and, perhaps even the protest movement seems to have developed some kind of myth about how getting arrested to protest political and corporate corruption shows that democracy is working; when it does the opposite. Not that the protesters are carrying out counterproductive activities; they're exposing the flaws. However, when the political establishment repeatedly has people arrested without addressing legitimate concerns, this doesn't show how democracy works, it shows how the illusion of democracy works, and it's important for us to recognize that. Democracy works when politicians are forced to stop ignoring legitimate concerns from the people.
If they can't count on police to blindly obey orders to suppress legitimate grievances then they'll have to address legitimate concerns.
Of course more will have to be done to ensure that the media reports the best research that teaches how to reduce crime and solve other social problems; however without police helping suppress activists from trying to solve these problems as well that will be much more likely.
Blindly obeying orders from a corrupt political establishment isn't staying out of politics; it's participating in it on behalf of corrupt politicians.
For additional sources to this article see the following:
For additional research from Samuel Sinyangwe see Tweet string: Invest in alternatives to police as crime prevention strategies. Every 10 additional organizations in a city: - Reduces the murder rate by 9% - Reduces violent crime rate by 6% - Reduces property crime rate by 4% The Research: 10/05/2019
Black Lives Matter Week of Action | Teaching Tolerance 12/04/2018
East St. Louis is perhaps the most violent city in america with an average murder rate about sixteen times the national average with some years rising to twenty times the national average. There are dozens more cities including many much larger that have murder rates at least three to four times the national average, and over a hundred that ahve more than double the national average. Our national average is five times the rate of many European nations that take care of social problems much better and ban corporal punishment, a leading cause of long term violence, both in the schools and in homes. We have research to show how to make this far less likely.
The media chooses not to report on this research and the political establishment chooses not to base their decisions on this research and when community activists recognize this and speak out they may risk being arrested instead of getting their concerns addressed.
East St. Louis, Illinois murder rates Average from 2005-2018, excluding 2013 was 84; four of those years had rates above 100. Population: 26,662 median household income: $20,888
Wayback Machine Archive many be more complete from May 1st 2013 to July 31 2018 Killed By Police 2017: 1,194
Killed By Police current administration has slightly fewer deaths for 4 complete years that old administration recorded, although I didn't go through them all to see if there was redundancy or missed deaths.
Pollution kills 9 million people each year, new study finds 10/19/2017
An estimated 12.6 million deaths each year are attributable to unhealthy environments 03/15/2016
Does air pollution really kill nearly 9 million people each year? 03/12/2019
Watch the March on the RNC 08/27/2012
Suppressing protests from people that want to participate in the Democratic process isn't new; during World War I when mobs attacked women for demanding the right to vote police stood by doing nothing. During the Vietnam war when protesters that recognized that it wasn't fighting to defend democracy were violently oppressed in many cases by police or the national guard.