POLICING IN AMERICA, YOU CANNOT TRAIN A CAT TO BECOME A DOG!
Since the police-black divide came to the forefront of public debate following the continuing killing of black men by white police officers, a lot of paid and unpaid pundits have crowded America’s airwaves proffering solutions to the problem. One common solution keeps cropping up in these discussions. And it is training – tactical training, cultural training, sensitivity training, and de-escalation training. Training a hatist white police officer to treat a black person with respect will be akin to training a cat to become a dog. It is impossible!
A good number of police officers see themselves as modern urban Cowboys who are quick to draw their guns and shoot or threaten to shoot persons who disobey their orders. I do not know of any other country where police officers are called law enforcement officers. By branding them law enforcement officers, society is authorizing police officers to use force including deadly force to enforce the law. A vagrant urinating by the roadside could be shot to death by an officer who orders him to stop urinating and he continues to urinate in obedience to the law of nature. A law officer on the order hand will allow the vagrant to finish urinating and write him a ticket. If dogs and cats can urinate anywhere without molestation by the police, I cannot see why humans when pressed should not urinate by the bushes.
The solution to this problem is selection, selection, and selection. Before police officers are hired by any governmental authority, there should be a public comment period by members of the community. To prevent rotten officers moving from one jurisdiction to another, there should also be a public comment period by members of the last community where the would-be police officer served or lived. Current officers should also undergo a background check to decipher any prior hatist inclinations. School mates and co-workers should be able to provide this information. Officers failing this background test should be removed from the force. Three complaints of excessive use of force should warrant an immediate separation from the police force. Often these complaints are brushed aside by the police after an “investigation” conducted by the police.
The present system of the police servicing the black and minority community to protect the white community should be moderated by a community police board representative of the whole community that should have final authority on hiring and firing. If more than 12 percent of police killings in America is black, then hatism is in play. Some people would offer socio- economic reasons for killing more blacks. I do not want to go into those reasons which will be the topic of another essay. America as a duty must correct those disparities so that no more than 12 percent of police killings, justified or unjustified is black. Nothing in the current system will prevent the son of a Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) from becoming a police officer.
Police officers should be called law officers or peace officers and not law enforcement officers. Some of the police cruisers have LAW ENFORCEMENT emblazoned in 12-inch high letters all around the vehicle. As they cruise around, they are on the lookout for “enforcement” action. A psychiatric patient who is threatening to kill someone could be shot to death because his comb causing a bulge in his pocket is thought to be a gun and the officer is afraid of his life from 30 feet away! This is insanity on the part of the police. We are thankful to have police officers risking their lives to protect us and realize that policing is a dangerous job but the current method of policing makes it more dangerous when the people you are supposed to help see you as adversaries.
The nepotistic patronage system where there are first, second, and third generations of police officers serving in the local police force must stop. These officers propagate the bad habits learned from their parents. Any police officer who kills someone should be placed on unpaid leave until a preliminary investigation is completed. You can never underestimate the power of the dollar in changing behaviors. Officers cleared by an investigation are entitled to back pay with interest while culpable officers are dismissed and forfeit the pay. A scoring system that gives demerits if your close relation is a police officer should be instituted. If these steps are taken police murders of black people in America will decrease dramatically.
6 thoughts on “POLICING IN AMERICA, YOU CANNOT TRAIN A CAT TO BECOME A DOG!”
Brilliant article. Very erudite. Written in very clear language, it not only identifies the problems but goes ahead to proffer solutions. Should be brought to the attention of the appropriate government agency in the US.
Thank you Dr. Okafor. If common sense is common, everyone will be sensible but alas, it is not. If I am given a chance I can reform the policing system in America. You build from the ground up and not from the the top down!
Your suggestions are in place, my dear, but the root of the matter, is the fact that an average white American has no respect and recognition of the humanity of the black person, not only here in America, but elsewhere on this planet. I call this racist perpetuation in America from generation to another “an incurable disease”, simple and short. Come to think of it, the police’s incapable of seeing their humanity in their often unarmed black victims. in my mind, this incapacity is the deepest root of it. Thanks for your often provocative insight into these matters.