Time for a change.
Recently, after hearing the news about *another* african american man killed by the over-zealousness of a police officer in Tulsa, Oklahoma; and, subsequently, I began monitoring the outpouring of cries regarding this tragic event in my facebook feed. The issue was being addressed by both sides, respectfully. It is not right that as citizens across this country have to witness time-and-time-again the killings of innocent people at the hands of those who are sworn to protect and serve.
Usually, there is a video image of some person being stopped by an officer- hands raised above their head, with occasional audio footage that demonstrates that the person is shouting something to the tune of “I am doing what you’re asking!” while, obviously, they are… in fact, doing what the officer is asking.
Sometimes, the images aren’t clear. Sometimes, we see an officer rush in and all of a sudden- a person is falling down, blood oozing from their chest or neck, or back… dead.
After contemplating these things for a while now, I have decided that it is time to become engaged in the public discourse over how we, as private citizens, can come together and address this specific issue without giving cause for more bloodshed. How, as citizens, it is our duty to stand up to our elected officials and make demands to force police officers to contemplate the necessity of having a gun drawn while a person has their hands above their head and no obvious signs of anything.
Perhaps, there is an essential public training that can take place that will help police officers understand the problems that the communities at large are having, while also helping the people within those communities understand what police officers are trained to do and what allows them to draw their weapons on a person, and how to avoid having guns drawn at all.
I haven’t any real clue as to solve the problem, but I have also started a facebook group- where select friends of all races and educational levels were invited to participate in a brainstorming session for a few weeks as a way to see what ideas we can come up with in an effort to reach a final decision and potentially move those ideas into feasible actions directed at the City of Houston for the sake of preserving the lives of every one of its citizens.
One of the people that I spoke to about the group almost immediately went to the national level in addressing the issue, and while I do not deny in ANY way that this is a national issue, I feel that the importance of solidifying something at the local level is something that should first take place. My thought is that if our ideas are strong, and the take hold with not only our group, but the group surrounding these peoples communities, then it very well make take hold in a public forum and begin the process of redressing an issue that seems to only be getting worse and worse.
It is my hope, that something positive comes from these efforts. I do not think that the blame is always on the police officer, and I value the civil servants who perform the duties that they do actually perform. As a citizen, I depend upon their security and rely on their ability to keep the peace.
When a police officer guns down a man/woman who by video appears to be cooperating, and there is little to no accountability for that officers actions- the long-term effect of the lack of accountability is something that continues to aid in a growing civil unrest.
It is my hope to make at least a small contribution to making the world less unrestful. World peace- lofty goal… local, safe citizenry where people of all nationalities and colors of skin can feel that they are safe and can walk freely with their heads high knowing that they are every single bit equal in their humanity and the police officer who is there for their protection, and not a reminder of where they come from or who they need to stay away from.
If you would like to participate in a CIVIL discourse regarding this matter, and be added to the facebook group I have created to serve this purpose, then please feel free to contact me.
Thank you all… and wish me luck!