Charges for the Death of Freddie Gray, and the Buddy Cop Mentality

So we got a minor victory in the Freddie Gray death, as we’re told charges will be filed against six Baltimore police officers. It’s a start. It’s more than we got in the Michael Brown case, the Eric Garner case, so many other cases. But we have to remember it’s only a start.

Convictions would be a victory. Institutional change would be a major victory. But for now take a deep breath, congratulate yourselves on having made it this far, and get ready for the long haul.

In the meantime, I want to speak about the unhealthy culture in the police force. Now, look, I’m a white person, not visibly disabled, and my interactions with the police have been exclusively positive. They serve a need in our society, and I respect them for that. But there are a few things this can’t change.

Of families with a member who is a police officer, 40% have experienced domestic violence.

The police do not keep stats on how many people they shoot each year.

The militarization of the police (military weaponry, military training…) is pretty much out of control.

And finally, there’s the issue of cops investigating cops. Like Springsteen said, we — they — take care of their own.

They’re told they need to go get the bad guys. They aren’t there to protect the public. Therein lies the problem.

I’m not saying it’s active hatred going into their actions, but I am saying it needs to change.

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