1.Stop asking police and conflict-of-interest prosecutors to investigate police misconduct Clearly it doesn't work and police surely will like nothing to be changed. Independent investigators and prosecutors... like the feds, tasked to protect citizen Constitutional rights and prosecute the police/prosecutor winks-and-nods as they protect each other. Justice department do your JOB! Racketeering is about organized crime and clearly that's what we have here. Thugs in BLUE.
2. Uniform and open police cams and local policies that will rebuild trust; it is not acceptable for police to decide which videos to release because else nothing will change. Stiff penalties for police who don't have their cams turned on or whose cams mysteriously have 'malfunctions'. Fireable offenses. Or not a DAY without pay but 1-3 months without pay. We don't want those cops on our forces. And if that's not acceptable, we dont want them 'protecting' us with their guns, tasers, and buddies blocking their misbehavior from public view.
3. Preliminary hearings, not one-sided protect police secret prosecutor-run grand juries investigating police misconduct. Legislatures need to act immediately on this. And police catching too many complaints about excessive force need to be put on probation or fired, something like the three strike rule and those findings should follow them should they try to police elsewhere.
4. Big nametags on police uniforms. Riot gear with big names on the back, football jersey style. The anonymity allows abuse and they know it, and we know it.
5. Form a national NON-UNION professional education association like doctors had nurses have. State chapters, national membership.
- Certifications awarded for police achieving educational classroom credits annually to change them from being like union truck drivers to a true, educated profession.
- Classes on de-escalation skills to AVOID physical confrontation; and make it clear to scrappy, head-busting cops, they won't have badges long unless they change why they're attracted to police work.
- Dealing with mental illness with something besides handcuffs and jail.
- Knowing the Constitutional rights and changing their ethics to help people exercise those rights, not trick them into giving them up!
- Knowing the state laws and what they ARE and also what they are NOT, so police quit making up laws to arrest people. Police need to quit unjustly picking on the powerless. Stop and Frisk is so a violation of the Fourth Amendment right to be left alone by the government!
- Skills to control their own anger and bullying when not getting enough 'respect' for conducting wrongful stops.
- Skills in staying sane as they work with lying criminals without getting jaded; resisting the 'us versus the citizens' comraderie of disrespect that happens.
- Skills to change their culture away from thinking they have a right to mete out street justice without due process.
6. Reforms to break up the blue code of silence by enforcing racketeering laws even among police departments and prosecutors.
7. Make it easier for cities to fire bad cops and their supervisors, and even police chiefs who look the other way. Make misbehavior career-killers so bullies will either stop it, or resign. There is too much union protection...unions are protecting the bad cops like unions protect bad teachers. Figure out how to stop that, and punish bully cops who punish their colleagues and intimidate them from whistle-blowing murderous behavior.
8. Do a better job of screening recruits, especially focusing on those who are too aggressive or have had too much experience in combat. Moreover, we must scrutinize combat veterans who are trained to kill, not create peace. They are unsuited to protect and serve the citizenry. We have too many militarized, shaved-headed police hunting dark skinned people in the middle of the night. Our cities are not Baghdad! If we need to get rid of a quarter of our robocops, we need to do it to salvage law enforcement's horribly damaged reputation. There will be no respect for law until there is earned respect for lawmen. Does that make sense or do local and state governments think heavy hands will stop what may be an imminent revolution against government authority?
9. Increase punishment for police who file false reports against citizens, especially when witnesses, forensics and video show they are lying to protect themselves or abuse their trust to imprison citizens on trumped up charges. This is so egregious an abuse of power that, police should serve jail time for filing false police reports. Moreover, violation by police should be as unacceptable as violation of children by people responsible for their care and education.
10. Establish clear RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (like the military has) on the use of force, violently and loudly taking people down to the ground, physically hurting them and then charging them with RESISTING ARREST when in fact, they're RESISTING POLICE INFLICTED PAIN! Too many citizens are taken down or shot while escaping apprehension, even on video and Americans find unnecessary violence DISTURBING and ANGERING. Moreover police have established a relationship of fear and it should be no surprise especially people of color will run rather than risk a police street beating.
Reading social media, we see Americans are disgusted and shocked by police aggressiveness when they are not, themselves threatened. Moreover if murder-by-impatient cop is considered proper procedure, maybe the CITIZENS should decide what's proper, and not the police hierarchy. Do they work for US, or is it the other way around?
There is a balance between liberty and safety in America and police videos demonstrate that cops on patrol are not the ones who should be deciding that balance.
Let this be the beginning of a discussion as we struggle to tell police what we expect of them.
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