The latest police killing of an unarmed man in Sacremento California, Stephon Clark, was officially justified, again, by our being told the police feared for their lives. Do we really want to accept this ridiculous low bar for the right of our cops to start shooting?
It is certainly true that some cops feel in fear of their lives when they leave their homes each work day. Hence, the justification for committing murder is theoretically preordained? It is common practice, today, to hire vets as cops. Is this a good idea? Are these vets psychologically screened for PTSD? Do some of these vets become cops wake up in fear for their lives?
This justification for state sanctioned murder of 'unarmed' citizens must not stand. I have a persistent memory of the shooting incident where a woman took a video of a cop shooting to death her boyfriend while she and her small son watched and pleaded for the mans life. This cop was so afraid when he walked up to the drivers window that his gun was shaking in his hand and his voice expressed extreme emotional distress and he was likely peeing his pants. We do not want cops with this psychological profile carrying guns. We need a really competent psychological assessment of every cop hired and currently on the force to absolutely assure they are not lacking in courage and presence and judgement as was the case with the cop in the car shooting just referenced.
Special care should be taken when considering the hiring of vets. PTSD is soul damage acquired from the harming of innocent men, women and children in their own countries. It cannot be fixed except through the process of years of self reflection, understanding and forgiveness--years!
Last and painfully disturbing is the reality of the selective nature of fear for ones life having a profoundly racial component. Racism is especially endemic in police departments and cities and states and now in the White House whose incumbent promises to make America white again.
This racism is our collective greatest concern and challenge and truly represents soul damage attendant to the human race. Many of us have evolved beyond this and understand difference to represent the wonder and grace of diversity. It is the spiritually devolved who see difference as something to fear--I am conflicted between hope and despair.