I'm proposing this on the fly. It may not be fully formed, complete in all the details. I welcome anyone and everyone to consider its merits, then make suggestions and improvements.
There's a lot of anger, passion, enthusiasm, pessimism, optimism, confusion, determination, disorganization, organization, chaos and hope, out there on the streets right now. Open, exuberant display of civic concern and commitment to better government in the form of mass protests is not only a constitutional right, but sometimes our duty as citizens.
But many folks are rightfully asking: What do the protesters want?
I have strong opinions about what they should want, should be demanding. It's a long list.
But these current demonstrations are essentially about police violence, abuse of police power.
So here's an idea. A clear, unambiguous, non-negotiable demand should be put front and center from this point forward.
There are two components of the demand . . .
1) Any cop abusing his position should be immediately taken out of circulation, ultimately replaced. Any officer of the law who is seen provoking peaceful protesters; attacking protesters; attacking unarmed non-threatening citizens using force, weapons, restraining holds, bludgeoning or restraining equipment, when such force is questionable, should be immediately put on indefinite leave pending investigation, and hopefully fired.
2) That officer's position on the police force would be turned over to a new type of law enforcement official, called a Community Facilitator. A Community Facilitator would be hired at full pay with full benefits. Hiring a such an individual would require the approval of both the police bureau and a committee selected by the communities where that Community Facilitator would be assigned or might appear for an policing incident. Every cop would be ultimately paired with a Community Facilitator. Every Community Facilitator would be paired with a regular cop. The regular cop would handle the rough stuff. The Community Facilitator would initially handle everything else, with the regular cop at his/her side.
Understand where I'm going with this: Ultimately - as soon as humanly possible - no patrol car would show up ANYWHERE to address ANY SITUATION, unless there were at least one regular cop and one Community Facilitator.
By the way, the Community Facilitator would be in uniform, very much like a regular police uniform. But there would be some aspect, shirt color, special hat, helmet, something, which would make it immediately obvious this person was not a regular cop, but a Community Facilitator.
We should demand that Community Facilitators be hired and deployed as quickly as possible. Since there would be pairing of a fully-trained cop with every Community Facilitator, the training would not have to be as long and rigorous for the Community Facilitator. It would be a quick course in the basics, safety, protocol, the law, etc. They don't have to be Navy Seals to be effective at this job.
Police now view citizens as the enemy. Regular citizens now fear, often distrust and hate the police.
We need 1) to get rid of the bad cops, and 2) encourage proper, respectful, constructive communication between the citizenry and law enforcement.
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