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Driving While Black, Policing While Feeling Threatened-- Time to Raise the Bar

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The line, "driving while black" indicates that black people are at great risk simply because of the fact that they are black and driving-- because of racist profiling that is very real.

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The core, central argument justifying Darren Wilson's getting off scott free was that he felt threatened.

Well, hello. That's part of being a cop. Period. Any cop who goes out of police headquarters and faces the public is at risk, just about any time.

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Giving a cop the out because he felt threatened or in danger is a horrible flaw in the justice system.

Feeling threatened is a normal part of being a cop out on the beat.

There has to be a better way, a clearer, smarter set of criteria. Just feeling threatened sets the bar far too low for justification to kill, or even fire a weapon.

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Would Michael Brown have killed Darren Wilson, sitting in his police cruiser? I don't think so. Wilson could have simply driven away. it's that simple. Wilson did not need to kill Brown to be safe.

The low bar for getting away with killing changes the equation for all police interactions. When a cop knows that he can literally get away with murder, it changes the attitude he brings to every interaction. It allows cops with anger issues, with narcissistic and/or sociopathic characteristics to be more aggressive, more manipulative, more callous, more confrontational.

Using a gun should have serious repercussions. It should put a mark on the officer's record and expose the officer to higher levels of screening, scrutiny and supervision.

We need a national conversation on how to raise the bar, how to make police more accountable. For far too many people, police are now seen not as people make our lives safer. They are seen as dangerous. They are seen as potential sources of violence, as threats who may steal money or cars or possessions, with minimal accountability.

As I've written before, in today's America, any person can be accused, charged and convicted of a crime, the law is so loose and sloppy, and prosecutors so powerful. There are good reasons people are out in the streets protesting and burning. The system is broken. There is no justice except for those who can afford to buy it and those whose skin are the right color. The system can and must be changed. One step is to raise the bar on what is an acceptable reason to use a gun. Another is to require all police to wear video cameras all the time.

There will be no justice, and cops will continue to kill with impunity as long as the bar is set so low giving cops an out because they felt threatened.




 

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Rob Kall is an award winning journalist, inventor, software architect, connector and visionary. His work and his writing have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC, the HuffingtonPost, Success, Discover and other media. He's given talks and workshops to Fortune 500 execs and national medical and psychological organizations, and pioneered first-of-their-kind conferences in Positive Psychology, Brain Science and Story. He hosts some of the world's smartest, most interesting and powerful people on his Bottom Up Radio Show, and founded and publishes one of the top Google- ranked progressive news and opinion sites, OpEdNews.com

more detailed bio: 

Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project. 

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