Visualize freedom. What does that look like to you? Freedom would allow men to walk down a street without suspicion or harassment from agents of the state. Freedom would allow a middle aged woman to be in the nude in her own apartment without armed government employees bursting through the door.
Freedom wouldn’t mistake eccentric behavior for criminal behavior and inject citizen’s with sedatives. Freedom would not tolerate armed bureaucrats breaking into a couple’s apartment and killing in the middle of the night. A free country would not allow municipal representatives to spray a nine year old girl in the face with mace.
None of this would happen or be tolerated in a free country. Yet it has been tolerated in America since the end of the Civil War. The United States of America is NOT a free country. The freedom of Black citizens is what is typically compromised by law enforcement and that is why it is allowed to happen at the officers’ discretion. However, no one is really free when police officers are given the power and grace that police officers have.
I am African American and I have never been manhandled or falsely arrested by a police officer. Most of my interactions with the police have been relatively polite. But all it takes is crossing paths with the wrong officer. If I’m pulled over by an officer I’m at their mercy and I’m expected to submit to whatever treatment they decide to dole out. They can easily create a tense situation and escalate the scene and give themselves and excuse to put me under arrest or kill me. An agent of the state such not be given such a wide margin.
Despite the wide margins police officers are given to work they aren’t very efficient in preventing or solving crime. City streets are still dangerous, people are missing and we have a drug war that’s been going on for forty years. Yet jaywalkers end up getting arrested and people end up getting killed when they are pulled over for a bad tail light.
There is absolutely no benefit in giving police officers so much space, grace and praise. They aren’t doing anything with it accept terrorizing Black citizens and feeding their egos. Police departments in America diminish our freedom.
The police officers are one part of a dysfunctional system. But they are the part that apprehends, intimidates, beats, tortures and kills. They are the foot soldiers and flunkies of the racist American justice system. American can not call itself a free country under the circumstances of the last one hundred fifty six years. America isn’t displaying bravery either.