Save Black Lives! Audit the Police
Return the Control of Police Officers to the Citizens Who Pay Them
Jacob Blake was shot in the back seven times while walking back to his car by Officer Rusten Sheskey. George Floyd was killed by Officer Chauvin. Then there’s Breona Taylor, Rayshard Brooks, Tamir Rice, Antwon Rose…and 558 more black people killed by white police officers in the last year! Yes, white police officers killing black people is THAT prevalent. Protests with impassioned speeches are a good way to express anger and demand change. But we need to do MORE. We need to audit the police and the unions that protect them.
Police Unions Out of Control
Complaints against police officers rarely lead to discipline. Officer Chauvin, who killed George Floyd, had 18 prior complaints against him but was never disciplined and still on the streets. 98% percent of all complaints against police officers are dismissed with the officer facing no discipline. In Chicago, between 2007 and 2015, 400 police shootings were investigated and only 2 led to officer discipline. The reason for this lack of accountability and discipline for police officers is collective bargaining agreements which lead to virtually untouchable police protections.
A 2018 Oxford study of the hundred largest American cities found that the extent of protections in police contracts was directly and positively correlated with police violence and other abuses against citizens. What this means is, when a police officer abuses his power, police unions protect him!
Would You Trust a Surgeon Who Has 18 Complaints Against Him?
Police officers are, arguably, just as important to our society as our doctors and surgeons. When a doctor, surgeon, or even a lawyer receives a complaint, he or she is subject to a review board where they are often disciplined and even lose their licenses. Really, it only takes one botched surgery for a surgeon to be out of a job. But when a police officer kills an unarmed black person, they get to keep working like nothing happened because of their police union protections. Then those officers statistically continue on commit more abuses.
I believe that most police officers do good work. I don’t believe every police officer on the streets is bad, poorly trained, etc. So I don’t think we need to completely reinvent our police force. What we need is accountability. So here is my proposal:
Nationwide Audit of Police Departments
We need to dissolve a police department’s collective bargaining powers to remove unjustified protections. Then we need to subject each American police department to a third party, citizen led, review agency. Once that agency is created, it needs to immediately suspend any police office with a prior complaint against them. Those complaints then need to be thoroughly investigated and the office disciplined or fired as needed.
This would amount to a nationwide audit of all police department and officers. Yes, this is a tremendous undertaking. But the continued destruction of minority lives, the planting of evidence, the forging of warrants, and all the other police abuses need to STOP IMMEDIATELY!
I imagine that this audit would also reveal major corruption in police department administrations not to mention corruption between police unions and the politicians that they support. This audit will be ugly but completely necessary.
Americans simply can’t trust their police departments anymore. If we don’t audit the police, police killings and other abuses will continue. Also, anger is this country is reaching a boiling point. If something major isn’t done soon, we might have a lot more than just a few pockets of rioting going on. We might have a civil war.
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