Turns out the the lid on the COVID-19 shutdown was not very tight, undone by the events of May 25, 2020, concerning the actions of a police officer in Minneapolis that caused, before our very eyes, the death of George Floyd.
Protests against police brutality have caused millions to fill the streets and boulevards of cities, large and small, calling for a demand to defund the traditional police system of law enforcement. Social distancing and other precautions to contain the spread of the virus have been suspended or ignored.
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Political leaders in Minneapolis are seriously considering the defunding of their police department. It will surely take time to establish a new model for public safety. And maybe it is time to consider an alternative to a militarized approach to law enforcement. Perhaps, as is used in emergency medicine, a triage system can be adopted that quickly provides an appropriate response to an emergency call for safety.
At present I am reading a book about policing in America. With particular reference to body cameras worn by police, the author remarks that the problem with this type of oversight is that body cameras “are only effective as the accountability mechanisms in place.” What a revelation!
Derek Chauvin, formerly of the Minneapolis police, had a track record of aggressive and abusive behavior well before May 25. Where was the oversight and accountability of Minneapolis political leaders then?
These political leaders will come to reap what they sow. My greatest fear is that otherwise rational citizens will feel their only alternative is to arm themselves to protect their family and property. How else could they feel when, as was the case here in Philadelphia, on the evening of May 31, calls to 911 went unanswered?