How we might improve policing
Yes, law enforcement has bad apples but every other endeavor does, too.
Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin had more than a dozen misconduct complaints against him before he put his knee on George Floyd’s neck.
New York City officer Daniel Pantaleo who seized Eric Garner in a deadly chokehold, had 8.
Philadelphia officer Ryan Pownall, charged with murder in the shooting of David Jones, had 15 over 5 years.
The public knew nothing about this until the victims’ deaths. That is why complaints against police must be revealed and the bad apples fired – not kept secret under law or by union contract.
But of the thousands of law enforcement officers and millions of contacts they have with the public, these are the rare but highly publicized failures.
Now angry protesters want to defund law enforcement when what is really needed is to:
• Redefine what the police do.
• Lift their burden of dealing with the mentally ill, homelessness and other problems.
• Increase their training in crime fighting, law enforcement and community policing.
We have created a legal quagmire for which the police are ill trained and ill equipped to deal.
The more laws we pass – many frivilous if perhaps well intentioned – the more problems we create for the police and those they are here to protect.
SC Sen. Tim Scott is working with Republican senators and the White House on reforms. CBS News obtained a draft of what he and his colleagues have shared.
Their proposal includes 10 sections on police reporting, accountability and training that includes:
• Federal grants tied to reporting to the FBI use of force that causes death or serious injury.
• More money for body cameras and less money for states that don’t use body cameras.
• More training on de-escalation tactics and requiring states to share police officers’ records.
Experts say the White House and Congressional Democrats are working on their own proposals.
The White House proposals are expected to be more pro-police, the Democrats more anti-police.
Compromise will be needed.
We want to know your thinking on this challenging subject.
Please write JerryBellune@yahoo.com