I was raised to consider the police as a source of assistance. And there have been times–stranded on a highway with a car that won’t run–that I’ve felt a relief in the assistance offered. But that’s certainly not the bulk of my experience with police, and not at all the experience that non-white, non-males have had.
It shouldn’t be necessary to have videos of police abusing their power, their badges of authority, the intimidation of their sidearms to know that many in communities throughout this country have been killed, abused, effected in profound ways by police.
To see that so many are reconsidering what “police” are for, what sort of protection we, as a society, need/want from this public service–this is more than necessary. The restructuring of the police as a part of the public services our taxes support will, so many of us hope, bring about a better balance of resources, and a much-tamped down realization on the part of the police of their role among us.
This won’t happen as quickly as we might hope, and there will be enormous resistance. We already see people driving cars into crowds of protesters, people drawing weapons on protesters, and this is just the beginning.
Far more eloquent voices represented by these articles in The Atlantic–i find them very much worth the time: