Jan 16, 2015 Police do not like being unappreciated – Civilians do not like being oppressed by police
Soldiers in battle and police daily risk their lives, for modest pay at that. Their risks and sacrifices are real, but of course give them no license to mistreat people, to take lives unjustly and unlawfully, nor to abuse their oath and authority.
Recently I greeted a deputy sheriff in a nearby courthouse, and asked him how he was doing. He sullenly told me things were only so-so. I overstated that I thought all law enforcement officers love their jobs. He replied about the many people who do not appreciate police.
Police want to be appreciated, and the populace wants to be served, not oppressed, by police.
People need to channel the momentum of recent nationwide grievances over police misconduct front and center into peaceful and effective means to overhaul our overly unjust criminal justice system. Doing so will necessitate drastically shrinking the criminal justice system to make it not only manageable enough to make it more just, but also to keep the criminal justice system in line with sensible government spending. For starters, we need to legalize marijuana, prostitution and gambling; heavily decriminalize all remaining drugs; eliminate mandatory minimum prison sentencing; eliminate driving while intoxicated per se rules of guilt; and eliminate the death penalty.
Respect and appreciation with police, and everyone else, is a two-way street. I have met police who are thoroughly compassionate and kind, those who have no business wearing a badge and everything in between. Coffee with Cops programs take us in the right direction of breaking down barriers between police and the public, but are only a start.
What better time than now, with Martin Luther King, Jr., Day upon us, to move more than ever before towards peacefully and effectively overhauling the policing and criminal justice systems?