Latest in a series of posts on the George Floyd killing
Peter Crownfield is officially retired but spends most of his time working with students in his role as internship coordinator for the Alliance for Sustainable Communities–Lehigh Valley.
A good statement from Chief DiLuzio.
My only question is why it took nationwide rioting to prompt it, since police killing unarmed people — especially people of color — has been going on for years*. Most police officers are good people who would never commit acts such as the murder of George Floyd. At the same time, the ongoing violence makes clear that it is more than a case of a few “rotten apples”; it’s a pervasive, systemic problem that raises many questions.
Here are a few of the questions I see:
Why do police agencies tolerate such rotten apples instead of rooting them out and firing them? (The officer who killed Floyd had 17 or more previous complaints about use of violence and excessive force.)
Why is it common practice for police to close ranks and protect officers who commit such offenses?
What does “law enforcement officer” even mean when more than just a few police officers commit crimes ranging from theft to assault to murder?
Why haven’t police been leading the charge to demand that police officers who commit crimes be charged as criminals and prosecuted?
Why do police, as a group, have a higher rate of domestic violence and spousal abuse than almost any other demographic?
Why are there more black and minority drug arrests than white, even though drug crime is much known to be higher among whites?
Is it any wonder that people in many big cities see police as more of a danger than a solution?
* Last year, police killed about 1100 people, many of whom were unarmed and innocent of any crime. Available statistics indicate that police shoot in the US and kill an average of about 2 Black people every week.
to be continued . . .