May 2020. A Bad Month for Police-Community Relations

As I write this, keep in mind that there are still 2 more days to go in the month of May. I cannot be the only person who has noticed that when it comes to law enforcement and their credibility, that the month of May 2020 was a complete disaster. Lets’ take a brief look at just some of the top stories for May.

  1. While the actual event occurred in February 2020 and the story of Ahmaud Arbery came to national attention in April 2020, the story continued to pick up steam in May. The now infamous video of Arbery’s murder and subsequent mishandling by the district attorney was at the forefront of national news. The NY Times gives a timeline of the incident and how different prosecutors became involved in trying so desperately to seem impartial and yet let the good ole boys seem justified in what many are calling a modern-day lynching. While I have never attended law school, I must say that the recusal letter written by DA Barnhill perplexes me greatly. It’s good to know many DA’s agree with me.
  2. In what can only be described as a harkening back to the most dangerous times for Black people and lynch mobs we have Jordan Kita, a now-fired sheriff’s deputy led a mob to a family’s home in search for a missing child. What would possess the mind of Kita and others to refuse to go through legal channels and go to a family’s home and demand to speak with a young Black kid? And then demand he come outside or allow Kita, who was wearing his uniform, to come inside for questioning. They truly must have believed they were living in a time warp.
  3. In a mass show of defiance for the health and safety of other persons, Shelly Luther of TX defies a governor’s order and opens up her hair salon in order to feed her kids. Pro-lifer Senator Ted Cruz jumped on the bandwagon and agreed that it’s time to open up the country and let the money start flowing to the top again. It’s incredible that pro-lifers can’t see the irony in trying to control the bodies of other people, yet they feel the pain and strain of when they are asked to have their bodies controlled and being asked to wear a mask to protect themselves and their fellow citizens.
  4. Critics have blasted the NYPD’s response to COVID-19 and their seeming different approach to enforcing social distancing laws. In an article written in The Guardian, the author Poppy Noor describes the tale of two cities in the police’s response to the pandemic is determined by the color of one’s skin and perceived social status. But like everything else, I’m sure there’s more to this story.
  5. As a result of the perceived injustices of social distancing enforcement, general disagreement with the philosophy of forced internment, err, social distancing many police departments grew weary of enforcing such draconian laws. In all honesty, I was and still am skeptical about the forcing of citizens to wear masks and closing down of houses of worship, among other things. I completely understand that there’s an inherent danger, but using the power and force of the state of arrest women in front of their children, I must admit, is a lil too much for me.
  6. National attention came to the tragic case of Breonna Taylor and the tragedy of no-knock warrants. As I pointed out previously, the militarization of the police can have some very tragic outcomes. Just as a thought, when her boyfriend was arrested for defending himself against what he believed to be intruders in the middle of the night, where was the NRA?
  7. Reminiscent of the Facebook debacle a few months ago, a Louisiana police officer was terminated for suggesting that not enough black people were dying from the COVID pandemic. Some people just never learn.
  8. Another Karen sighting. This story suggests that some women know their privilege and intend to play it up as much as possible. Amy Cooper was terminated from her job and lost her dog all because she falsely claimed a man (the scary African American kind) was threatening herself and her dog. From watching the video it’s clear that the man was no threat to her and the only threat to her dog was Cooper.
  9. And of course, we have the still simmering (as I write this) situation in Minneapolis, MN. The murder of George Floyd has been little too much for the city and nation, especially Black Americans to bear. The District Attorney Mike Freeman’s comment at a press conference was of no support to the emotional concerns for the family and community. When he stated “And there is other evidence that does not support a criminal charge. We need to weigh through all of that evidence to come through with a meaningful determination, and we are doing the best of our ability,” I could feel the tension rise in the city even though I’m in a completely different state. I believe what the community heard was; we may not be able to make an arrest even though we all witnessed a murder, because you know….their cops after all. After hearing his statements my eyes hurt from rolling so hard. Let me say I do not condone in any way the violence and rioting that is occurring now. I believe it’s senseless, pointless, and will take away from the sympathy that is much needed.

These are some of the stories from May 2020 and as I write this, there are still two more days to go. Hopefully, June 2020 will be better.

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