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June 10, 2020 · OPINION

Don’t defund police, but hold them accountable

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By Evan Newman
Warrenton

I don’t want to see them “defund the police.” That’s the noise out there right now. To me that’s stupid. I want the police to have the resources they need in order to do their jobs. If somebody breaks in my mama’s house or hurts my sister, I don’t want the police to be hindered in helping them by a lack of resources.

What I want is more focused training in regard to their engagement in black communities. That would also require them to positively engage our neighborhoods in times of “peace,” instead of only showing up when there’s conflict. That would serve to de-escalate some of the tension. I want community oversight, where the police are held more accountable to the communities they serve. Body camera footage should be accessible to the public. Similar to a jury, police should be subject to review by their civilian peers.

And most importantly, I want to see “Qualified Immunity” abolished. If an officer takes the life of an unarmed citizen, it should automatically equal significant jail time. You don’t get to kill Breonna Taylor, in her home, because you kicked in the wrong door. You have a Taser. There is absolutely NO EXCUSE for using a gun on a man who doesn’t have one. Shooting to kill, in situations where your life is clearly not threatened is nothing but societal intimidation and plantation policing.

It’s a hard job. Sure. But if you’re so scared on the job that you might accidently kill a kid with a toy gun today, you’re probably in the wrong industry. That job requires humanity, and discernment. And there shouldn’t be blue line protections for those who lack them.

Defunding the police is crazy. But genuinely holding them to a standard that matches their oaths makes all the sense in the world.
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AmericanPatriot · June 24, 2020 at 3:12 pm
Which democrats in Virginia are selling guns to the democrats in DC?
Linda Ward · June 19, 2020 at 1:09 pm
Sonny Day - "I won't even start into the drug and gun cartels having a highway across our border to keep people armed and addicted."

Do you mean the people in Virginia that are selling guns to people in DC? that border? Or drugs being mailed through the USPS from China? Stop the demand, and it will be easier to stop the supply.
Truepat · June 16, 2020 at 6:45 am
You can see the results of this ridiculous action in Seattle, the truth of this all is that the side pushing for this is the side that depends on LE on a daily basis
J Obrokta · June 14, 2020 at 10:58 pm
AmericanPatriot,

I'm sure it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that our social studies teachers are not teaching critical thinking when writing from the comfort of your arm-chair.

If you ever want to see the great work that we are actually doing to teach critical thinking in our social studies classes please contact me. I would love to have you visit my classes sometime so that you can see what we do to encourage our students to analyze evidence and form their own opinions about our nation and world.

In service to our community always,
Jim OBrokta
LHS Social Studies
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
AmericanPatriot · June 14, 2020 at 8:49 am
Sonny - just another day in leftist utopia.

Now you see why critical thinking and real history are not being taught. Easier to lead gullible saps.
Silii · June 11, 2020 at 3:48 pm
angry Bob: Your question is not something for me to decide. You shoud know that but clearly you missed my point. I suggest that if our local elected officials and police forces decide to study the whole police restructuring issue, and if they want citizens on that task force, that you join and give them your 2 cents worth.
AmericanPatriot · June 11, 2020 at 3:48 pm
Sonny, the clear and present need of 30 rd mags and our 2nd amendment have never been more clear, have they.
Truepat · June 11, 2020 at 9:47 am
Arrest Authority class taught by the highest level in the US teaches the officer over and over that once you handcuff a person, you are totally responsible for that person. If the person is fighting back or resisting arrest there are several ways to take control from pressure points to a take down. You are taught face down and flat on their back is unacceptable. You are trained in how to bring them to their feet. Escalation of force is taught when it is appropriate for the safety and well being of the officer, public or the person being handcuffed.
AngryBob · June 11, 2020 at 8:49 am
Silii: Last weekend someone called 911 because their spouse was chasing them around with a sledgehammer. Is that a job for a counselor, a social worker, a mediator, or a cop with a taser and handcuffs?
Demosthenes · June 10, 2020 at 4:57 pm
Agreed - Police are necessary, should not be defunded, but we can certainly improve how they do their jobs in so many communities. Let's change the way they are trained. Follow the new police approach in Camden NJ as one good example.
Rover 530 · June 10, 2020 at 3:22 pm
It's been said elsewhere that police have been evolved into a "Swiss Army Knife" of law enforcement. Although superficially trained, many do not have the disposition to handle social incidents. Public resources may be channeled to those purposes but be aware -- This will entail the hiring of more specialized personnel and may lead to an overall increase in local budgets.

I don't agree with the total abolishment of qualified immunity. There are occasions where an unarmed suspect may be so menacing and potentially destructive and harmful, that use of the police office's firearm is the only choice. Citizens, when confronted with harm can choose to stand their ground or to retreat away from the harm. Police officers have no option to retreat.
Silii · June 10, 2020 at 2:29 pm
Part of 'defunding' police means funding other services that police shoudn't necessarily be asked to perform. Right now, police have to be counselors, social workers, child protection agents, mediators in domestic disputes, etc. Get my point? There could be many models for approaching change and it is worthwhile to study possible changes and restructuring and funding other systems that work in conjunction with law enforcement. I'm anxious to see if our local sheriffs, town council and board of supervisors take this on
FalconDad · June 10, 2020 at 1:41 pm
I would like to see the Town Police institute a program where cops can completely anonymously turn other cops in for bad behavior. It’s not always racism or violent arrests that need to be called out by other cops. I know one Town cop here that was on the prowl for single mothers with trouble teens, protecting the teens from charges while making “house calls” in uniform.
AmericanPatriot · June 10, 2020 at 11:59 am
The best way to hold ANYONE with arrest authority to accountability is annual polygraphs.

Maybe we won't see so many police cars blowing past us on the highway just because they can. When anyone gets that sense of untouchable, unaccountable authority, there will be some who abuse it.
Wayne Spellman · June 10, 2020 at 10:59 am
I think Mr. Newman espouses the thoughts of most Americans who are concerned about the effectiveness, fairness and competence of current police practices. As a white citizen, I only hope that we can stop paying lip service to treating ALL persons in a fair and equal manner and actually take concrete steps in police departments to weed out those officers who do not embrace those principles. To paraphrase Dr. King, I want to live in a country that judges us by the content of our character and not by the color of our skin.
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