We Are Living in a World of Chaos
Injustice has been a part of the legal system for decades. Innocent people have been charged with crimes they did not commit regardless of their race and ethnicity. Certain groups have been targeted through racial profiling. People have demonstrated their lack of trust and anger in the legal system through protesting in the Black Lives Matter Movement. They had enough, they wanted justice, and they wanted to see change. But somewhere along the movement the positive message was lost through looting and rioting. While a large percentage of people protested for the right reasons, there were some people who were there to capitalize on a protest that was organized to be meaningful.
The looters and rioters were not at the protest to seek justice. They were there to create destruction, and unleash their frustration on the police department. They were at the protests to take advantage of the situation. Businesses were destroyed, historical monuments were removed or vandalized, innocent people were killed, law enforcement officers were hit with objects, pushed to the ground, and their vehicles were set on fire. Yet the looters and rioters showed no remorse. They grinned with satisfaction as they held countless merchandise in their hands while they broke into department stores and small businesses.
As chaos unfolded before our eyes the knots were turning in most of our stomachs as the violence increased. Neighborhoods were destroyed, and now they have to be rebuild what was demolished.
During the course of the mayhem I had and interesting conversation with a friend, he insisted the rioters were reacting out of frustration. “They were in quarantine too long, some of them lost their jobs due to the corona virus pandemic, they are angry. They got caught up in their emotions and lost sight of the true meaning of the protest.” I beg to differ with his analysis.
Everyone is suffering from the pandemic in some way, yet every individual did not react to violence and destruction. The world as a whole is facing many issues. Some may not recover as quickly as others.
No one with a conscious can justify the murder of George Floyd or any individual who has been murdered with unjust. Most people would probably agree the former police officer Derek Chauvin should have never been allowed to continue to patrol the streets with his track record of criminal actives.
With that said, should people judge the entire police department for the horrendous actions of several? Absolutely not, there are far more good law enforcement officers patrolling the streets than bad law enforcement officers. When a bad incident happens between police officers and individuals, most people tend to categorize all police officers as the same within that particular incident. When police officers do good deeds, and protect the lives of individuals you only hear about it for a short time. It is like the bad overshadows the good in some cases.
For cities to function and live in unity there must be trust and unity with the communities and police departments. We cannot have our leaders speaking negative against the same people who fight to protect the lives of the people.
Mayor De Blasio has publicly implied he does not trust the police department. His statement seemed to indicate he feared for his son who is part black. The mayor stated with his true emotions, “We had to literally train him as families have all over this city for decades in how to take care in any encounters he has with police officers who are there to protect him.” His statement implied he does not trust the police department as a whole. It is easy to see how individuals can interpret those words as pre prejudice against the police department. That may or may not have been his intentions but that is the way it was perceived by many people. Some individuals may believe when a leader of any city speaks with bias against the police department it sets the tone for others to follow the same mind frame. It is reasonable to presume that some people believe if our mayor does not trust the police department why should we. It’s a probable thought. I do not doubt his words were spoken with heartfelt emotions. Yes we are all human and we all make mistakes, but we still have to choose our words carefully.
With all fairness to the mayors of all cities being the leader of a city is a difficult and stressful position to hold. There are times the leaders of the city will have to make decisions that are not welcoming to some people especially when it may not be fitting for the situation.
Various communities across the board have worked hard to bridge the gap of trust between the police departments and the residences. When some individuals imply all law enforcement officers are bad it doesn’t help the situation. It creates separation and mistrust. When trust is broken the safety of the people will be comprised.
For instance, it is public knowledge that Camden, New Jersey was considered to be one of most dangerous cities to live in America. The crime rate was high coupled with police brutality. Yet they managed to turn things around by implementing community relations and policing strategies. The Camden County Police Department successfully engaged their community in the process, which was a vital key in lowering the crime rate of their city. They trained their police officers in de-escalation and community relations. This success story did not happen overnight it took time and patience to build trust among their police department and their community. Other cities have reached out to the Camden Police Department for guidance to rebuild what was lost within their communities.
The New York City Police Department’s CompStat data reports show that crime has gone up at disturbing rates. It was reported that “shootings rose in every borough in New York, murder, auto theft, and burglaries has also increased at alarming numbers.” This is not the time for New York City leaders to trade insults and stroke their egos. It’s time for the leaders of New York City to focus on the safety and well-being of the people. The City is drowning in chaos. Law enforcement officers have to be allowed to do their jobs. Reverse the reforms that hinder them from doing what they were sworn in to do.
Police officers and residents are becoming victims of destruction. When will it end? It is naive to believe that the situation will reverse itself in time. We have to think logical trust must be restored in order to achieve harmony.
There are other issues that contribute to the City’s chaos. Homelessness is on a rise, food banks are facing a growing demand for food across the United States. The rise in crime will not decrease on its own. In fact it will get worse. Desperation can lead some people to engage in criminal activities. This is not the time for a separation between law enforcement and civilians. Under normal circumstances those individuals would probably not result to crimes but unfortunately they are in a situation where they have to make a decision to survive.
The Mayor of New York City needs to reach out to the Camden County Police Department as well to at least hear what they have to say in how their successful strategy worked. And how they utilized the police reforms they had to work with to restore trust within their community.
Personal feelings of the leaders of New York City should not be interjected into the process thought, and journey of seeking positive guidance to reverse the damage that was created through bias, destruction, and placing blame without contrition.
Some people were shouting defund the police, defund the police yet some of them didn’t fully understand the process of defunding. Defunding the police reallocates or redirects funding from the police department to other government agencies. In the course of their protesting to defund the police department the anti-crime unit was disbanded and taken off the streets. Not only was that decision imprudent it is dangerous. Those are the guys you want on the streets, even some criminals’ think twice to test them. Now crime has increased in accordance with a loss of respect for law and order. A large number of law enforcement officers have retired. Overtime has been taken away and in some cases limited, more than likely some of the provisional police department civilian staff will be laid off. Certain divisions of the New York City Police Department are now being transferred to other agencies. Law enforcement officers are needed on patrol to protect the public safety. Not only are the officers presence needed on the streets they also need to rebuild trust within the communities. Trust transforms into unity.
The New York City Police Department offers various youth-related programs that focus in challenging youths to mature into young adults. The programs focus on educating adolescences, steering them into a positive outlook coupled with community building. Some of these programs are the Police Athletic League, Options Program, Law Enforcement Explorers, Presentations and Mentoring, and Summer Youth Police Academy. These programs have not only educated youths and steered them in the right direction it keeps them off the streets. There is a risk that a few of those programs can be canceled or shifted into other agencies during the defunding process of the police department. The youths can potentially lose what they have worked so hard to achieve. Is jeopardizing the lives of the people worth it? That is the question the leaders of the City must ask themselves.
I wrote this article as a concerned citizen and not as a city employee.