So, whether Chief David Brown likes it or not, he has become the face of law enforcement in the on-going debate over police brutality. And yesterday, he flipped the script of the debate in a way not often suggested by police unions or civil rights activists, saying, “We’re asking cops to do too much in this country. We are. We’re just asking us to do too much. Every societal failure, we put it off on the cops to solve.”
Brown went on to say since there is not enough “funding” for mental health or drug addiction, the cops are expected to solve the issue. Failing schools and broken homes are supposed to be remedied by the cops too, Brownsuggested, as he called for “other parts of our democracy” to help and “not put that burden all on law enforcement.”
How will passing more laws that make potential criminals out of more Americans ease the tension between police and citizenry?
I welcome Chief Brown’s suggestion with a qualifier. Indeed, the police are doing “too much” in this country. Yet, I worry Brown along with many civil right activists are caught in a catch-22. The more they call on our democracy to “do something” and pass more laws, the more the burden will necessarily fall upon the police to enforce such laws. For instance, when the Congressional Black Caucus called for gun control after the shootings in Louisiana, Minnesota, and Dallas, did they somehow think their calls for Congressional action would lead to fewer intrusive actions by the police?
How will passing more laws that make potential criminals out of more Americans ease the tension between police and citizenry? How will stripping Americans of more of their freedoms and wealth to fund government programs lead to greater freedom for the people?