During 2015, which is far from over, sadly, Norwegian police has shot and killed 1 person, who in turn had shot and grievously wounded a police officer first. This is the first person killed by police since 2006.
During 2015, Icelandic police have killed 0.014 people. That is to say, they have killed 1 person in their 71 years of existence.
During 2015, UK police have killed 1 person. The man was armed with a firearm.
So far in 2015, US police have killed 871 people, of which 180 were unarmed. Less than half of the total number had firearms. 29 people were run over or fatally struck by police vehicles. This, ladies and gentlemen, is what a deep crisis looks like, and is the reason why police in the US is a threat to any and all persons who come in contact with them.
Fearful Police = Dangerous Police
There used to be a time when “Serve and Protect” was the key operating mantra for US police, as it is in one form or another for cops all over the world. These days, it’s clear that US police is a fearful and cowardly bunch, taught and bred to believe that they protect themselves first and foremost, and that they may use any means necessary to do it.
This is the root of the problem. The basis of any kind of security work, as well as law enforcement, is that escalation never leads anywhere you’d want to be. Use of force is the last resort, and even then, anyone using more force than necessary will be in seriously dire straits. 871 people are dead by police hands in the US so far this year, and 180 of those had no weapon. Keep in mind, also, that an extreme number of the rest were armed with other things than firearms – one man was killed wielding a screwdriver, clearly disturbed and suicidal. He was killed using firearms, not spoons. Instead of disarming a man wielding a screwdriver, police in the US opted to shoot at the man. That is only one of many examples.
Fear has taken over in a profession famous for bravery, and cowardice has taken over in a profession famous for courage.
The extreme levels of fear and cowardice in the US police forces today manifests itself as a clear and present danger to everyone who comes in contact with them.
The Road Forward
While racism is clearly a part of this whole equation, there are still almost twice as many white people killed by the police in the US than black people. That leaves little doubt that the problem lies elsewhere, and that the systemic fear and cowardice which has infected a once proud, brave and courageous profession needs to be weeded out by other means than a unilateral focus on the racial issues.
Education is the key here. Police in the US have far less education than other nations, where several years of training and even bachelor’s degrees is the norm, not the exception. Educating the police, weeding out those who are not up to snuff, and putting the best ones on the street is the way forward. While that will put a strain on both personnel and budgets, the rewards for a hard pressed police force are astronomical.
Let us know what YOU think, in the comments.