HomeArticlesCan Black Lives Matter & Law Enforcement See Eye To Eye?
Can Black Lives Matter & Law Enforcement See Eye To Eye?
October 20, 2019
The phrase all lives matter was derived from black lives matter to subvert black lives matter and I won’t come here and sit down and say That that’s okay Can I have my law enforcement go to the left pool of light Can I have my black lives matter supporters go to the right pool of light I regularly fear for my life You know, I’m an armed patrol officer so I do Respond to burglar alarms. So if someone breaks into someone’s house, have a gun I would have to respond to that certain situation. So I do fear for my life in a way I guess you can say
-I do something that, I think every black man, every black person in this country, many people of color have been trained to do and That’s when a law enforcement officer gets behind me and I’m driving, I’m making sure I’m signaling. I’m checking my speed I’m thinking of all the different legitimate ways that you could stop me and in that moment I recognized and I realized that I’m not a scholar, with a bachelor’s in political science a bachelor’s in sociology a master’s in public policy.
In that moment, I’m just another black man to that officer, and that scares me. I maybe could have stepped forward I feel scared for my life when I’m at work often when you get pulled over and all the thoughts and things that are going through your mind or where when I pull a car over I’m thinking about where I’m at on the highway, how I’m gonna pull this vehicle over, Did I run the plate? Did it come back to that vehicle?
Am I buckled in? Am I not buckled in? because most officers are shot and killed during traffic stops And as I approach I put my hand on that car to leave my handprint because if I’m shot and killed that person is further Incriminated by the evidence of my prints being on their car But I don’t feel afraid for my life as a citizen but at work I definitely do and that’s a choice I made I choose not to live in fear If the question was do I feel less safe now than I did five years ago I would say yes, and I think that that’s because we have rampant social chaos That’s expanding and I think that that’s playing a large role in a lot of the trends that we’re seeing – What do you mean by social chaos? Um, out of wedlock birth rates Statistically, you know that sets a child back five times more likely to be poor and nine times more likely to drop out of school And 20 times more likely to end up in prison.
-I mean the chaos that I’m seeing more recently is white men walking into schools with ar-15s and slaughtering people yeah, and that is what you’re seeing and what you’re not seeing is the dozens of homicides that occur in Chicago on a daily basis and that speaks to Certainly a media that’s desirous to push an agenda and a narrative. That factually doesn’t bear out.
There is a massive disparity between black crime and white crime at large and obviously that’s going to lead to accelerated interactions with law enforcement.
-Or is it the criminalization of black people?
when you have more police officers patrolling a concentrated area then of course, you have more stops You have more you know situations where police officers say Oh, they didnt signal and then when I pulled them over
I pulled all occupants out of the car I searched the car I found this gun allegedly buried somewhere and all of a sudden now you have a crime. As a public defender The reputation is that you know, I’m going to lose most of my cases. I have won far more cases than I have lost My name is Alisa Blair. I am African American I’m also a criminal defense attorney. As a public defender I’ve seen the mistreatment of my clients I see the disproportionate incarceration of black and brown people and I see the excessive force used in arrests Police should be given more resources. I think police should definitely be given more resources so that they have other options besides killing people.
Officers should have the resources available to them to handle a situation without casualties on either side. Yeah, I mean as an officer I appreciate hearing that from a member of the public and from a public defender and can speak to it for myself and my department and what I’ve seen in other departments in the area and know that we need more resources and different types of training communication techniques to de-escalate situations and different types of least force option techniques but as a small woman, I also want to be able to physically protect myself and it’s It’s a hard balance The largest expense for almost every municipality and county is Public Safety There’s plenty of money But we don’t have is enough implicit bias training the things that we carry about ourselves that define how we interpret who we’re interacting with. We don’t have enough contextualizing of the communities that you’re serving draw officers from the communities from which they serve. That way when they go back and their policing their own community that’s deeper than just the race of the officers So you think that black police officers need to be trained to be more sensitive to the black community?
Is that what you’re saying? No. I think black officers that are policing black community should come from those communities.
And I think a white officer who comes from that community might even be more effective than a black officer from somewhere else.
-I agree And I think I think that that’s a great point which is that an officer, a white officer, a black officer, a female officer, a hispanic officer, could be just as good as any other or better and that’s because there are things other than skin color and I think that what’s so concerning about this dialogue is that it is pushing us further back into black communities, white communities when really I thought that the goal of Martin Luther King was that we’re gonna be moving to a society where we were being judged by the content of our character if we keep moving further into identifying based on our groups I think that we’re doing a disservice to his message, which I think was very powerful and that united the country in many ways – But not at the time in Martin Luther King’s time White folks hated him, it causes me to bristle and have an emotional reaction whenever somebody says You know black people are killing folks 50% in violent crimes and then says Martin Luther King united the country Martin Luther King would be down for Black Lives Matter The next statement is I believe that all lives matter It’s a little bit surprising below all of this stuff below skin deeper than all this there is a Intrinsic god-given life that’s put inside of all of us I think that it’s concerning that any movement would reject the fundamental premise of that, while preaching for equality – Exactly. At that point, you’re really not an equality movement if you’re really only interested in speaking to your specific group I truly believe and I agree with everything that you say. Everyone deserves life and I believe that you know life is a gift Plain and simple all life counts -Yeah all life matters, all life deserves a chance – Yeah, I think that especially in this platform but also in the world in the country that we live in today stating that all lives matter takes away from the inequality that’s happening in the world.
Of course all lives matter. – It negates the fact that something has to be addressed and if you don’t address it, and you don’t recognize that there is a problem that has to be changed then you never fucking change it. But that’s not our intention. Our intention was just an answer a simple question, but it’s not (Talking over each other) – The question is framed as do all lives matter, if you ask me if all lives have intrinsic value, If all lives are valuable, if all lives are worthy I would have said “hell yes” and would have been the first one in my chair. All lives matter is a specific phrase similar to Blue Lives Matter and anything else that mattered after black lives were exclaimed to have mattered to detract, to appropriate, to subvert the message and the framing and the narrative that’s being brought to us by the Black Lives Matter Movement So I don’t think anybody here in this room thinks that any life is less worthy than another’s. But the phrase all lives matter was derived from Black Lives Matter, to subvert Black Lives Matter and I won’t come here and sit down and say that that’s okay. – I mean, I feel like we’re just kind of going into the weeds here.The question wasn’t if black lives matter It was a simple question. Do you believe that all lives matter?- You don’t think that’s an interesting phrase? Is that a phrase you use quite frequently before? – I think not really. I think that you can attach whatever you want right now. That’s a thing I try and step back from you know Whatever sort of identity political stuff we have going on and I try and deal with things head-on Based on reality when someone says to me, do you think all lives matter? I answer unequivocably “yes”, every time the same way if you ask me is black lives matter or female lives matter I will answer the same way. – Do black lives matter.? – Yes. They do. I had conflicting feelings about coming here today. -For me I was conflicted because I don’t feel like I should speak for black oppression, but as a white woman I think that I can be of value to other white people who may not understand I’m Sandra Cruse Well, I’m from the 60s and I went to jail a lot for fighting for women’s rights and as a human being I think it’s important that I speak out and speak up for injustices – I’m feeling conflicted now as Someone who steps into the law enforcement side as if we are on opposite sides I am a law enforcement officer and a Black Lives Matter supporter. I find myself searching for what to do and how to make a difference and I’ve had moments of thinking about leaving the force I finally had a realization that this gives me an opportunity to have a different angle as a white woman and also as a police officer to potentially make a difference.
Even if it’s just with changing myself. – I didn’t hesitate. I’ve been a civilian my entire life and I consider it an honor to have an opportunity to provide voice for law enforcement and the men and women that serve our communities I think it’s fundamentally important for society to respect law enforcement men and women that serve our communities with tremendous honor and distinction end up getting a bad wrap and I think that that’s very harmful. I think that it is important, I think it’s imperative to speak whenever you have an opportunity to and I think that all of us in whatever movements we’re part of or whatever belief systems were part of should use our gifts. – You know de-escalation training is sitting in a room like this with a PowerPoint and walking officers through scenarios and nothing, Nothing in a scenario is ever going to be like the real world. In defense of officers like only those of us that walk in the shoes of having a badge and a gun and being in these high-stress situations can really articulate what it’s like to make these split-second decisions. With our training officers need to be in these types of discussions owning their shit and being like I did this wrong and I have this prejudice
and how can I sit with people who can teach me and change me? – This is what I think is sort of dangerous about a conversation like this Is that really the only thing that I want law enforcement being trained on is the law Okay there’s nebulous conversation about thinking about how I think about things and — – some of us in law enforcement think of ourselves as social workers with a gun – and that’s concerning because your job is to enforce the law.
– As someone in the field who wants more de-escalation training It’s not because I don’t believe in a lot of the laws that I enforce and it is my job to enforce the law I’m not a law warning officer. That’s not what I signed up to do, but we are given the discretion to make choices and that’s why we need more training because we’re human beings just in my perspective and I appreciate your support of law enforcement and your perspective – Yeah, and I appreciate your perspective as well as your your real service that you’ve done So and I don’t want our disagreement…
Certainly don’t take away from my respect and admiration for your service.
-Thank you for your support. – I think we all respect the service of everyone who works to the service of others.
I don’t think anybody in this room is against individual officers.
The conversation is to take a step back and recognize that this institution is a relic of anglo policing from european culture, but also slave catching and deep-rooted racism in American policy and we need to take that step back and recenter this conversation on the fact that it’s bigger than just an officer. – I think part of the problem is that we’re still so segregated. Where do we go to have these conversations? Where do we go to learn from each other to break down the stereotypes? It’s systemic and I am so thrilled that there’s a Black Lives Matter Movement.
It’s really exciting. – Guys thank you so much. I know this hasn’t been an easy one, but I appreciate your time Feel free to continue the discussion if you’d like outside It’s a pleasure I really appreciate you speaking your truth and hearing mine as well. I really appreciate all of you guys. Okay, real pleasure. -Likeways, yes, thank you. Hey guys, I’m Jason and I’m Dan and we just want say thank you once again for watching another episode of middle ground As always, let us know in the comments what you think we want to get into these issues We want to be able to heal divides We want to be able to cross boundaries and also let us know what you think Future episodes should be about.
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