Police and Legal Reform
‘To Protect and Serve’ is the implied motto of most American police departments. However, due to ongoing incidents of brutality, police misconduct, police behavior that appears to escalate situations, and a method of policing that is questionable at times, the good people of America are concerned about who exactly is ‘protected and served.’
By no means do we imply that all law enforcement officers are to blame or that there is always an adversarial aggressor/victim role. However, all it takes is for one incident of abuse to be ignored before the spiral of more sinister events becomes the norm. Equal Justice Now believes the issues present in law enforcement today must be addressed and dealt with at the core of their existence. The laws that protect law enforcement are loosely interpreted in defense of officers. At the same time, victims of police brutality rarely see legal justice, civilly or criminally.
Conversely, the idea of disbanding the police is equally questionable. While the minority of corrupt and abusive police officers need to be removed from the ranks, the public needs well-trained, well-regulated police to protect our vulnerable populations and community at large from those who would do all of us harm.
The BLM movement has set the gears in motion, addressing police accountability. We see how deep the roots of racism are stretching across the very fabric of our nation, institutionalized in our justice system. The number of bad actors in law enforcement and in the community may be small in number. The impact of the few on the rest of us is significant. The systemic and institutionalized issues in our criminal justice system impact all of us. Something must be done.
Sadly, the outrage that followed George Floyd’s death was certainly not the first or the last our great nation will see. George Floyd’s untimely passing at the hands of law enforcement was a sea-change moment that gave clarity of purpose to all those who see reform as necessary. Now, more than ever, the issue of police accountability and systemic change in our criminal justice system is at the forefront of public conversation. Many people are too frightened to call law enforcement when they are in trouble. The problem is if you can’t trust and rely on those who are meant to protect you, where do you go to seek help?
Equal Justice Now is actively searching for solutions to these and similar problems, including:
- Improving officer training and accountability
- Recruiting disciplined and community-oriented citizens to serve as Police Officers
- Addressing systemic inequities that do not hold bad officers accountable for their actions
Putting an end to the gross violations of people’s fundamental constitutional rights should be the primary concern of every American citizen. Resolving these issues will help create an equal society, expose systemic racism, and eradicate a culture of fear that is prevalent in many minority communities.
Equal Justice Now stands ready to tackle these concerns, aiding victims of police brutality and working as a pre-emptive organization to stop another innocent person from dying at the hands of law enforcement.