I don’t know the perfect slogan. What I do know is that lives matter – black, police, all lives. Failing to voice that all lives matter, regardless of what side you represent, makes one guilty of what they accuse others of – disregarding life. I am not sure that police can police one another when problems arise. Whistleblowers are not popular in any occupation because jobs can be impacted. External investigations are more likely to build trust.
What frustrates me the most is that each side doesn’t always speak openly of the people they are trying to protect. When a black citizen is breaking the law, they need to be called out. When a policeperson targets someone because of the color of their skin, they need to be called out. Black or white people sometimes are where they aren’t supposed to be. All lives must be held accountable for their actions regardless of any injustice.
Those in the black lives moment must acknowledge when a black person is committing a crime. Admit that the citizen was breaking the law in the first place. Then, if excessive force was used have that conversation as well. Admitting wrongdoing doesn’t mean you can’t discuss if the police handled a situation wrongly.
Those among the police must call out their own who are exhibiting racist behaviors. We must be proactive than reactive. When you witness excessive force – if you think the matter should have been handled different – there must be a forum to discuss this. We have to hold each other accountable. Any tough job is typically a choice and doesn’t excuse wrong behavior or lapses of judgment.
When police tell you to not get out of the car or put your hands up, don’t reach for anything, sit down, whatever – regardless if being targeted unfairly, obey! If you are unfairly targeted that can be discussed later with appropriate authorities and not with the ones who are unfairly targeting you in the first place. We can’t break the law to enforce the law. Looting or rioting must be called out. When police are killed or treating unjustly, the police can’t start burning down neighborhoods, etc.
The police have an incredibly difficult occupation. Try doing a job where you have to worry about when leaving in the morning whether you will return to your family that night or not. Police need to sometimes be put on administrative leave with pay. If they are found innocent they should of course be able to keep that pay. If they are found guilty they should be held accountable to return their pay and charged with any criminal behaviors.
Black lives matter and police lives matter. You can’t solve the problem without calling out the side you represent when in the wrong. The other side must be held accountable for their wrongdoing. But, call out your own side as well while still seeking justice. Problems are less likely to be solved if bad behaviors are rationalized because of the way blacks or police have been treated in the recent or far past.