Diana Pharaoh Francis | Diana P. Francis | Diana Francis


Friday, September 23rd, 2016
The North Carolina Shooting

I have a couple of comments/thoughts I want to write about. One is I have to mention how uncomfortable it makes me that the media has reduced Keith Scott to only a black man. Certainly he was and certainly that matters. But he was also a husband and a son. He had likes and dislikes and quirks and hopes and dreams. He was a man. A person. And it seems that he had a Traumatic Brain Injury, as well.

I don’t think he should have been shot. I wasn’t there, and so I could be wrong, but I think he was shot because there’s a problem in our police forces. There are a lot of good cops, who have empathy and generosity, bravery and honor. All things being equal, it’s possible that all cops would be that way. But danger, risks, dealing with the public, temptation of drugs/money/corruption, all make things not equal, and not easy. I don’t exactly know what I’m thinking, but this seems analogous to the Catholic priest pedophilia (I am not accusing cops of pedophilia). But the church created an atmosphere, deliberately or not, that protected and fostered those pedophiles.

It seems to me that the same thing is happening in the various police forces. The bad elements are being fostered. Shooting has become the primary solution. And I get that criminals are likely to shoot and waiting could be fatal. But apparently brown people are a lot more scary than white people and they are more likely to get shot. Is that because police care less about those lives? Is it because they believe brown people are more dangerous? Is it because their training skews them somehow to believe those things?

I don’t know what’s happening, but I do know it’s wrong. I do know that justice these days is not fair, not colorblind. I don’t know the solution.

When the IRA committed atrocities in the name of freedom, they were harshly condemned. But I’ve always wondered–when the only way you can be heard and potentially create change and gain freedom is violence, then why should anybody be surprised when rioting breaks out? How else will those in power look at themselves and the culture of law enforcement and try to make positive changes?

I admire cops. I admire soldiers and emergency responders of all kinds. They are some of the bravest people in existence and they put themselves in harm’s way to protect innocent people. Unfortunately, something’s gone wrong in the culture of law enforcement and it needs to be corrected.

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