murder in Ferguson Mo.

I can't look away from the Twitter updates on Ferguson. I retweet so many non-white voices, especially of those in Ferguson. Racism is a huge issue in this murder of a young man, Michael Brown, by a white police office, Darren Wilson. Racism in America is systemic, institutionalized, generational, justified, and denied by many of those who benefit from it. It's a matter of the heart and society can only react to it, not pre-act.

But the imbalance of power can be ameliorated. As many are pointing out, the militarization of local police forces has changed the relationship with the communities they are supposed to be serving and protecting. Deadly force is a short-sighted "method" of service and protection.

What if police officers were peace officers, and like many departments around the world, were not permitted to carry fire arms? Either they could have a separate team that can be called in for back up, much like England does, or they have to unlock weapons from their vehicles, so that in the heat of the moment, the moments are extended so the heat can dissipate.

Thus a racist, bully police officer would not have the quick opportunity to shoot a tall jaywalking adolescent. Thus, peace officers would have to engage residents and seek cooperation with a smaller imbalance of power. During the civil rights era, groups (see article 1 and 2) around Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Black Panthers believed openly carrying their sidearms, as their constitutionally protected right, would also adjust the power disparity. But this escalated tensions rather than diminished them. Hence, King got rid of his own pistol and chose to de-escalate the arms race.

Legally, a cop might exhibit restraint if he knows massive negative consequences will fall on him when he kills a citizen for no reason. Hopefully the police departments in Furgeson, Mo. and Staten Island, NY will protect their citizens from cops who have gone rogue, and have placed themselves above constitutionally protected due process.

Dear God, please deliver us from evil.


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