America, it’s ok to criticize cops
When we denounce the systemic problem that America has with police violence and brutality, we shouldn’t be required to preface our criticism with a big bold disclaimer declaring our sincere and undying love for law enforcement. And when we talk about the police invasion in Ferguson, we shouldn’t feel compelled to rationalize it and shift the blame because some people looted a convenience store.
The violence committed by militarized police in Ferguson is disgusting and patently unjustifiable, by any measure. I’m certainly no authority on American patriotism, but I don’t think we’re going to lose Bald Eagle Points by standing up against it. If we push back just a little bit against the ridiculous narrative that says that “police officers are perfect, incorruptible heroes, and black people are violent, and predisposed to crime,” maybe we can start to see these issues more clearly and stand up for injustice, even when it’s committed by people who society reveres.
We don’t need to “wait and see” what the official police report will say (after the cops have had time to get their stories straight) before determining what is already clear: Ferguson police shot and killed Mike Brown when he posed no threat. Just like Eric Garner, choked to death by NYPD 3 weeks ago. Just like Kelly Thomas, beat to death by 6 Fullerton thugs 3 years ago. Just like the countless other innocent people who have been beaten and killed by bully cops.
And what the Ferguson police is doing in response to the backlash against its officers’ own wrongdoing is unconstitutional, unjustified, and just plain evil. It’s not a question of “bad cops” versus “good cops,” it’s an issue of evil acts committed by people in positions of power.