When we depart from whom we really Are, we choose separateness and divisiveness. When we leave the Unity in the diversity, we leave the ‘connection’ that makes us human in compassion and divine in Being. To lose these markers of humanity and plurality of Being, is to lose everything. Mediation of blatant personal interest is thereby unrestrained and runs amok. Introspective awareness is lost in a haze of knee-jerk egoic responses that cater to unfathomed personal conditioning. If there is supposed to be an oversight of behavior, it is this brief glance that takes microseconds with a subsequent instant rendering that defaults to a much stronger ego than a solid introspection. This glance, to see one’s appropriateness is so brief, it can be considered magical (and severely insufficient). Why such a poor consistent outcome for ’trained’ professionals?
We can plead that this is only a small minority of police (or other people in power), that default so shallowly. However, how many of these authorities have the total support of their fellow officers and management under ‘questionable’ circumstances? The blue code of silence is something like 90% or more and betrays the institutionalization of misconduct, even among so-called ‘good’ officers. Even reckless behavior of an off duty officer firing his weapon over his shoulder at people on the street, is met in court with a phalanx of fellow officers filling the court benches. These attendees in court certainly are not all bad cops but the intimidation factor is palpable and often visible with a mean-mugging of the opposition. The Dharma is not protected when it is issued in lock-step fashion.
The case of Sandra Bland et al, is the institutional ego using brute force. Guns that refuse to go silent, are being used by police nationwide to correct perceived misbehavior while not properly monitoring their own personal devils. Our nation’s police force, the FBI, investigates it’s own shootings, being both the judge and advocate, resulting in 150 out of 150 “justified” shootings. The ‘guns’ are the sanctioned tools to keep this disorder in some misperceived order. Bi-polar legal standards coexist for police and the citizens (that they presumably are supposed to protect). The ‘system’ errs, to a fault, on the side of the aggressive cop, with the State’s Attorney, who is not only doing daily business with police, but also briskly defending the same officer’s behavior when it goes criminal.
Chicago is getting national headlines for the number of gun-related deaths consistently occurring, week-by-week. This is already on top of our infamous rep for the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, the 1968 Democratic Convention (aka “police riot”), and the 200 million dollars spent on the Lieutenant Burge torture cases. But unfortunately, Chicago is not up to date. We have an ongoing case of Commander Glen Evans, whose case is like a hot potato for the County judiciary. His weapon had been found to have the dna of an arrestee who accused him of shoving a loaded handgun down his throat as well as a threat to taze his testicles. As far as police practices go, these interventions could not be found in any police manual. Additionally, Commander Glen Evans was promoted despite being on the wrong end of a bell curve for citizen complaints. Where is the outcry from police brass for protecting and serving the citizenry? The mayor of Chicago also assents to all this behavior when he says nothing.
“Chiraq”. Oh, how did we come up with that monicker?! Gee, the mayor wants Spike Lee to lose that tag because the City may get some bad press. Do we have our ducks placed in the right pond?! Every weekend in Chicago, “Chiraq”, is affirmed, unfortunately. The Police Superintendent states that we can not make any progress on the killings until we reduce our access to firearms. True, but that cannot be the whole of it with no more responsibility left on Chicago’s Finest. No. That would be too easy and not realistic to have zero responsibility on the CPD and 100 per cent on legal loopholes.
The greatest amount of influence that can be had by CPD or any police force anywhere, is to protect and serve it’s residents first and foremost. When residents are reluctant to call the pOlice because calling the pOlice means that everyone’s situation only gets worse. A ‘bad’ situation is better than a ‘worse’ situation. The core of the problem is trust versus it’s opposite, fear. There is not a good level of cooperation among citizens because fear is the dominant consideration when calling police, especially in poorer communities. The pandering of too many police to “feared for my safety,” announces to residents that police do not trust the residents. If both sides of this conflict have ‘fear’ as their go-to feeling, where does that leave us?
When police are actually protecting and serving their communities first and foremost, the citizenry feels it and ’trusts’ the police. This actually means that police are more concerned about their residents’ safety and welfare instinctually, before their own. That is called serving the population. Transparency and trust preclude a necessity for the blue code of silence. Arrest and convictions of ‘ bad’ cops announce systemic change. The population, giving up criminals in their midst, without harassment, announces the ‘protect & serve’ protocol has begun to shift. Our biggest enemy has always been us, whether we are a police or private citizen. The ‘police’ are “the authority” and need to ideally lead in this endeavor.
Chiraq does not have to be Chiraq. Chiraq and the hashtags of #BlackLivesMatter and #SayHerName, are obvious pointers for needed change from the institutional separateness from ’The Authority’ being over us, to ’The Authority’ being Us. The power was being taken from the People without their consent and used to profile and target the powerless and their resources. The shift necessary in power, is a shift from personal ego aggrandizement to true service to a more disenfranchised part of our society. Those of us citizens that may have a little more clout, cannot be like the so-called good officers, who look the other way when the ‘ bad’ officers are inappropriately wielding their batons, tazers, and guns against the disenfranchised. We Are One. We Are Sandra Bland.
The Texas state trooper who lost his ego and misinterpreted more force as the ‘best’ path, embarked on the extremely slippery path to personal hell. Not only did he exacerbate and fuel the steps to Sandra Bland’s death, but by any measure, lost credibility in the eyes of any reasonable viewer to the madness that ensued. The ‘system’ supported the trooper up until social media slapped all that Bravo Sierra down. Investigations and lawsuits to follow, will not be kind to this police person. And why! Anyone of us could have been Sandra Bland given some effed-up bias hiding in the officer’s knee-jerk conditioning. A stronger ethic and ‘mindfulness’ beckons.
How we process police misconduct must be retooled with significantly more input and accountability from our citizens. Police can better serve Us by more transparency and fair accountability from those that have the power to abuse us. Conversely, police always have the power to see themselves as Us not ‘them’. That is a big step that has to occur institutionally and at each individual’s assessment of self in every single interaction with the public.
Over-identification with our roles in this temporary life is often an indicator that we have forgotten who we really Are. If we are ‘doing’ our jobs without the necessary consideration and reference to our Source, we need to see it and stop faking that we care about others. We cannot care about others except superficially, when we are contemporaneously feeding the wrong wolf. Feeding the ‘right’ wolf means not acceding to the ego. It means seeing our ‘stuckness’ and being able to act past all ‘that’. This is the basis of becoming who we really Are. It starts with skillful choices in every Moment. It is a commitment to higher service for Self and others. Those unwilling to go there, need to remove themselves from these positions, before causing greater harm. This is the path of the noble; the reduction of self and programmatic institutionalized conditioning.
True policing is a higher order of business. It begins with policing self first, protecting others before self, and serving the interests of our greater Self and community.