A few months ago while attending Netroots Nation 2016 in St. Louis, Missouri, I shared an Uber with former Ohio State Senator Nina Turner and Georgia state Senate candidate Tamara Johnson Shealey. Together, we visited the site where Michael Brown died at the hands of police officer Darren Wilson.
Retired police detective Marq Claxton appeared on MSNBC with some poignant statements.
“First of all, I have a huge problem with some of the genuflection that goes on towards police,” Claxton said. "It is time for us to stop this thing about lionizing police. And I am talking as from a professional police officer, retired now for several years. I was a volunteer. I wasn’t a victim. I was a volunteer.
I think it’s time for us to stop providing excuses and stop providing the disclaimer even when you criticize the police by saying 90 percent of police do a great job. These things are a given. It is time for us to really address the issues that concern a large segment of our society without having to lionize and bow down before police officers.
Police officers reflect society. They bring their prejudices into their job like anyone else. The difference is that those biases affect their judgment. Unless laws and rules are modified to jail them for instituting their prejudices, nothing will change.
What will it take to correct failed policing in America? The lack of empathy by our society requires subjecting us all to some sort of discomfort. That is the importance of Black Lives Matter and other organizations bringing this issue to the forefront.
While any action taken must be peaceful, it must speak the only language that seems to effect change in this country: There has to be economic pain inflicted on those who hold the power to institute change.