When did we begin to fear those around us? When did we begin to fear the government? When did we begin to fear our Law Enforcement? When did we begin to fear ourselves? Where did it come from? When did it begin to change our society? When did the fear of what might happen, become a good enough reason to act on it? When did fear become a way of life? When did we let it start to control our actions?
Fear of offending someone. Fear of being seen as a hateful person. Fear of being seen as greedy. Fear of being seen as different. Fear of being seen as a threat. Fear of being seen as ... what? When did we let fear control our actions, our words, our deeds? When did we let our fear become a part of who we are?
When? It's always been there in the back of our mind? In the front of our mind?
A couple weeks ago, I saw a story on the news in passing. It was about law enforcement responding to a call of a crime being committed. In the process they ran across a black man. The first respondents recognized him as one of their own, and asked him to come slowly towards them. In the meantime another officer arrives, and somehow ends up shooting this off duty officer in the arm, because he felt threatened. What?
When did law enforcement start seeing us as a potential threat? When did it happen? Has it always been there hidden under the surface? When did our society start seeing each other with such fear and aggression?
About a week ago we had a police shooting here in Minneapolis. A young woman had called 911 to report a possible assault in her alley. The respondent officers were in the process of patrolling the alley when she had approached the vehicle, and ended up some how shot through the abdomen, and died at the scene. We don't know quite what happened. The officer that shot her isn't talking, their body cams were not on, neither was the vehicle cam, the last we've heard they are looking for a bicyclist that had rode past.
We had another police shooting last year I believe a young man driving in a car, who was shot multiple times, and died of his wounds. The officer was let go, and put on trial for murder, and the verdict was not guilty.
How many police shootings are a result of an officers fear for their life and safety? How many deaths at an officer of the law's hands can be attributed to their fear response? When did it become acceptable in our society to kill as easily?
We've had mass shootings, and we say that they are unacceptable, but we eat them up and show the News organization that this is news, and we want more. We've demanded that our law enforcement step up to the plate and protect us. Is this a consequence of that decision?
Sometimes I can't help but think that the news is part of the problem. Everybody watches, reads, and listens to the news. The news reports the bad, the ugly, the deadly, the horrible every day, multiple times, repeatedly, day in and out, all day and all night, and people watch it, listen to it, and read it all day, everyday, and all night long. Is it a wonder we fear our neighbors? Is it a wonder why we fear law enforcement, and they respond to that fear?
How do you propose we change this?