My city is under curfew again. 5pm.
I briefly saw the protests in Hollywood in person today as I had an errand in the area. I waved encouragingly at the protesters. I watched the cops. I saw peaceful protestors. I saw cops shepherding them to limited areas until they end up pinned in one place. At the time it was peaceful, but only 2 hours before, cops had apparently shot rubber bullets into the crowd.
If cops would stand down from protestors and *only* deal with looters, they could keep civil order and the protestor’s messages would be heard.
Good cops are not afraid of reform. Only bad cops are.
There are looters taking advantage of civil unrest. The cops then take advantage of the looters (or even just the possibility of looters) to crack down on all activity (including peaceful protests).
By conflating the two groups, the cops (and politicians) seek to diminish the legitimate grievances of Black Lives Matter and police reform groups.
Don’t fall for it.
I’ve watched BLM protestors defend businesses from looters.
I’ve watched looters let peaceful protestors take the brunt of police response.
Violence and looting continue to legitimize the “need” for the police. You think the police departments aren’t happy to watch groups “prove” the cops are needed?
True de-escalation on the part of the police should be stepping down from the protests, and focusing on protecting businesses by responding to looters only.
I won’t tell anyone how to protest, but cops are civil servants so I’ll tell ’em how to cop:
To them I say, decide what side you’re on. Serving and protecting the people does not include tear gassing peaceful protesters. These groups are not the same.
Reform does not harm good cops. It only harms bad cops.
Check your police department and demand reform, and ask them to stand down from the protests. Stop them from escalating the conflict with those with legitimate grievances.
Any cop unwilling to see reform in their departments IS part of the problem.
His name was George Floyd.
There are many like him.
Do not let their names be forgotten.
Call your legislators, tell them to support Representative Justin Amash’s bill to end qualified immunity. It’s a start. Call for reforms.
Do not let those in power diminish the voices of those calling for reform by conflating them with those who harm others.