From the beginning of the crisis which began with the death of George Floyd, I am eager to write that if the officer Chauvin and his colleagues have committed a very serious error, one often places the police americans in intolerable situations.
The protests that spread now over a week are the result of several generations of deficit of leadership. As measures of political, economic, social and legal are insufficient, what are the different police forces in the country who manage daily an explosive situation. If there are heads burnt and racist, too often we forget those who wish to be part of the solution rather than exacerbate the problem. You’ve probably noticed that a number of sheriffs of black are also expressed in the last few days. They are first hand, and their sensitivity is often the same as those of the protesters.
Sometimes out of date, or poorly supported, police departments are turning to a weapon of military type when the tone is rising or tempers flare. The violence spontaneous is a reality. However, it is sometimes amazing to see the interventions of police officers heavily equipped in the face of unarmed demonstrators. You didn’t know perhaps, but it currently exists in the United States, a program that facilitates the transfer of weapons between the Pentagon and police services.
The program in question had been limited by the previous administration, but revived since the beginning of the presidency, Trump. The New York Times tells us today that legislators of the Congress to focus now on this question. If they are usually loyal to the president and that they do not contradict it publicly, the republicans are distinguishable this time and assist in reflection.
I would like to clarify that the leader republican in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, has left no doubt while he was commenting on the police action that led to the death of George Floyd : “In no world whatsoever should arresting a man for an alleged minor offence involve a police officer putting his knee on the man’s neck for nine minutes while he cries out “I can’t breathe” and then goes silent.” It would not be acceptable anywhere that during an arrest for a minor offence, a police officer could press his knee on the nape of the neck of a man for nearly nine minutes while he yells that he is no longer able to breathe.
In a rare demonstration of unity, elected officials, democrats and republicans, the Congress will reflect on the phenomenon of police brutality and the type of weapons that we have. If there is no doubt of the danger to which the police face regularly, should we equip them as if they were in a war zone?
We created the program in arms transfer in the 1990s to allow the u.s. army to take advantage of its surplus. On the one hand, deprived of the financial benefits of the exchange while on the other, the police were fighting a war without mercy to drug traffickers. This could be an option profitable at this time now contributes to aggravate the situation.
President of the law and order, as he likes to call it, Donald Trump has revived the program to ensure that police are equipped with the necessary equipment to ensure their own protection. The democratic representative of Arizona’s Ruben Gallego, a veteran and former Marine, says that this argument is wrong: “As a combat veteran and proud Marine, very little of my equipment or training was covered to policing Phoenix or other American communities.” Our communities are not war zones and military equipment is inadequate.
In today’s nightmare, I find it comforting that elected officials from both political parties are considering other solutions that the militarization of interventions to try to bring back the calm. If there is no miracle solution and that we must recognize the complexity of police work, it is necessary to avoid this escalation senseless. If the president does not understand that it is time for the legislature to do his job. It has nothing democrat or republican, it is simply american.