Greetings and salutations from the sand, sun and surf of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and the sunny, awesome, perfect, top notch, beautiful island of Nantucket! Good to SEA ya’ll on this Monday evening, the 25th day of August, 2014. If you picked this week for your vacation on that fabled isle, well now, you are in LUCK, ’cause it will be in the seventies and sunny all week long!
Of course, in Ferguson, Missouri, that weather report is of little significance, as the funeral for an 18 year old boy was held today, with thousands in attendance, from Reverend Al Sharpton to civic leaders of all stripes and denominations, crying out for JUSTICE in a very unjust country. On MSNBC’s “The Cycle” (weekdays at 3 p.m. eastern), co anchor Toure gave us a little history lesson on the origin of police forces and the fact many of those forces are seeing an epidemic of police violence against the citizens they are sworn to ‘protect and serve’. Offering up tanks, sub machine guns and an itchy trigger finger in it’s place. Way back in 1829, one of Great Britain’s land secretaries in the British Parliament, Sir Robert Peel, became what he is know today– the father of modern policing. With the onset of the Industrial Revolution and a new need for better security, the ‘bobbies’ as they became to be known, these new ‘police officers’, named in his honor, were introduced to England, much to the dislike of most of the public. Introduced not as an extension of the military, dressed in royal red. No, dressed in blue and instructed to go out and act as a part of the community, lo, one where they were forbidden to carry guns, yes, one where Sir Robert made it CLEAR that it is PARAMOUNT that this new police force maintain the public’s TRUST.
Dictating the ‘Sir Robert Peel’s Principals of Policing’ goes along as such… 1. The power of the police is dependent on public approval of their existence. 2. The extent to which the public can be secured diminishes proportionately the necessity of the use of physical force. 3. The police are the public and the public and the police. Pretty common sense stuff. “This isn’t Russia Danny, is this Russia?” (credit the classic 1978 film “Caddyshack”, starring Chevy Chase and the late, great Ted Knight), yes, let’s try to refrain from acting like Vladamir Putin and win the hearts and minds of America’s young people, not put them in FEAR.
Two quotes I thought were important to note. One coming from a former police chief of Minneapolis, Minnesota, David Cooper, stating recently in his blog, Improving Policing, “…in order to be fair and effective, a police agency must have the TRUST and RESPECT of those they police…They (must) work collaboratively with citizens…”. What are your thoughts Reverend Al? I heard you LOUD and CLEAR at church today, Michael Brown’s goodbye. Yes, you spoke of that book (the Bible) some use as a weapon, a hypocritical weapon at that, a little part where it says, “…the last shall be first and the first shall be last.”, going on to say, “Justice will come, Justice will come, Justice will come.”
I hope you are right Reverend, for far too many of our fellow citizens have been injured or mortally wounded by what some would call ‘little men with little power’, thuggish cops. Certainly not the majority of police in America today, many doing outstanding work day in an day out. But to those who misuse the public’s TRUST by gunning down an unarmed relative baby in the streets, one with his hands in the air pleading for his life, yes, if you think you are going to continue to abuse that trust, think again. Think this is going to be swept under the rug–think again!
Phillip Atiba Goff, Founder of the Center for Policing and Equity sums it up this way. “…compliance with the law stems from TRUST in police, not FEAR of them.” This branch in the new U.S. military industrial complex, via the Department of Homeland Security is now spending 35 billion dollars to outfit places like Ferguson, MO, population 22,000, with Lockheed Martin’s newest stuff, like man pads and armored military vehicles, making the CEO and shareholders happy, while the poor kids in that little Missouri town struggle to find enough food to eat and are afraid to walk down the street lest they get a major hassle from the majority white police force of Ferguson.
Not an Angel? F you New York Times! Your paper is becoming irrelevant, for we SEA your editorial biases now are based on the almighty buck. Michael Brown may very well, as far as you REALLY know, yes he may well be looking down from on high… with the help of real Angels who no longer read your paper.
Have a nice week ahead folks and remember to go out and smell the roses, even on Park Avenue. Remembering the air, water and earth are the same everywhere–all is connected… RIP Michael Brown, RIP… PRESERVE THE WILDERNESS! Peace~M