Why I Care About #BlackLivesMatters (and Why You Should Too)
The taking of the life of a citizen by the State is a serious matter. It is dealt with in the Constitution. Police officers are the State, the will of the people embodied on the street.
Which means police officers stand in place for each & every person in the State and act under color of law, with the authority of each person in the State, to enforce those laws. The people endow police officers with certain tools to do their job, but the people also set the limits.
One of those sets of tools and limits is the tacit understanding that reasonable lawful decisions made in the performance of their official duties that happen in an instant on the street will generally be adjudicated in favor of the officer. Otherwise, no one would take the job.
However, if that understanding is abused by the police, as minority communities have complained for decades, and which they can now prove with video, then all the people have a responsibility to take notice.
If police officers are committing extra-judicial State executions, without sufficient cause, it is a matter for all thinking people to take action against. In a metaphorical sense, we all have blood on our hands. These extra-judicial executions degrade trust in the judicial system & undermine society as a whole.
Many months ago, there was great fury in the press over whether or not the President could call a drone strike on an American citizen overseas without trial & adjudication beforehand. The #BlackLivesMatter movement is no different.
The question of extra-judicial assassinations by the State, in this case because the officers could get away with it & because they apparently do not value black & Latino lives as much as the white community's, make it essential to keeping the issue before the people.
And #BLM is having a positive effect. Shit does indeed roll downhill. I cannot recall a time in my life when more cops have been prosecuted, or awaiting trial, or fired, or assigned to the rubber gun squad because Governors and Mayors and Sheriffs and Chiefs of Police want their city's and their departments off of TV news.