Dallas, Texas (TFC) – Yesterday, the memorial service for officers killed in the ambush that has dominated the news cycle was held. What could have been a somber moment marking America’s descent into tyranny was turned into a beautiful piece of public propaganda. So much so, that Fox News chose to televise the entire service without commercials. There’s no reason for Americans to miss one single tear, one utterance of the word “hero”, or one glimpse of the grieving families.
The Mayor of Dallas opened up the parade of the dead and stated plainly, “we did nothing wrong.” The opening implication is that Dallas PD is free of the police brutality issues plaguing departments all over the country. Dallas Police have a record of police brutality that goes back years. At the beginning of this year, it was still so bad that Mother’s Against Police Brutality held a protest and press conference proposing a 9 point plan to end a pattern of systemic violence. The city gave rise to the Huey P. Newton Gun Club, a group of black men trained by Army Rangers, who took to patrolling their own streets while armed because the police couldn’t be trusted. Department of Justice complaints have been filed against the department and videos surface with regularity of officers victimizing citizens. Officers were regularly cleared by bogus internal investigations. Dallas is not the home of community policing, nor was it a model department. Although, admittedly, it did appear to at least be attempting to clean up its act.
After a few other speakers, one of whom we will come back to, the President of the United States took center stage for a lengthy speech in which he paid lip service to reform, but never made a single concrete suggestion. He talked about the heroes who laid down their lives for their community. He neglected to mention that one of the heroes killed had substantial ties to white supremacist organizations.
With a straight face, the President proudly proclaimed that “we don’t have soldiers in the street”, while videos and images of militarized police unlawfully victimizing citizens streamed into Facebook from all over the country. If they carry the very “weapons of war” he wants to take from citizens, dress in fatigues, use military rank, deploy military equipment, and use military tactics, do we really care if they are titled “soldier” or “police”? We do, in fact, have traitorous soldiers on our streets.
While his Department of Justice refuses to indict Mrs. Clinton, even though she openly broke the law, he had the nerve to say “our entire way of life depends on the rule of law.” Across the country protests are tearing through cities because the rule of law has been subverted and summary executions have become the norm, and he has the nerve to stand on national television and proclaim the sanctity of a judicial system that has established itself as a kangaroo court.
He told the crowd of police officers that the nation will “morn fewer people today because of your brave actions.” The reality is that if those officers had broke ranks with the thin blue line and demonstrated some integrity, our nation would not be on the brink of insurgency. Returning fire while in a fight for your life is not bravery, it’s common sense. Taking a stand against corruption and systemic violence is bravery. We need to see those heroes honored.
He then spoke of the “overheated rhetoric” of pundits and news outlets stoking the flames of discontent. He said this after failing to to mention the racist cop and blatantly using dozens of rhetorical devices to promote his image. The President should have just stacked the caskets and stood on them as his whole purpose in attending was elevating his position without providing any real solutions.
Prior to the current President rambling on, the former President, George Bush Jr., spoke. A man known for his inability to make it through a speech without sounding like a bumbling idiot provided the most intelligent and important comment of the event. He said that officers were best when they were “trained, trusted, and accountable.” That’s right. The right-wing, Dallas resident showed the courage to call for police accountability at a memorial service for fallen officers. Those three simple items are the necessary steps to reform police departments nationwide.
Trained. Officers need to be better trained in deescalation and the use of their equipment.
Trusted. Officers need to be able to be trusted to act in a professional manner while performing their duties.
Accountable. Officers must be held accountable for wrongdoing.
When summarized this simply, it’s impossible to refute. Three simple steps. If officers were properly trained and held accountable for their actions, it wouldn’t matter if they were card-carrying members of the KKK because they would be in prison after their first infraction.
During President Obama’s time on the stage he wondered aloud what could be done to prevent these types of tragedies. If all of his rhetoric was true, there wouldn’t be five people being buried. If the officers in the room spoke out against corruption and unnecessary violence, their friends would still be alive. If Bush’s outline is put into action, we can avoid further attacks.
None of these things will happen. There will be more attacks. There will be more memorials. The law enforcement community has been told they are infallible heroes for so long, they can’t see the writing on the wall.