Ferguson Will Happen Again

Ferguson Will Happen Again

What happened in Ferguson was not an isolated incident. Stopping incidents of police violence is a task that requires more than one approach. To begin with, some police demilitarization might be nice.

Demilitarization of the police has to occur alongside reform of the criminal justice system (CJS) and the military. Within the CJS, mandatory prison sentencing, especially relating to drug convictions, needs to be examined as it is ruining lives, not just of those found guilty but for everyone who has a stake in the community that individual comes from. Where you set the parameters of community, it doesn’t matter. To my mind, it could be a community of friends to the community of existence (you, me, everything in-between) to a community called “Ferguson.” We’re all stakeholders in society.

Speaking in Ferguson, Paul is right that there needs to be more legislation that helps reduce unemployment, but unemployment is a start not the end goal. We need to find ourselves again; stop believing that having capital is the ultimate sign of human satisfaction. The constant need for ever more money has in fact helped feed economies that rely upon bringing suffering, death, and modern slavery. Economies that are backed by draconian drug laws that are now decades old.

Returning to the problems centering around police violence, filling the police stations of America with weaponry from the largest, most expensive military in the world combined with the questionable legality of civil forfeiture is bound to create animosity and fear. Legislation alone cannot defeat this, not with the current incumbents anyway. Making progress requires cross-party support and seeing Paul in Ferguson talking about these issues is promising. There needs to be more cooperation from each side of the aisle to solve these problems. If they won’t do that then make sure when it’s time to vote, you know who is able to help. The problem of police violence is inseparable from a whole host of other issues. Reform won’t be easy, especially if we keep giving enforcers more and more weapons to suppress us with. How would you change things? Join the discussion on Facebook, Twitter, or below.

Written by Abiezer Coppe

(Photo courtesy of Erik Mauer, CC BY-ND 2.0)

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