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Police officers must treat all citizens equally

Over the past decade, it appears that our society is fractured more than it had been in the past. There are many divisions within our union, and the majority of citizens influence laws that affect certain racial groups disparately.

This unfair treatment can be explained through philosopher Max Weber’s social relationship theory. Under Weber’s theory, social relationship is used to emphasize people’s behaviors and actions toward other members of society as a form of status posturing. Entry into a social group is usually based on mutual consent from the other majority group members, and their objectives are usually enforced by law enforcement officials and political party affiliation that often influence policies that are used to control other subordinate members of society, which creates discrimination as experienced by many.

On Oct. 17, it was reported that Terry Cunningham, the president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, apologized for what he called the “historical mistreatment of racial minorities.” What he said was correct, but what is the solution moving forward after his acknowledgment?

Some officers exude a negative aura which reflects poorly on the good officers who may show some empathy towards the plight of many minorities and those who are not socially accepted by society due to their socioeconomic status. Until the bad officers relinquish their protective cover from the “blue wall of silence” and start to treat all citizens equitably as prescribed under the 14th Amendment, change and hardship on certain citizens will never materialize through apologies alone.

This is not an indictment on the good officers; it’s a summons for the coward officers to look in the mirror and ask if what was done unjustly to a citizen would be fair if another officer did the same to his/her family.

Affected citizens are tired, dejected and their tiredness had been expressed through the senseless killings of innocent law enforcement officers who had nothing to do with previous incidents.

Michael Campbell
Howell

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