Police are necessary. There mission is to protect and serve, and many in law enforcement do so admirably. Increasingly however, it must be noted that the militarization of police forces is leading to abuses of authority and a disregard for the lives, rights, and dignity of the lives they are sworn to serve.
This trend for now is most strongly being reacted against by African Americans, who along with other minorities, ethnic, sexual, or religious more frequently have endured singling out for mistreatment by those in uniform; however all should note a change in the wind.
Negative changes in the Civil Rights arena, notably starting with the Patriot Act, have continued to erode individual rights in America. We are more surveiled, more restricted and more subjected to arbitrary and senseless “lists” than at any time in our history. One need only meet an intentionally vague definition of “terror risk” or expose official wrongdoing to have their life turned upside down.
In such an environment it is only natural that some police may feel they are entitled to trample citizens rights. That in turn fuels distrust and anger. I believe the way out of this dismal situation is a repeal of laws that curtail Constitutional liberties. When government no longer insists on the “legal” right to pick and choose when our “guaranteed” freedoms apply and follows up with real, reliably applied consequences for those officers who violate the people’s rights, the police will no longer be seen as the front line of oppression.