North Texas Daily

Police were never there to protect

Police were never there to protect

Police were never there to protect
August 05
22:01 2020

As 2020 continues into fighting battles of injustice and a pandemic, the offenders haven’t just arrived and the demands are not new, just louder than ever. While it may be believed that the distrust in the system of policing has been amplified due to measures and violence caught on film, it is important to remember these practices have always existed as far back as their establishment.

An eastern Kentucky police study breaks down the starting paths for southern states’ development of their police department to be different from the rest. The origin of the modern organization was primarily known as the “Slave Patrol” whose primary functions were “(1) to chase down, apprehend, and return to their owners, runaway slaves; (2) to provide a form of organized terror to deter slave revolts; and, (3) to maintain a form of discipline for slave-workers who were subject to summary justice, outside of the law, if they violated any plantation rules.”

After the Civil War, these practices were not made illegal, they just translated into enforcing Jim Crow laws, hovering over the now-freed slaves. As the country expanded into the midwestern states, so did its police force. Oftentimes policemen were considered heroes for violent action taken against citizens, for example, Alexander (Clubber) Williams who claimed to have beaten hundreds into submission and was celebrated in the Harper’s Monthly in 1887.

On a lower and local level, the distribution of officers to survey lower-income neighborhoods that they do not live in has existed for decades, stated in part two of the eastern Kentucky police study, “This isolation of the “dangerous classes” as the embodiment of the crime problem created a focus in crime control that persists today, the idea that police should be directed towards “bad” individuals, rather than social and economic conditions that are criminogenic in their social outcomes. The issue at hand as seen from law enforcement is that the crime is a response to a lack of control or order, rather than much deeper societal influence.

Circulating through our news every day there are different depictions of violence and where it is rooted. Blue Lives Matter supporters believe the violence taken against a force meant to protect the country is the deepest form of disrespect. But what if the people never felt protected? What if they never were? The rollout of more and more protests have guarded themselves with face guards and bodyboards in response to police strategy to tear gas and fire rubber bullets into crowds known for peacefully protesting. This was turned into the public asking for violent action, all because they were prepared to use their right to protest accordingly.

Portland, Oregon, has become a central focus for the nation since federal officials arrived with an overwhelming presence. “City officials have said that federal agents dispatched to the district court in downtown Portland have exceeded their authority and harmed peaceful protesters.” As they moved from the courthouse into the streets of Portland, several city officials and experts believe they did not have the authority to even do so.

Attorney General William Barr who defends the federal response said federal agents were severely injured with things like sledgehammers, slingshots and pellet guns, which the Seattle Times could not confirm. As well as the legal filings made by the Department of Homeland Security, which did not report these weapons. While Barr believes there to be more federal casualties than protestors, as much as $950,000 cost of injury lawsuits have been filed from civilians. Jillian Trent, an emergency room nurse who had joined in recent marches stated, “People are coming in with their jaws falling off.” Barr believes violence and tear gas is not appropriate for peaceful protestors. So who is doing the protecting?

The violence in policing is no new issue, though some may just now be seeing the graphic extent of it. Footage of citizens being kidnapped in streets for pointing out cars, chanting or protecting other citizens from harm, all of which are their right, demands for a dismantling of the policing practice.

Featured Illustration: Ali Jones

About Author

Lindsey Donovan

Lindsey Donovan

Related Articles

0 Comments

No Comments Yet!

There are no comments at the moment, do you want to add one?

Write a comment

Write a Comment

Search Bar

Sidebar Thumbnails Ad

Twitter Feed

North Texas Daily @ntdaily
BREAKING: North Texas athletic department reports 4 active COVID-19 cases, 26 recoveries📝@prestonrios_ 📸@Tzac24 https://t.co/BTj23pJNr7
h J R
North Texas Daily @ntdaily
OPINION: Thrift reselling is unethical📝@vanessaranayy 🖼️@GishhyOrange https://t.co/lhNAP5kinD
h J R
North Texas Daily @ntdaily
OPINION: America’s future lies within the Gen Z vote📝@rhemajoybell 🖼️Durga Bhavana https://t.co/3b6ISdH6eQ
h J R
North Texas Daily @ntdaily
OPINION: Woodward’s silence makes him as guilty as Trump📝 North Texas Daily 🖼️@ooopsrobynn https://t.co/ZduHjEbpPW
h J R
North Texas Daily @ntdaily
OPINION: Trump is misleading the media against Joe Biden📝@beinmesince96 🖼️@GishhyOrange https://t.co/Rjqew6kABR
h J R

Sidebar Bottom Block Ad

Flytedesk Ad

Instagram