Kenosha Wisconsin shooting helps us think about race and perception in our nation in a way that we have never done. Our nation is based on fundamental values that tie us together. We are in a cultural transition and there will be people lining up to ensure their perception is the loudest voice in the room. People are angry, upset, and have low levels of trust in public institutions.
Now is the time to think about our long term goals as a nation before more people are hurt. The roots that make up the arguments are long and they are deep touching upon national wounds. This is one of those conflicts that must be felt for national reconciliation. Its been a flash point for a long time.
Whether we accept the need for universal justice and capitalistic full economic engagement or some other competing ideology we must start to think about how we want this to turn out in the next few years and what we want our nation look like a decade down the road?
Leadership is born in times of uncertainty and now is the time for our leadership to step up to the plate and start drawing all the stakeholders together. I believe that multiple deaths have now occurred and people are coming into these areas for all types of different reasons and not all of it is about being good or doing good to others. This is one of those defining moments for our nation as it could escalate out of control very quickly.
Thus, we must work on talking to a wide group of stakeholders of appropriate justice reform that helps our officers work well from a functional standpoint and helps officers work well within different communities. This isn't about getting soft on crime but by getting effective and building a policing and justice structure that helps good officers shine and poor officers to be plucked from the tree before they do harm.
There are reforms that make sense and would be of benefit to all the interested parties. If we can restore trust in the system within these communities we can also restore a sense of community and peace as a nation. Some possible reforms are simple such as transparency, training, community inclusion, cultural & metric adjustments, social worker assists, alternative punishments, oversite, internal investigations, stronger recruitment and termination practices, feedback loops, ....and the list can go on.
We want everyone to be on the same page to think about how our nation is on a path to greater human freedoms and development and we must define what the next stage in human rights development will look like. Police and minority communities don't need to be against each other if they get down to the business of creating intentional dialogue on what are the things that must stay the same and what things can be changed.
That means rethinking Justice and making improvements. The point being that we can move to a place where people worthy of a second chance get it while those who are out to harm others are safely taken out of community engagement. There are few people who would disagree with that. We can become a single nation of universal justice where police and community are working toward the same ends...building stronger communities and a stronger nation.
Maxouris, C. Ebrahimji, A. & Levenson, E. (August 26th, 2020). Illinois teen arrested in fatal shooting at Kenosha protest, police say CNN. Retrieved https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/26/us/kenosha-wisconsin-wednesday-shooting/index.html
You may be interested in the twitter posting by the Kenosha Police Department