It was only a few years ago when, in the United Kingdom, a police officer shot and killed a man. This was a rare officer-involved homicide. It caused riots. When a cop kills someone in the UK it isn’t a normal event, nor do the people accept it as necessary. This is not to say that Brits are skeptical about power (the UK has its authoritarians like everywhere else), but that a realistic attitude still exists about police shootings. Specifically, the vast majority of shootings should be avoided even within an inherently abusive policing model.
In the United States there are thousands (yes, thousands) of police shootings yearly. This makes it hard to report on every one. It also desensitizes the public. When the police kill people on a daily basis, how are we to respond? For what shooting should Americans take to the street? We’d have to be in the streets every single day. Even running a blog that reported solely on police homicides would be a full time job.
The aberration is salient and outrageous, but police brutality – even executions – are the new normal.
Here we have a recent event: the police shot and killed an unarmed, naked man. The naked man was in his own apartment complex.
I would wager that the police officer will not be convicted of a murder. He may not even be tried. Maybe not even disciplined administratively. This isn’t because the system is corrupt. To say it is corrupt insinuates that there is a functional foundation, a foundation that is being perverted by violations or transgressions. But that is not what is happening. The system itself allows law enforcement to kill unarmed people in myriad situations. Police training encourages it.
It is a misnomer to call it corruption, then. It is not corrupt, it’s institutionalized. The police are doing exactly what they have been trained to do; they are doing exactly what the law permits. The system isn’t broke, the system never worked.
This is why I cannot say it enough: no legal solution will remedy what is going on. The end to police violence must come without regard to the rules set by the slave-masters.