I confess to having been born at a different time and a different place. I was raised in the slums of south Bronx in New York City when gangs inhabited our world. Murder Incorporated still existed in Brooklyn, and criminals did not think twice about shooting people they did not like. Yes, we had police who patrolled our neighborhood. But, police in those days walked the beat. They knew most of the people, and it was common if they encountered a boy who committed a crime that was not serious to deliver the boy, not to the police station, but to his parents where it was made clear the next time meant jail. There was no war between neighborhood folk and the police. Amnesty International usually issues reports about violence in third world countries. These days AI is issuing reports about the third world nation known as the United States of America. After all, how many nations in this world arm the police with military equipment that ordinarily is found on battlefields of war?
Amnesty International noted that police in Ferguson, Missouri, site of among the great battles of the 21st century, employed “less lethal ammunition that can hurt people.” It pointed out the in Ferguson,Missouri, they were “equip;ing officers in a manner more appropriate for a battlefield.” How did we Americans evolve from neighborhood cops who knew people to soldiers equipped to do battle with the folks we, allegedly, police were to protect. These days, neighborhood folk have to be protected against their own police!