Living as Brothers and Sisters

How a different way of policing could change everything

[From the Wisconsin Examiner,” June 5, 2020.]

By David Couper

Where do I begin? The pandemic in which I must strongly isolate because of my age and my wife’s cancer? The explosive outrage that was bound to come because we as a nation have been  unable to reduce the number of deaths of African Americans at the hands of police? Or do I start  as a person of faith witnessing our nation’s president staging a violent crackdown on peaceful protesters so he can make a photo-op out of that which moves my life?

In my eighth decade, and after three of those as a police officer, I am saddened by what I see. We seem to have learned so little since the days of Martin. He asked us to love one another and we continued our selfishness, our consumption at the expense of others — the climate crisis, a living wage, fairness in our system of criminal justice. He told us that we will “die as fools” if we fail to live together as brothers and sisters. Were we too busy to care? Too busy to love one another if another’s  skin was a different color than ours? Now we had better start caring and learn how to love.

I dream of a police who are compassionate, fair, and controlled in their uses of force. The dream is dimming. The dream is about a police who act as protectors of our civil rights enumerated in our Bill of Rights. My dream envisions men and women to whom the youth of this nation look up to and say, “I want to be like them, do what they do!” — in effect, a domestic peace corps…

You can read the full essay from “The Wisconsin Examiner” HERE.