I have some suggestions as to what police need to do, and do it quickly, if we are take advantage of this moment in history to ease our way forward.
It is that police must raise their standard for using deadly force. They must commit to a sanctity of life by adopting the European Union standard of “absolute necessity.” It must be absolutely necessary when police officers in our country takes the life of another person.
This one act will significantly reduce the number of persons killed by police each year (which has been approximately 1,000 persons per year over the past six years. About 1/3 are persons of color).
This will be a huge step in rebuilding trust between communities of color and our nation’s police. It should also help police move away from police seeing themselves as “warriors” instead of the guardians most Americans expect them to be. If we believe “Black Lives Matter,” we will demand this happen and happen now.
From this one act should flow a series of improvements regarding de-escalation, consideration of less-than-deadly force, peer intervention, and a closer working relationship between communities and their police.
View my video on the subject HERE.