One thing is deeply needed in policing today — putting the important core values you hold into your practice of policing. We all have values; most of them positive, such as being fair, just, honest, and serving others.
When a young man or woman is given a badge and authority over others — including the right to use force to gain compliance, that officer needs to hold on to those values. In a subculture as powerful as policing, it will not be easy. But must be done,
For the failure to do so will lead new officers into a very dark place. What were Derek Chauvin’s core values when he joined the Minneapolis Police Department? What were the dominant values he espoused 15 years later when he chose to knell on George Floyd’s neck for nine minutes? I suggest that something happened in the interim.
I suggest that with the right internal atmosphere to support “right values,” coached by hands-on leaders and trainers, George Floyd’s death might have been prevented.
So, who’s responsible for Floyd’s death. We all are. We are responsible because we have continued to permit a racist system of criminal justice and policing to exist and have not been clear about the tenets of modern, 21st century, community-oriented policing.
It’s time to change this.
Together, police and citizens can work to re-imagine the work the community wants its police to be and do. It’s about re-imagine and re-new — not de-fund!
Here’s a forum that was held yesterday on values and policing. I was blessed to have this lively discussion with Shane, Lionel, and Gayle.