This battle arose from decades of mistreatment by many of those in law enforcement, and decades of crime. A vicious cycle of police abuse and crime has led to more crime, and especially more distrust.
There has been an unreported war of sorts going on for decades. Police and citizens at each other’s throats because both feel mistreated or afraid. However, the flurry of police shootings over the past three years has created a new energy in the war. Well, it’s probably not the actual shootings of innocent people, but rather the coverage. There have been police shootings in the past, however the media was able to run headlines and 24-hour coverage of multiple shootings for months. This coverage greatly intensified the issue allowing politicians to benefit by taking sides, thus making it a partisan issue. Police tactics, crime, and the shootings of people should not be made political. There are solid steps for us to help remedy these problems, but we are too busy arguing which lives matter most and who is treated worse.
Let me be clear- these police shootings of innocent people deserve coverage. However, I would like to point out that there was little to no coverage before Michael Brown was shot in 2014 and there is little coverage right now. This leads me to the graph above; it shows that confidence in police is returning to normal levels since its plummet in 2014. Why is this happening? Is it a good thing?
Police confidence is returning in part to increased oversight, the use of body cams, new tactics, etc. However, a main cause of this rise is the fact that the media has stopped covering this issue and politicians no longer make it a talking point. The new craze is Trump, Russia, North Korea, and Trump. The lack of coverage of this issue is dangerous because the problem has not been solved yet. For the few months we had constant headlines about police shootings, people were more aware of this issue and some positive actions were being taken. Overall, we need to not forget about the past scrutiny of police officers. We also should keep in mind the danger of reporting on this issue in sensational outlandish ways.
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