Observations of an Overthinker

The Burden of De-escalation

After rewatching the George Floyd footage and seeing new bodycam footage, I am reminded of how incredibly complicated policing is. That said, we do not give a pass to certain jobs. Or, at least we shouldn’t.

Being a police officer is one of the most difficult jobs there is, and it requires a high level of training and social understanding to be successful at it. Or, at least it should.

Duties include: enforcing the law, ensuring the safety, health and possessions of citizens, and preventing crime and civil disorder. This means the most challenging people among us; intoxicated or with mental health conditions, distraught or otherwise—as long as they are not posing a significant threat of serious bodily injury or death to themselves or others—deserve the same treatment as the most accommodating and agreeable among us. This is not only the law but rights afforded to every person regardless of race, religion, color or place of origin.

Thus, the burden of de-escalation does not fall on private citizens—it falls on police officers.

If every person respected each other and their possessions equally, abided by the law, and did what they were asked to do when they were asked to do it, we would not need the police. However, people who abide by such social agreements are generally never in trouble with the law anyway.

The first city police service was established in Philadelphia in 1751 so that individual liberty may flourish. That means 270 years ago, we recognized that a certain faction of society would require extra care to coexist.

If in 1751, we knew special consideration would need to be established for some citizens, could it be possible that an even smaller percentage of people requiring restraint may unintentionally become the law? If so, once we identify those who are unfit for duty, shouldn’t they be terminated? If we all still agree, why are there two sides to this subject?

Again, we should not give a pass to certain jobs. This view should not be controversial. At least not in a society that requires law enforcement in the first place. 

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