OPINION: Peace with police -- a change starts within
By: ANGEL S. CHEDIKAH
Apr 18, 2019
Capt. James Green, an Orangeburg County deputy, provides great explanation on why it's important for change in the black community. (Panther photo by Angel S. Chedikah)
It’s true when it comes to police shootings: African Americans are more likely targets than their white peers.
But if we are being honest, what makes police shootings different than black-on-black crimes? How can the black community get mad at a cop for killing them when more than likely they are killing themselves?
It’s not right, but is it right to blame the other race, or is it time to be accept accountability? Or is it race or righteousness?
Also regarding police brutality, how can you avoid further confrontation to make sure you get home alive? Because all lives matter.
Capt. James Green, an Orangeburg County deputy, provides great explanation on why it's important for change in the black community.
Our attitude determines our altitude
There’s no doubt police injustice is upsetting, and people can be opinionated. But are we looking at both ends of the spectrum when it comes to police brutality? Being open-minded and doing research can help develop a different view of ourselves, Green said.
So many controversial topics exist on gun violence, racism and injustice in the system. One of the main questions and concerns is the shooting of unarmed African-American males. No doubt justice should be served, but have you done your research and viewed both sides of the issue? People naturally base their opinions on the media and news and do not research the full details of the situation.
“Are we really losing black males by police, or by each other?” Green said. “If you look at the statistical data on black-on-black crimes, it’s higher than police shooting.”
According to the FBI, recent studies from 2016 have shown that black-on-black crimes have higher rates compared to any other type of race and police shooting.
· 1 Includes American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander.
· NOTE: This table is based on incidents where some information about the offender is known by law enforcement; therefore, this table excludes data when the offender age, sex, race, and ethnicity are all reported as unknown.
One of the problems is that we as African Americans are excepting accountability and credibility when the problem starts within.
“The perception that we have of ourselves has to change,” Green said.
It starts in the household and with educating, especially teaching black males, on self-control and image, he said. They have a greater chance of reacting to police confrontation compared to an African- American women.
Green mentioned that one of the reasons you're less likely to hear about police encountering African-American women is because they tend to be calmer in the situation, while African-American males tend to act on current emotions, which can sometime escalate the situation.
There are helpful tips to follow when being confronted by a police officer:
1. Remain calm at all costs.
2. Don’t showcase any reasoning of threat.
3. Listen and follow carefully to orders.
4. Self-control is very important. Maintain it throughout the whole process.
"There is upcoming change in law enforcement because the fear of our lives is increasing. Orangeburg County itself has never had any penalties, but I am sure we will be prepared for when it does," Green said.
The law enforcement system is different in each state. So each state and every county police should be accountable for their own actions.
"A few bad cops shouldn’t outdo the good cops that do their job, which is to protect and serve," Green said.
You still have policemen everywhere that help the community and lend a hand willingly and when needed, he concluded.
Now is the time that the black community needs to come together as a whole and stop being their own stereotypes and present ourselves in a different manner. We deserve that respect before requesting it from others.
It starts with self-reflecting in the community and accepting our truths. Being responsible and recognizing our problem are a start toward a brighter future, which can help establish a better attitude toward police.