In an article posted on abcnews.go.com on June 5, 2019, Karma Allen reveals the work of a project called In Plain View. The project’s founder, Emily Baker-White, had the initiative to dig deep into Facebook through the posts of “at least 328 active-duty (police)officers (in Philadelphia) that had troubling content, including posts that celebrated acts of violence against Muslims, immigrants and black people accused of committing crimes.” In this beginning initiative that has looked at several cities across the nation, the documented trend of violence and incitement to violence from those whose oath is to serve and protect is both welcoming and alarming. For those who say that the violence we see on television by police officers are individual cases and not the standard, the work of this group causes us to rethink how we understand change.
Change to the police culture of self-protection has always been offered with restraint and a wealth of consideration even though the actions of an increasing few taint entire departments. Terrorizing whole communities of people because of race or religion is intolerable. This is not to erase the crime within communities but to highlight the fact that the police are to protect and serve. Since the police are unable to police themselves, perhaps their unions deserve some remantling or their jobs need to be threatened. Recently in Chicago for the first time in the city’s history, a police officer was held accountable for shooting an unarmed man sixteen times. The union and other officers began to lie and defend his actions. Now, in 2019 every officer can say they were in fear of their life from cellphones or wallets and go free in murder cases. They can illegally enter homes and point guns at children while city governments are unwilling or unable to stop them. They have become a law unto themselves. Incivility reigns while decency is running for cover.