North Charleston, South Carolina police officer, Michael T. Slager shoots Walter Scott in Back. No Justice No Peace

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No Justice No Peace

Unfortunately, public discourse has revealed a deep divide. Americans committed to color blind justice are at odds with those who are not. Far too often, the refrain “Black Lives Matter” is insensitively countered by the retort “All Lives Matter.” This oversimplified response evidences a lack of concern and  empathy. Seemingly, everyone should appreciate the urgent need to highlight and address a real and imminent threat to our civility.

Indisputably, It is much more likely that encounters between police and Blacks will end in a violent arrest or even death, compared to encounters between similarly situated police and Whites. This stark reality directly contradicts the guarantees of our Constitution. The disparity abruptly offends the guarantee of Equal Protection under the Law.

Comments which trivialize the need to remind police that Blacks must also be treated with respect obfuscate the issue. Many detractors are recalcitrant in this regard and unwilling to focus on the issue at hand. They resist efforts to give the scourge of Blue on Black disrespect the credence it deserves. Clearly, a rash of unjustified shootings of Blacks by sworn police officers, is a far greater threat to our civility than unjustified shootings by private citizens. Certainly, the two are not equivalent.

Police must serve and protect with respect

It goes without saying that one unjustified police action anywhere is one too many everywhere. Citizens have the right to protest unlawful searches and seizures. Civil disobedience is not, in and of itself, a crime.

However, the law mandates that individuals submit to the will of an officer and not resist their efforts to exercise lawful control over them. This requirement is intended to enable the police to execute their privileged duties, and conduct investigations in a safe and orderly manner. Submission is a concept premised upon a trust that the officer will act professionally; will respect the rights of the individual; and protect them while they are under their dominion and control.

It is a police officer’s absolute responsibility to comply with the law and act honorably. However, when a plethora of police violate people’s rights, they erode that indispensable trust. When senseless unjustified shootings of Blacks by police become chronic, the inevitable result is anarchy.

The weary huddled masses are fearful, hurting, and confused. People are nearing the breaking point. Thus, the agonizing hue and cry, No Justice, No Peace.

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