publicly condemned the Minneapolis officer who killed George Floyd and the other cops who witnessed the murder and did nothing to stop it. To say this is unusual is a massive understatement. It's absolutely unheard of.
Being the first person to speak out in a culture that demands silence is incredibly difficult.
When one person speaks out against evil and stands up for justice, others will follow. Next, four more New York City police officers joined Dmaine Freeland: Deputy Inspector Winston Faison, Detective Carl Achille, Sergeant Melody Peguese (retired), and Detective (retired) Michael Bell.
These men are heroes. (Calling a cop a hero -- that's a first for me!)
Soon apologies and statements started flowing from police departments across the US. By now, I'm guessing there is some pressure on departments to release these statements.
I know that police officers speaking out against the murder of George Floyd is not the solution to systemic racism. However, Freeland and the other four who broke rank should be recognized for their courage, principles, and empathy. They are resisters.
Those men are resisting a culture that caused three police officers to watch a fourth police officer murder a man, and do nothing to stop it. That culture is where so much violence and corruption comes from.
I'm guessing few among us who are not military or police can appreciate how strong the pressure of that "blue wall of silence" really is.
To my mind, those first cops who spoke out are brave and principled. Perhaps many who are now following are less so, possibly bowing to a different brand of pressure. But wouldn't pressure to have more empathy and be less racist be a good thing? Isn't that how behaviour changes -- when it becomes socially unacceptable?
This development doesn't let white people off the hook! There is so much work to do, and we all have a responsibility to do it. But only cops can change the culture of cops. That work can only come from the inside.