In the spirit of John Lennon's "Imagine," here are my thoughts about reinventing law enforcement
If every dollar spent on armored vehicles, stun guns, and tear gas for urban police departments were invested in sports programs, music programs, and summer jobs for youth
If CompStat were eliminated and police officers were rewarded for resolving conflicts peacefully rather than chalking up arrests for non violent offenses like loitering, jaywalking, fare beating or selling goods on the street
If honest, justice seeking police officers were rewarded, rather than punished and ostracized, for exposing fellow officers who put everyone at risk by engaging in racial profiling, or using excessive force in vulnerable communities when making arrests.
Police do what they are asked to do by elected officials and the general public. If a cross section of our society wants police officers to conduct themselves like an occupying army in communities of color, that's what we are going to get
If we want a different form of law enforcement, we have to push long and hard to get it.
That is what is at stake in the current protests.