Latest posts by Laura W. (see all)
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It seems like in the US, you can’t sign into Facebook, open your desktop browser or flip on the news without hearing that yet another, usually unarmed, US citizen has been slaughtered by police and rational explanations are scarce. Meanwhile in Norway, police haven’t killed anyone in nearly a decade.
Shocking! But should it be? Let’s review the job description of police:to protect and serve. I didn’t notice anything in that script mentioning murder.
A recent report conducted by Norway’s government revealed that Norwegian police officers are by far less likely to draw their weapons on suspects to begin with and in line with this they are even less likely to ever shoot. The study actually revealed, ultimately, that police officers in Norway only fired guns on two occasions in the entire year last year and neither case involved fatality.
Many factors culturally, socially, and politically certainly contribute to the disparity between civilian murder by police in countries like Norway in comparison to the US. For one, it is reported that Norwegian police force rarely carry guns. Even though it is a right to bear firearms, the police force in the small and generally peaceful European country find ways to de-escalate situations without dangerous weaponry rather than inciting violence and conflict by using brutal force. It couldbe that police in Norway have less general fear and disdain for citizens and, likethe situation in the US this is a self-sustaining cycle.
It seems that in the US police are indoctrinated to feel an innate sense of authority and superiority over civilians rather than simply being civil servants, initiating peace and facilitating harmony. Many Police in America certainly appear to carry a great deal of fear and suspicion towards civilians with a ‘shoot first and ask questions later’ approach that implies many police officers feel untouchable and supported in their use of brutal force- which has in many instances in recent years been grossly unnecessary.
We must honestly assessthe situation at hand with police force in the US as all conflict istwo-sided. In terms of actual numbers and percentage, it could surely be assessed that a higher percentage of officers are working within respectable boundaries and not exercising excessive force in comparison to those who are. Yet this is a case where truly one bad apple canspoil the bunch. As we have seen, lives have been lost and years after the deaths of certain individuals, the public and communities are still raising questions and lacking confidence in the accuracy and integrity of the justice system.
One example of non-police citizens taking neighborhood security into their own hands is Dale Brown of Detroit’s “threat management center” which provides security access to the community outside of having to call the police. Trueactivist.com shares that the threat management center “has shown that crime can be stopped and lives can be saved by independent people using nonlethal tactics. In areas of Detroit where police don’t answer 911 calls, Dale Brown took matters into his own hands and started taking those calls himself, and because Dale was not “above the law” as police officers claim to be, he had to solve these crimes without hurting people,because he would actually be held accountable for his actions.
Dale has also been ableto service poor neighborhoods for free, by financing his business throughproviding security for high-income areas.”
You can hear Dale speaking in the video below and gain insight into possible solutions for reducing violence and maintaining safety in our society: