OP-ED: Alternatives to Violence



The upswing in violence is seemingly taking on a new dimension in terms of injuries and deaths. Usually, citizens, suspects and innocent bystanders are the victims of violence by police.



Many people are reacting to the media’s presentations of videotaped and recorded incidences of discriminatory acts of violence by security officers across the land.


I don’t condone any random acts of violence against police, period. Nor can I understand the usage of police violence that, more times than not, results in the preventable death of people.


When we witnessed the shooting of a deputy gunned down in Texas, coupled with a rash of police officers being shot or killed nationwide, no one outside of the shooters can unequivocally say what the motive was behind these awful and condemnable acts of violence against the officers.


The problem of police and community relations facing us isn’t a unique or difficult one.


We can make progress and triumph over reckless behavior if we have a meeting of the minds between the citizenry and the police forces around the overarching agenda of using diplomacy, understanding and wisdom.


We can diffuse unlawful encounters in a humane and accountable way rather than resorting to the use of deadly force as a first option, sometimes resulting in a regrettable loss of life.


Dying is a fact of life that will occur for all of us, but thoughtless killing is the result of man’s inability and unwillingness to utilize other avenues when possible to avoid death whenever practical. Violence is the voice of a rabid reaction to unfettered reason, logic and social interaction.


I acknowledge that there are times when no other alternative other than applying violence may exist in order to prevent or curtail more violence. These occasions should be the exception rather than the rule.


Although history is laced with staggering demonstrations of man’s wickedly heinous acts of violence, it doesn’t mean that history has to be repeated.


Change only requires a concerted effort by everyone with a vested interest in progress. The carnage of killing police must stop and the misuse of deadly force must be dealt with through a dialectical approach, using the art of reasoning by discussing conflicting ideas to resolve discord between the two entities.


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