On any given day, in any police department in the nation, 15 percent of officers will do the right thing no matter what is happening. Fifteen percent of officers will abuse their authority at every opportunity. The remaining 70 percent could go either way depending on whom they are working with….
That remaining 70 percent of officers are highly susceptible to the culture in a given department. In the absence of any real effort to challenge department cultures, they become part of the problem. If their command ranks are racist or allow institutional racism to persist, or if a number of officers in their department are racist, they may end up doing terrible things.
It is not only white officers who abuse their authority. The effect of institutional racism is such that no matter what color the officer abusing the citizen is, in the vast majority of those cases of abuse that citizen will be black or brown. That is what is allowed.…
This hits the nail on the head of the policing issue. It's chiefly attributable to lack of professionalism at the top that trickles down the chain of command and pollutes the force.
The other issue I saw brought up by a police officer in this regard is policing by quotas. He said that with a quota system of performance, those at the bottom of the social scale on the one's that get to fill the quotas, which is generally the poor and minorities.
However, this is just the policing aspect of the social problems leading to societal dysfunction and social unrest. Law and order and security are not the chief issues, although they are often the most visible in the news. But the issues are broader and deeper, and often go unnoticed by people up the social scale and undiagnosed by "experts" living in bubbles.
The underlying issues are social, political, and economic, and also psychological. Getting a grip on this is going to take commitment on the part of the electorate, since it cannot be solved without participation of government and the courts. Putting more police on the beat, arming them to the teeth and providing them with military hardware, and building more and bigger prisons is not going to do it. It takes getting granular and dealing with people as individuals — the way cops on the beat who knew their neighborhoods used to do. That ended with patrol cars.
It also means revisiting education, including what students do after school. Letting kids just grow up doesn't work in toxic environments. The environments just get replicated from generation to generation and grow even more toxic and therefore more difficult to fix.
In a liberal democracy, the tyranny of the majority is avoided by instituting rights that protect the interests of minorities and guaranteeing through enforcement.
I'm a black ex-cop, and this is the real truth about race and policing
ht Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism