Police Brutality “The Middle Ground”
How many of you have ever been pulled over by a Police officer? It is one humiliating and aggravating experience and I can attest to this personally. But that is not what I plan on focusing on in this blog. And I am not going to write on any of the recent cases of Police Brutality, the media does that all so well. But what I do intend on writing about is two perspectives first the victim’s perspective, and secondly, the Police Officer’s perspective.
For starters, let’s think briefly about the victims of Police Brutality. Why are they victims in the first place? Well I’m going to suggest you research Ivan Pavlov. Pavlov was a Russian physiologist and a brilliant mind indeed. Pavlov did research with animals where he would feed a dog and then introduce what is called a “conditioned stimulus, which was a bell and observe the dog’s reaction. Pavlov did this over a period of time and he noticed when he withdrew the unconditioned stimulus, which was the dog food, and kept repeating the conditioned stimulus, the bell, the dog would react in the same manner even if there was no food. So humans like any other animal would respond the same way. If you introduce a Police Officer or some other authority figure,( a conditioned stimulus), into an environment where there’s discontent, hatred, and injustice going on repeatedly,( an unconditioned stimulus), you will create that same response even when there is no real threat. The people will respond unconsciously to any figure of authority and that’s why we have issues of individual victims over-reacting in cases that we have seen lately.
Now from a Police Officer’s perspective, the officer is reacting based on a conditioned stimulus as well. Think about this for instance. Say a mother has three little boys and they are always getting into mischief, like destroying her plant beds per se. She is tired of their destructiveness, so she fussed a lot to keep the boys in line. Well on this particular day, Spike, the boy’s dog, get loose and destroys the plant bed. What happens? Well before mom looks for any other causes for this destruction she runs toward the boys and starts spanking them. Now you and I know that the culprit was Spike the dog but the mom is reacting based on a conditioned stimulus, just like a Police officer. Through training and an ongoing increase in crime in inner-cities, Police Officers get conditioned to quickly over-react in situations that are similar. Crimes in certain areas are almost always committed by people from that area, so unconsciously the Police Officer reacts, sometimes without thinking.
Now in both cases there is a conditioned stimulus and a conditioned response to that stimulus. The thing is that neither victim nor Police Officer is thinking clearly. By no means am I suggesting that Police Officers don’t work hard, it is a demanding job. But remember, they signed up for it. But what I would like to do is make a suggestion for the victims and the Police Officers. One, Police Officers should have ongoing Psyche evaluations done every five years. Let’s face it; sometimes dealing with these heinous crimes on a daily basis takes a toll on the human mind. I know it’s stressful. And also, more inner-personal skills training would be helpful. As far as the victims, plain and simple, you should all know the policeman’s role in our society, they’re here to stay, and we need them. Also, the victims have to figure out a way to carry themselves in such a manner under every set of circumstances; don’t add fuel to the fire.
In closing, I want to leave with some insightful questions: One: What kind of society watches as a kid gets gunned down in the middle of the road and not care? Because it’s not their kids? It is like we are going back to earlier times when people were guillotined in the square in front of families, children included. How barbaric is that? This is a societal problem, a Major Societal Problem. Two: What kind of community allows a kid to wreak havoc amongst its citizens, sale drugs, rob and steal, even within your own family or kids. Is not this too dysfunctional and barbaric? This is a community problem, a Major Community Problem. Three: How do we as individuals carry ourselves with a lack of moral decency, with malice in our hearts, no integrity at all, and all the other destructive emotions such as; anger, hatred, jealousy, etc.? This is a personal problem, a Major Personal Problem, and it can be fixed, it will be fixed, it must be fixed.