Sedona, Arizona, where we now live, has a population of only 10,000 people. Nevertheless, protests are happening on our main street. However, this small group of people has seen and heard enough — just as much as the peaceful protesters in New York, LA, Minneapolis, Denver, and even Phoenix.
Watching the police officer shove his knee further into George Floyd’s neck after Floyd, in a distinctly muffled cry, said “I can’t breathe,” has ignited our nation again. In 1991, nineteen years ago, we watched the police beat Rodney King half to death in Los Angeles, and I thought, surely when the authorities, whomever they may be, witness this — we will see change.
I’ve tried to imagine what George Floyd felt. He couldn’t fight back. All he could do was say, “I can’t breathe.” Other police officers stood and watched. We cringed, cried, and came undone. Why? How could this happen? When will it end?
So, let me ask some questions. Where is the change going to come from? The individual police departments whose budgets expand almost every single year at the expense of much needed social policies. Or should the solution for police brutality come from a national policy such as former president Barak Obama’s Peaceful Police Reform?
Many protesters are chanting or carrying signs that say, Defund the Police.
Alex Vitale, author of The End of Policing, in a National Public Radio interview said, “Policing is now happening in our schools. It’s happening in relation to the problems of homelessness, untreated mental illness, youth violence and some things that we historically associate police with. …what I’m calling for is a rethink on why we’ve turned all of these social problems over to the police to manage.”
Vitale, in an Atlantic podcast, also said, “The central argument is that policing is an inherently problematic tool for the state. Policing is a tool of violence that has historically been used to facilitate gross inequalities and systems of exploitation like slavery, colonialism, the breaking of unions, and the suppression of workers’ rights movements. And so then to say that that tool is best suited to solve a broad range of community problems is misguided. And further, [the idea] that we can fix that problem with a series of superficial procedural reforms really misunderstands the nature of that institution and the missions that our elected officials have given to it.”
Vitale makes some good points. However, the idea of taking away money is, to my way of thinking, punishing all men and women who wear a police uniform for the few who behave in brutal ways. On the other hand, history shows that well-funded Police Unions oppose the reforms needed to change police brutality in our country. Maybe defunding the powerful Police Unions is the answer.
May I be honest with you?
I have a problem with programs, edicts, guidelines, and laws being used to create racial unity, gender gap issues, and corporate abuse of minority employees, among other things.
And here’s why:
We cannot legislate, guide, or program the condition of the human heart. Let me repeat: We cannot legislate, guide, or program the condition of the human heart.
Only God can do that — one heart at a time.
Every person in our world, in all its diversity, needs to take a knee and reflect on how our heart beats. Does it beat love or hatred? Empathy or indifference? Greed or generosity? Kindness or animosity?
You see, when we forego the well-known phrase Love your neighbor as yourself our lives are at risk. Our hearts become hardened to the fact that God created every single one of us — in His perfect and kind image — no matter our color, ethnicity, political leanings, income levels, personalities, or, you name it.
So, what does that mean?
It means that members of a black church in Charleston, South Carolina can forgive Dylann Roof, even though he killed their loved ones, in cold blood, right before their eyes.
It means that black lives matter.
It means that, through Christ, the raw materials for us to change are still there.
Please, please, please, turn to the One whose precious hand is extended so that we might all enjoy the abundant life that comes through a personal relationship with God.
 Sargent, Joshua, ‘Defunding the police’ isn’t simply about taking money away, and this book explains it, https://www.sfgate.com/shopping/article/defund-police-the-end-of-police-funding-explained-15317558.php
 Listen: Would Defunding the Police Make Us Safer? Police departments have enormous budgets. Are we getting what we pay for? https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/06/would-defunding-police-make-us-safer/612766/