Ferguson: Humble Suggestions

PeaceI watched some of the happenings in Ferguson last night.

There were three large groups of people and one small one. The large were the police and the good citizens of Ferguson attempting to keep the peace.

The other large group was the media hoping for trouble; the small group was the troublemakers.

Around midnight last night the ratio of all people was 3-2-1 according to reports: for every three (3) police officers there were (2) two reporters and one (1) civilian non-media. Watching it I realized that by removing just one element peace would return to Ferguson.

Without in any way denigrating their work, I humbly suggest that the police stay home tonight. I suggest that the good citizens of Ferguson and those who have come to assist them in keeping the peace turn out in force and take back their city. Last night I was impressed at the willingness of that group to keep the peace at risk of life and limb. They did well.

I say let them continue without other help. As for the police, they are an agent of combustion. I suggest that they stay home for one night and let the real peacekeepers do their work.

If what I saw last night was any indication of the dedication to work and the desire for peace and calm, I am as close to positive as I can be that by letting the good citizens police their own neighborhood we’ll be giving peace a chance to thrive.

Then to continue to insure the peace I would ask the leaders of the peacekeepers to select 30 of their members to become police officers in Ferguson. They would be immediately sworn into the force and then undergo the necessary training to increase their skills to become professional police officers. Part of the training would be to sit side-by-side in police vehicles with their fellow officers. To relieve the city of the cost of enlarging its police force I would expect it to be reimbursed by federal funds (better used at home than in foreign countries). The police force would return to its normal size by attrition and retirements.


7 thoughts on “Ferguson: Humble Suggestions

  1. As soon as those 30 from the community are trained, what is to prevent them from adopting the manners and methods currently in use by the police and the community to treat them any differently?

    Would the Law of the Instrument then be in play?


    In your attempt to create a utopia instead of a dystopia, beware the Law of Unintended Consequences:


    Better yet, why not train everyone in the community and then expect them to act like citizens? After all, it is their community. There is much truth in the expression “You have made your bed. Now lie in it.”

    Wishful thinking will not necessarily produce expected outcomes.

    1. Ed:

      I think people feel they are being treated more fairly by people of their own race or nationality. Having a greater number of black cops would allow the community to feel its concerns are being addressed. Never heard of the law of the instrument; checked it out. It makes no sense.

      No one is attempting to create a utopia, it’s just suggesting a better way to do things.

      Even the best communities need police departments. Most people in Ferguson act like good citizens. Some feel the police don’t represent them which seems justified. My suggestion would remedy that. It is far from wishful thinking but is a practical and workable solution.

      1. The Law of the Instrument can be summarized by:

        “If the only tool you have available is a hammer, every problem becomes a nail.”

        If a lone police officer attempts to arrest someone, and that person violently resists to the point where the officer question whether he will be able maintain consciousness, he knows that his weapon can be taken by the resistor and may lead to the officer’s demise. He shoots to eliminate the real potential threat to his continued existence. This does take into the consideration the race or ethnic origin of the officer or the violent resistor, because those factors are not relevant. If there are two violent resistors, or one violent resistor and an accomplice on standby ready to jump in and assist the violent resistor, then the threat is compounded.

        If the Ferguson Missouri police officer was black, white, black Hispanic, white Hispanic, Amerindian Hispanic, Amerindian, Pacific Islander, Melanesian or an Asian of any ethnicity, the outcome is the same – an unarmed, Black teenager two days away from starting college was shot and killed by a police officer. To the community, it does not matter that the teenager had committed a strong arm robbery or assaulted the police officer causing significant bodily harm. They are “insulted” that the video of the strong arm robbery was released by the police, “besmirching” the “reputation” of their dead “child”. One of their “children”, despite his being a over sized, physically capable thug, is dead, and the police officer caused it. Do the racists among them believe that racism was the significant factor in the shooting? Yes. It is the only tool in their toolbox.

        Note that there is no similar outrage at the release of the video of the teenager lying face down, dead in the middle of the street before he is covered with a sheet by what appears to a firefighter-paramedic, with the gathering crowd offering up their learned opinions and commentary of an event that they did not witness other than hearing the multiple gunshots that prompted them to go outside and see what the commotion was.




  2. Matt: A man after my own heart.
    I also would love to see communities start policing themselves based on restorative justice. Community means looking out for and helping each other as all the Catholic Saints have taught us.
    Oh Oh! Gotta go we are about to invade another country for Exxon Mobil…
    Couple years ago I had the honor to interview Serpico the Cop
    see his portrait here

    1. MS:

      Ferguson could be used as an experimental area because it is small and impoverished. I would give the people a greater stake in their community which they don’t seem to have at the present time given the huge majority black population and the almost total white representation. Not all communities can police themselves; remember you always need police forces to keep the thugs at bay.

      One thing that interferes with communities policing themselves is the American way which is for everyone to be an island and little interaction among the people. We are a society of strangers and that is why we need police departments but we should have police departments to whom we can relate. Watching some of the television coverage of the Ferguson matter I listened to many in that community, especially pastors, who could do much to bring the community together.

      What I hate about the whole Ferguson situation is that all the politicians seek to throw a bandage on it (indict the cop) and walk away rather than address many of the real problems. Another example of America at work, distract the people. That’s an old trick a guy named J. Edgar did quite well.

    1. Henry:

      Nice comment. If the protests should be directed anywhere it is not to the killing of one black by a white police officer but to the ongoing killing of young black men as you point out. The people of Chicago should be out protesting the situation under which their children have to live. It is not the police killing the black youth as some in Ferguson are stating; it is the black youth killing each other. To that the nation is silent.

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