BP #5 – Policing and the Ring of Gyges

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Summary

Policing as it has come to be understood in this day and age is at a crossroads.  On one side you have policing which is understood by White America, an operation formed to serve and protect.  On the other side however, policing is seen as an operation which is formed to confine and control.  Over the 50 years since Johnson commissioned police reform issuing proposals to keep racist and violent cops either off the streets or out of uniforms, not much has changed in the actions of the police force.  You can simply look at the actions this summer across America which saw the untimely murders of innocent African Americans by white police officers.  The article suggests that one way to combat such negligence on the part of police officers is to draw from a list of community service providers that are trained to tackle many circumstances where the police do not need to be involved.  How do you, however, get past White America’s viewpoint of police?  A viewpoint that gives validity to the safety that is provided by police to White America.  This is the problem that police reform is up against.  And according to the article, this is why policing needs to not be reformed but should be abolished.

 Analysis

I believe that you can look at policing through the lens of the Ring of Gyges.  The Ring of Gyges explains how if you were able to get away with being unjust, you would be unjust.  Police fit into this example because they are at an advantage over civilians in the means that they are enforcing the laws in which we live by.  It should be said that police at many times have taken advantage of the system and forced their power over people.  This can be seen in the murders of African Americans not only this past summer but for decades and decades before.  Police, hiding behind the badge of justice have the ability to work the enforcement of law in their favor.  What is so unjust about how policing is viewed can be seen in how White America views police versus the way African Americans view policing.  For the most part, I believe it is a country divided, where Whites don’t always see the harm forced onto African Americans.  But if they do, the reason that they stand behind is that it’s because the African American male/female did something wrong in response to a police officer’s actions. For this justification of their actions, police are allowed to get away with the heinous acts they commit.  Are all cops like this – no, but I would not be shocked to learn that a majority of police officers have taken liberties with their positions and enforced the law a lot tighter for some as opposed to others.

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