Decoder Voices Final Ferguson thoughts

It would be far better to take race out of the equation and just deal with the problems with real solutions. These solutions need to be specific to the kids who are the highest risk.

By , Decoder contributor

Robert Cohen/St. Louis Post Dispatch/Pool/AP
  • It’s exceedingly sad that Michael Brown was shot six times by a police officer. It doesn’t matter if it was in the back or in the front. It doesn’t matter if he had smoked pot or had stolen some swisher sweets right before. It’s just damn sad.
  • It does matter that Brown and the police officer, Darren Wilson, who shot him got into a violent confrontation that resulted in Brown being shot. It would be nice to have the entire context of that confrontation, but witnesses have proved to be unreliable.
  • This is why every police officer (as well as border patrol agent) should be forced to wear a lapel camera. Nothing compels better behavior than the knowledge that there is a video record of the event.
  • We have instant replay for baseball and football. Wouldn’t it be nice if we had instant replay for these types of confrontations?
  • The police unions should be in favor of these lapel cameras. My guess is that in more cases than not, it would give the cops the evidence they need in a court of law.
  • Every police force should be thoroughly integrated. It’s awfully hard to cry racism at the police if the cops happen to be black.  Now, that won’t stop some race-baiters from doing that. Indeed, in Chicago, black cops are accused of being racist against black criminals all the time. But the facts are facts.
  • Most cops are good people and courageous public servants. But you would have to be naïve to think that all cops are honest. There are bad seeds in every walk of life, and that includes law enforcement.
  • Black criminality is less a function of race and more a function of class. There are a thousand black kids between the ages of 18 and 21 who are homeless in Washington DC. I bet you those numbers are higher in Chicago, Detroit, and East St. Louis. If these kids don’t have anywhere to live, anything to eat, any jobs to go to, or anybody who loves them, how can we as a society expect them to live by our laws? Desperation brings out the worst in people, no matter what race they happen to be.
  • These are problems that deserve solutions. It would be far better to take race out of the equation and just deal with the problems with real solutions. These solutions need to be specific to the kids who are the highest risk. If they drop out of school. If their parents are in jail. If they don’t have anywhere to live. If they had known gang affiliations. When we don’t give these kids a decent chance to turn out decent, they turn to gang-banging, shooting one another, knocking off liquor stores and 7-Elevens, and otherwise causing mayhem.
  • Police officers might not yet have lapel cameras, but just about every liquor store and bank has a security camera. So we have plenty of evidence of who is committing the majority of crimes in this country. The irony is that crime is actually down in most areas. Way down.
  • KTAR News had an interesting story about how most parents freak out about allowing their kids to play outside without adult supervision. Here is an excerpt:

Studies show that crime has been going down consistently for more than 20 years. In 2012, the Christian Science Monitor noted that “the last time the crime rate for serious crime – murder, rape, robbery, assault – fell to these levels, gasoline cost 29 cents a gallon. and the average income for a working American was $5,807.”