Police officers are human beings

With more and more videos popping up around the internet, we all need to come to terms with one simple and powerful fact: Police officers are human beings.

For every good person there is in the world, there is a bad one. The only reason we see so much more of the bad ones is that the media focuses on them more often than not. Over the past few days videos exposing more police violence in the field have been shared and there is a call for all police officers to be required to wear body cameras, particularly after the murder of Walter Scott by then-officer Michael Slager in South Carolina. Should officers be required to wear body cameras? Absolutely. If anything officers should be volunteering to wear them. If they have nothing to worry about, if they toe the proverbial line that is required of them as officers of the law, then where is the harm in them wearing a camera?

Will Stack, a 22-year-old South Carolina resident, is a perfect example of the good men and women who sign on to uphold the law. Stack received a ticket from a white police officer in South Carolina, the same state where the murder of Walter Scott took place, and after receiving his ticket Stack posted a video which has been picked up by news outlets throughout the country and is making the rounds on YouTube. In this video Stack explains that there are police officers out there that are only doing their jobs, and are not targeting anyone based on the color of their skin.

These two instances, taking place in the same state and within the same month, illustrate the simple truth that police officers are human beings, and all human beings are capable of beautiful and horrible acts.

No one is arguing that there are men and women who join the police force for the wrong reasons. No one is saying that there is not a growing issue of racism in regards to the treatment civilians receive from some officers, but there are good men and women in the police force that genuinely want to help you. All we can hope is that, following the tragic murder of Walter Scott as well as the other heinous crimes committed by such “officers-of-the-law,” it will be a requirement for all officers to wear body cameras in the field. Then there will evidence for every act of “self-defense” that the bad officers often use to justify their actions, and we’ll be able to congratulate and thank the officers that are out there sacrificing themselves for the right reasons, treating everyone as equal in the eyes of the law.