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People much smarter than me have clearly explained the underlying institutional dysfunctions that ensure the next (inevitable) police shootings.
Retiring Dallas Police Chief David Brown accurately stated that law enforcement has become the safety system in schools, a primary community mental health service provider, and… the armed responder to a growing number of society’s violent problems.
America’s militarized police force has become a front line mental health responder in communities suffering from the traumas of job loss, poverty, pandemic anxiety and sickness.
This is likely to result in more George Floyd type killings, more racial outrage and the violence that comes with it.
Statistically, it’s impossible to be otherwise. If one half of one percent of the 698,195 full time law enforcement officers (2019 statistic) commit violent racially motivated acts monthly, media will cover ten of them daily year in and year out.
A few years ago, Minnesota sheriffs from Hennepin, Ramsey and Washington Counties wrote a half page Star Tribune article threatening to sue the State for failing to provide timely mental health services to people locked up in their jail cells. This failure has turned law enforcement into a provider of mental health services to a large and growing population of often dangerous people.
The public health issue of mental health and the violence and dangers it presents will never be dealt with effectively by Law Enforcement. KARA feels strongly that this public policy is unfair to everyone involved and destroying public confidence in very necessary institutions.
What separates banana republics from advanced nations are the institutions that serve the people.
Not trusting the military or law enforcement means that injustice and fear rule and violence becomes much more common.
Moving the Derek Chauven trial will not stem the riots and violence that are likely to follow no matter what the results are. Downtown Minneapolis is boarded up and and prepared for bad things to occur.
We can’t undo what what just happened but we can make life easier for the community and the people that live here.
Incorporating more social services and resources required for struggling families and individuals will help slow the violence.
Including social workers and mental health trained responders to intercede in those police calls where youth are involved or mental health issues are likely could at least slow the violence we are living with today.
Change is hard but without it protests and violence will become a permanent American feature with the chaos and destruction that follow.
Children that have been removed from their birth homes have been terribly abused by the most important authority figure in their life and carry with them a forever distrust and often hatred for authority figures. This makes policing them next to impossible. KARA believes this to be a core issue that must be addressed for meaningful change to occur.
I have listened to police and police chiefs talk about dealing with this growing number of unpredictable, mentally unstable people (and even whole families). They know that the center cannot hold and that the weak link breaks and bad things happen.
Dallas Police Chief David Brown and MN Sheriff Rich Stanek speaking out about how armed law enforcement officers are now the front line in managing more and more of societies problems is just the beginning. Imagine what it is like to be the officer facing down a suicidal person.
Sheriff Stanek and his fellow Washington and Ramsey Sheriffs threatening to sue the State of MN for not providing timely mental health services to the troubled people in their squad cars and jails thereby turning law officers into mental health service providers may be the most effective way of drawing attention to the massive under-treatment of traumatized children soon to impact schools, communities and law enforcement in this nation.
As a Hennepin County volunteer guardian ad-Litem, I have come to know second and third-generation families of under-treated traumatized children with drug problems, violent boyfriends and serious mental health problems that are now having their own next generation of soon to be neglected and abused (traumatized) children. Children who will bring their drug and behavioral problems to school and the community. It’s inevitable that there will be another generation of traumatized children entering our schools every five years and squad cars soon after.
About a third of the youth in child protection are proscribed psychotropic medications nationally. In 2014, 20,000 one and two-year old children were proscribed Prozac and similar medications. About 2/3 of the youth in the Juvenile Justice System have mental health issues and half that number have serious, chronic and multiple issues.
Minnesota’s former Supreme Court Chief Justice Kathleen Blatz clearly defined the problem by stating that 90% of the youth in the Juvenile Justice System have come up through the Child Protection System. Almost all felons have passed through the Juvenile Justice System. We will never build enough prisons or jails to manage our current approach to mental health and traumatized citizens that are in place in our nation today.
Requiring Law Enforcement to manage the problems of children and youth whether in school or on the streets has gone a long way towards filling prisons and creating the lifelong hate those individuals have for each other.
Children that have been removed from their birth homes have been terribly abused by the most important authority figure in their life and carry with them a forever distrust and often hatred for authority figures. This makes policing them next to impossible (worth repeating).
It would help if more lawmakers understood these issues and voted their conscience instead of their politics for the policies governing our lives and well-being as a society.
If this article resonates with you, please share it widely (especially with your legislators & people that vote).
All Adults Are the Protectors of All Children
#police shootings #derekchauven #childabuses #statistics #kara