The systematic oppression of minorities by the criminal justice system has recently been thrust into the spotlight. This oppression is nothing new, nor are the tragic events that have cast it into the light yet again. However, it seems as though, at present, the intolerance for this oppression has reached a boiling point, and that change might be coming.

As the City of Denton considers reviewing its own use of force policy, and calls to move some funding away from police and to invest that money in the community grow louder across the nation, I think we are missing a critical point that causes this oppression to continue to take place.

The temperament required to have been given the lawful authority to use force (and deadly force) against a person based solely on a person’s own judgment, and to objectively exercise that power free of emotion or bias consistently, is exceedingly rare. I could not begin to guess at what percentage of people have such temperament, but whatever the number is, it would have to be incredibly small (if there is anyone who is capable of this.)

The idea that every police officer happens to be in possession of such extraordinary temperament is ridiculous; as ridiculous as suggesting that every person who becomes a lawyer is a legal genius who is supremely ethical and moral. In either profession, the percentage of such might be a fraction of one percent.

There are just not, by definition, that many exceptional people.  (This reminds me of a survey from 2018 that found 65% of Americans believe they are “smarter than the average American;” funny, because this obviously cannot be true.)