I’m a white man and I’m afraid of the police

I’m a white man and I’m afraid of the police. Not because I’m been specifically targeted like people from multiple minorities, but because of the arbitrary I’ve learned they’re using to conduct their job.

I know about the law they’re supposed to enforce, but I’ll never know about the internal policing directives they’re receiving from their hierarchy, or just what goes through their head at any moment and that can and did result in the death of innocent people.

Many police brutality cases have been defended by “the job is stressful”, which is certainly true, but it means that how much the law will be upheld depends on how police officers feel at any given moment, which opens the door to any kind of biases up to, in more cases than I’d like, the death of innocent people.

It would be somewhat fine if officers breaking the law while on duty would be punished according to the law they are supposed to enforce, but more often than not they are literally getting away with murder, never mind lesser offenses.

This arbitrary scares me as you can never know if you’re truly safe around police officers. Because it doesn’t depend on what you are doing regarding the law, it depends on what you are and, more importantly, how they feel about that at any given moment.

However, I don’t believe we can completely reduce the arbitrary in this job. This is why the only improvement I can think of is to defund the police since successive reforms have been evidently unsuccessful. Maybe the harm cannot be completely prevented, but its scope can certainly be curtailed. At least in the US the police has been given several social work jobs that would be better done by unarmed people with more relevant skills.

Until then, I will be a white man afraid of the police.

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