Are private police on the rise down in the deep south? In Alabama, it’s a possibility. Alabama Governor Kay Ivey recently signed legislation allowing Briarwood Presbyterian Church to establish its own private police force. While this may not be a full embrace of non-government policing state-wide, it sets a substantial precedent for the state of Alabama and private security.
Without a doubt, police brutality is a serious issue that the country must grip. After all, in the United States, cops kill 10 times as many people as mass shooters do; even the FBI grants that more than half of those are unjustified. It doesn’t stop at murder, either. With nearly a quarter of the world’s prison population (despite having only 4% of the world’s overall population, the highest incarceration rate on Earth), the country has sent its police officers to arrest countless people. Many of these individuals have not committed a crime, and an astonishing 86% of prisoners did not commit a crime with a victim. But despite this, many will claim that the police are doing no wrong and should have no accountability, putting these people behind bars. After all, “they’re just doing their jobs”.
On Saturday, June 1st, Governor Greg Abbott announced that Texans will no longer need to fear being ticketed by the state’s countless red light cameras because of a bill he signed over the weekend that will ban their usage.
The state of Illinois made a significant leap on Tuesday towards legalizing Marijuana for recreational use. The bill, titled “The Cannabis Tax and Regulation Act“, passed the Illinois State Senate by a 38-17 vote.
The phrase “Blue Flu” describes a unique phenomenon: when mass numbers of police officers call out sick in a coordinated manner to protest a public policy. In states where police are legally prohibited from striking this has been a tool used by officers to leverage political power and enact change in government.
This is not a new tactic; in the past, it has been a means to promote the interests of police officers exclusively. In New York City, 1971, twenty-thousand police officers coordinated calling in sick to pressure public officials into giving officers higher pay and increased benefits – at the expense of the citizens’ bottom lines. The city acquiesced, and taxes went up. Police have used the Blue Flu in cities across America to fight for law enforcement causes. It’s time we have one in defense of citizens’ rights and for the protection of police officers who are asked every day to enforce laws that pit them against the citizens that they swore to protect and serve.