As I write the morning after, I can still see smoke on the horizon as part of the city smolders. Riots broke out yesterday in Minneapolis complete with shootings, looting, fires, and small explosions. The local Target was gutted and dozens of businesses along Lake Street were vandalized, some burned to the ground. All this, as you likely know, since it appears to be International news, was precipitated by the cold blooded murder of a black man by a police department that as yet remains unaccountable.
I would like to propose a simple solution.
Hold the chain of command responsible.
We have organizational structures in which the higher one is in management the greater the rewards are, but the responsibility and risks of that position are not commensurate with those vast perks. A worker in a big enough system, good or terrible, is always expendable, but a CEO of the same will be made rich no matter what damage they do. And so likewise it is a start on justice to send those cops to jail, which as I write has not happened, but the Sargent, or Captains who sent them out on the street have also failed their community, job, and position in their egregious misjudgment and management in sending and enabling those police onto the street in the first place. The culture of policing will not change until the beneficiaries and managers of cop culture also pay a price when it inevitably is exposed. It's a good time for firings, imprisonments, and demotions all along the line of people in charge of those cops.
Of course, it's not really simple at all. Clearly we need an autonomous police and justice system just for the police.
But who will police them?
I'd be willing to volunteer help at around the fifth tier down. The only people I distrust as much as the police are the people who police the people who police the people who police the people who police the police.
It might have needed one more but I decided to spare you.
Now I write late at night on Thursday, unable to sleep with loud cars occasionally racing by occasionally full of people yelling. I guess that's what one does if one is driving to a riot. It's hard to see the glow of fires as the local businesses and police station burns, but I can see fireworks which somehow adds a bizarre twist of celebration to the apocalyptic night.
Meanwhile more people died of the Coronavirus today in Minnesota than ever have in a single day.
We've had piercingly clear skies in the weeks the city shut down. Now the half moon is tinged with a smokey orange.
Fire and explosions and I'll try to go to sleep one more time...