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We have yet one more name added to that growing list of African American men killed at the hands of rogue police officers, who exceed the traits and actions of numerous good police officers, therefore casting a shadow on those who strive to do the right thing.
Sadly, this is not a new experience, rather one that seemingly tipped the emotional keg, resulting in a massive call to action. The question however, remains, “What kind of action?” Marches and protests are a great way to draw attention to the matter; however, they alone won’t cause the changes needed to resolve an age old issue: racism in the heart. You cannot legislate the heart, therefore some other means is needed, one I have touted for some time, going back to when President Bill Clinton was dealing with the same issue. We need regular psychological assessment screens administered to all officers going out in the field.
A national standard test should be administered on an ongoing regular basis to officers to determine their mental and emotional state, which is constantly changing. In short, a good officer today, could, after multiple incidents, begin a descent into becoming a rogue officer. However, if tested on a regular basis, symptoms of stress or indications of prejudice would be revealed, providing time for intervention, counseling, etc., or at least, reassigning that officer until all indicators are lowered or removed.
Just as the ongoing health pandemic has revealed the need for rethinking how we live, now with ongoing testing, the same is needed for ensuring improved law enforcement. Humans are fragile, and subject to all types of maladies, some are not avoidable, others can me mitigated. Testing can help.