Friday, April 23, 2021

Minnesota's move to keep cops from joining white supremacist groups misses the point.

What's wrong with this picture?

"Minnesota faces a moment of reckoning, where the interests and needs of many converge. The watershed events of the last year make it clear that communities of color cannot go on like this. Police officers also cannot go on like this."
-- Gov. Tim Walz

The Star Tribune reports that Minnesota's police licensing board (POST) has agreed to pursue new rules for law enforcement responses to protests and a ban on officers affiliating with white supremacist groups. 

But it seems to me that the proposed ban begs at least two important questions. The first being, why are the state's police departments so rife with white supremacists that such a ban is necessary? The second being, why are openly white supremacist and fascist groups even allowed to exist legally across the state (and nation)?

It seems pointless to recruit thousands of racists into a militarized police force, heavily arm them, point them mainly at communities of color, and then make unenforceable rules forbidding them to join outside racist groups. Like a host of other empty police reforms, this one only offers a diversion from the necessary and inevitable examination of the historic role of policing itself.

I'm also wondering if the proposed rules would bar cops from joining the state's Republican Party which has once again exposed its own white supremacist character in response to the police murders of George Floyd and Daunte Wright and the Derek Chauvin trial. Party leaders did everything they could to use the trial and the protests outside to attack civil rights icon, Rep. Maxine Waters rather than the murderers themselves. 

That's not to say, as some of my lefty friends do, that reform isn't possible. It is. For example, The comprehensive George Floyd Justice in Policing Act is certainly worth our support.

Side note ~ If such a rule was proposed here in Chicago, they'd have to start by barring cops from joining their own union, the FOP, clearly the number-one white supremacist organization in the state. 

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