Policing across the U.S. has experienced a fundamental change over the past year. Law enforcement officers have always been held to a higher standard, as they should be. But the microscope now on police behavior has changed how the job is being done, or not done.
Police are, by the nature of the job, exposed to the harsher sides of humanity; daily exposed to risks while expectations of performance allow no room for error.
Imagine doing your job with your boss constantly at your elbow, looking over your cubicle wall, critiquing your every move, waiting and hoping for that gotcha moment. Whether the Ferguson effect is directly or indirectly responsible for increased crime figures across the country is a matter of opinion, but it is not hard to believe that law enforcement performance has been affected.
Anyone under such intense scrutiny will react differently. Does that mean that the Black Lives Matter movement will succeed in getting the justice it deserves? Will the population in general get the law enforcement it deserves? When we distrust our law enforcement agencies in general rather than dealing with the exceptions as exceptions, just what do we expect, what do we deserve?
David Bigelow, Fresno