Accountability. Responsibility. Liability. Terms that ignite wars of words in discussions involving law enforcement’s “us versus them” mentality — the broader foundation of training police officers for duty. Correcting the mistrust between law enforcement and the general public will require major reforms to take place. Reforms that make both our officers and our communities safer.
Black Lives Matter and similar movements have been wrongly accused and labeled as threats to police officers by far-right commentators. Accusations that are wholly based on the same prejudices behind racial-profiling and stop-and-frisk policies. Classifying progressive groups as extremist elements instead of hearing them out shows the level of unwillingness to listen to the genuine concerns of citizens. Particularly, while ignoring actual domestic terrorists who have already infiltrated law enforcement agencies.
Additionally, Black Identity Extremists aren’t a real thing. The entire notion is based on a single case involving Olajuwon Ali Davis and Brandon Orlando Baldwin. It is the only case cited by the FBI of “black identity extremists” that led to an attempt to commit “premeditated, retaliatory lethal violence against law enforcement,” since the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
Let us not forget that no movement who stands against police brutality and for criminal justice reform has been responsible for a single murder. However, if you frequent websites such as Breitbart, which we know many cops do, it’s not uncommon for their writers to attempt to link “Black Crimes” to the Black Lives Matter movement. It’s the same tactic used to refer to anti-fascists as violent — while fascists are responsible for more deaths in America since 9/11 than Muslim extremists.
Talk of labeling groups as terrorists for the simple act of criticizing unfair and criminal policies adopted by police departments and/or elected officials is a clear cop-out (pun intended). It’s an attempt to avoid looking within the system to address the oppressive policies of departments and the actions of officers across the country. Proposing rational, reasonable solutions and seeking accountability as concerned citizens, does not make anyone a terrorist.