In light of recent police violence against nonviolent protesters across the country, it is time for our journalists to do their civic duty and act in the public interest.
This week, every reporter at every television station and newspaper in America (including--no, especially--student newspapers) should investigate how thoroughly armed their local, public police forces are.
Will the police show up to peaceful rallies and demonstrations in full riot gear? If so, why? What weapons will they carry, and why? What exactly are these forces' policies and regulations regarding how they may respond to nonviolent (and even violent) protests by unarmed civilians? Are local police required to give their names and ranks to anyone who asks? If not, why not? When protestors are arrested, will they be treated humanely? Will they be given prompt medical care?
And where are the good cops on this one? Why aren't our police forces policing themselves?
The American people have the right and need to know. We also have a responsibility to hold these publicly funded militias accountable.
As a citizen of the land of the free and the home of the brave, I feel proud of those enacting nonviolent civil disobedience for the cause of economic justice. And I fear for them in the face of thugs who cloak their abuses in blue uniforms, flak jackets, and helmets with plastic shields.