People — typically white, typically Christian, typically conservative — may make you feel that standing up for black lives puts you in direct opposition to law enforcement; that it has to be one or the other; that both things can’t possibly be true. As a white Christian woman, let me say: I have so much respect and gratitude for police officers who protect, serve, and put their lives on the line. It’s got to be one of the most difficult jobs there is, and I know so many officers who do it bravely every single day.
AND studies show that “increasing [law enforcement agencies’] access to military equipment will lead to higher levels of aggregate LEA violence. The effect occurs because the equipment leads to a culture of militarization over four dimensions: material; cultural; organizational; and operational. As militarization seeps into their cultures, LEAs rely more on violence to solve problems. The mechanism mirrors psychology’s classic ‘Law of the Instrument,’ whereby access to a certain tool increases the probability that the tool is used for problems when other tools may be more appropriate” (Delehanty et al, 2017, citing Maslow, 1966). "SWAT teams were initially developed to barricade people with weapons or for hostage crises, said Frederic Lemieux, a criminologist at Georgetown University. “But they have started to trickle down to much more ordinary operations, like drug busts and patrolling areas with high concentrations of crime." Any glance at recent headlines reveal this very truth, that violence has indeed seeped into law enforcement culture—and it’s escalating. As Christians, who are called to *do justice*, thoughts + prayers + “but not all officers!” aren’t enough right now. We need a new system. If we — white Christians — truly believe in a Christ who told Peter to put away his sword for those who live by it die by it, it’s high time we start advocating for a new and better way. #icantbreathe