With respect for the suspect

Don’t push my kindness” — reported as words of a police officer to a protester requesting exercise of their rights to a phone call.

We are all complicit, those of us who have said nothing as we see depictions of people arrested or detained and bounced around by police, humiliated in the process of incarceration…smirking because we believed it was comeuppance for “known bad guys”.

They do the same to people we would deem innocent. People we love. People who are vulnerable, weak, physically precarious.

Once again tonight I read accounts of protesters zip tied and treated unkindly. I hate that we live in a place where it’s considered normal for police officers to treat “civilians” with contempt unless they are part of protected categories. It’s everywhere in the culture around us.

It is part of a system that diminishes and dehumanizes us.

I would like that to change.

I would like to see us demand better. I would like to see us tell stories where courtesy toward the less privileged is ordinary. I would like to see us engaging in fewer instances of voyeuristic thrill in the humiliation of the powerless.