Q&A – Police Reform & Recency Bias

Today’s entry: We should allow civil lawsuits against police officers individually. Those are the rules for the rest of us. If I shoot someone because I thought they had a gun and it turns out it was a cellphone what would happen to me? Why not apply the same standards to the police. I'm just trying to find a solution because of the way we are going, we will end like Yugoslavia.

Bottom Line: Something I love about South Florida is the range of perspectives listeners have due to the diversity of those who’ve relocated here. Not many would think to relate our current events in the United States to those in Yugoslavia, except for those who lived it. To your point, we should never take our freedom and the blessings provided by this country for granted. Over 80% of the world’s population isn’t free and every superpower throughout history has fallen. The very point of activists like Antifa is the overthrowing of our system of government. With that said, about your proposal for police reform and some additional perspective about what we’re all living through right now. 

It’s critical that we do as much as possible to encourage would-be good police officers into the profession. Independent of outside influences, protests, and politics, it already takes a special person to choose a profession where they face unknown dangers daily. Adding any additional obstacles to the profession is the wrong approach and opening police officers to personal liability on the job would be a nightmare. Anyone can sue anyone for anything at any time. Given the potentially subjective nature of many emergency responses by law enforcement, they’d be positioned to become risk-averse out of self-interest over the public interest. Moreover, you’d likely see radical organizations fund frivolous lawsuits against law enforcement officers knowing that most wouldn’t be able to afford to defend themselves and to discourage others from joining the profession. Efforts to enhance personal accountability in law enforcement may be useful, however attempting to do so by increasing personal liability would have a chilling impact on the profession and our safety. Regarding the perceived crises we find ourselves in as a country right now...

We’ve all been through a lot this year. The pandemic. The ensuing lockdown and recession. Civil unrest. And it’s only June. Btw, I think this means we’ll get a pass on hurricane season this year, right? Anyway, here’s the thing. Have we been through a lot with all of these issues? Yep, no doubt. Has it been worse? Yep, without a doubt. Let’s start with the pandemic. 

The CDC estimates 675,000 Americans died in the 1918 pandemic. In 1918 the US population was only 31% of what it is today. 2.2 million Americans would have to die of COVID-19 for this pandemic to equal the impact of what happened in 1918. We’ve lost 115,000 Americans to date. This pales in comparison. About the recession. Despite fears of a recession that may have equaled what we lived through during the Great Depression; it didn’t materialize. Unemployment peaked just below 25% during the depression compared to peaking at under 15% during this recession. Again, nowhere near as bad as what this country has experienced. And about the race-based civil unrest? This country literally fought a war against itself over this issue. 

I’m not trying to minimize any of the issues or concerns we’re dealing with as a society today, but if we step back from what we’re living right now, it’s evident this country has endured and prospered through far worse on all accounts. I still think we should get a break from hurricane season this year though.

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