It’s time to police the police with an inner education that checks reactions like anger, fear, violence and suppressed hatred. New contributor Rona Ramesh offers her perspective on a quiet form of police brutality.
If I could speak to the families and friends of Amhaud Arbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Trayvon Martin, Botham Jean, Elijah McClain, Rayshard Brooks, Danroy (DJ) Henry, Tamir Rice – a 12 year-old – and many others killed in cold blood by their assigned protectors, I would tell them that their loved ones did not die in vain, but had fulfilled a grand purpose in helping humanity become more aware and transforming the police force forever.
Compared to their stories, my story is small and commonplace, one of quiet police cruelty. As a law-abiding citizen, I never needed police services until I was over 50 and became the unlikely target of strange and terrible crimes.
As a citizen in need of protection and investigative support, I repeatedly made police reports and told the nightmare stories of what had happened to me and my home. The criminals have not yet been caught or even investigated, due to police indifference, lethargy, and lies that put me in harm’s way.
To protect myself – as I could not find police protection – I moved frequently to ensure my safety. In each town I entered, the criminals would follow me and start with heavy vandalism and home theft. In other words, I’ve had many opportunities to speak with police in various towns. And each time I do, I find their same recalcitrant behavior, then I say, “NEVER AGAIN.” As Osho says, “An asshole is an asshole, plain and simple.”
Each time I’ve sought police help, the police officer, male or female, would refute, deny, or minimize every fact that I spoke. Obviously, they are trained to make you go away. If I said it was day, they would say, “Oh no, ma’am, it’s night. And there is no way you can prove your statement.” If I told them to look at my spy-cam photo with strangers standing around my car at 2am, they would say, “Oh no, ma’am, these are just people standing on planet Earth, the fact that they are looking into your car is irrelevant.” To help the police catch the criminals one time, I sprinkled baby powder in front of my door to capture the highly valued footprint evidence. When I showed the clear footprints to the bully cop, he said, “Oh no, ma’am, that doesn’t mean anything. It just means someone stood there.”
The police are trained to deny you services and shake you off quickly: After another home theft, the assigned detective openly told me he did not have time to work my case. When I requested another detective, neither the assigned detective nor anyone else followed up. Another time, an officer told me he was overworked and did not have time to investigate the suspects. When I spoke to his boss about his overworked staff refusing to help, the low man on the totem pole denied his own words. Of course, the boss believed him and not me. Again, they dropped that case and did not follow up.
On another occasion I was happy that a female detective was assigned, assuming she would be a good listener and take action. But she was far more a bully than her puffed-up male colleagues. It seemed odd that she mentioned three different times that her promotion was pending. My intuition said that this meant she would be rewarded heartily if she could get rid of my case, which she did, using super slippery no-speak to justify her dangerous lies.
On our final visit, I would not be squashed. I got in her face and kept repeating myself and refuting her every statement. By now, I knew their game. She finally stood up from her desk and took an extra-wide stance (my mind said please don’t shoot me!), then she began scolding me like a mad mommy. Scowling, she shrieked, “What do all these crimes have in common? YOU! YOU! YOU!!” It was a real meditation point because it was actually true!
There is much, much more I could say but my main point is that I understand the rage people have about police. It is shocking that almost anyone can become a police officer in approximately 18 weeks, and even then, inadequate training results in all kinds of tragedy. Future police training must incorporate an inner education that increases awareness. Currently, the profession attracts some emotionally healthy and brave public servants but also many wounded people with power issues and low self-worth. If police had lengthy training that included meditation and an emphasis on the value of all human beings, they could show up with pride and assurance like Shaolin Kung Fu Masters and have a profoundly healthy impact on society.
I fully support Black Lives Matter, and can only wonder how many times black people, people of color, older people, disabled people, low-income people, artist-people, different-seeming people, out-of-towners, meditators, and journalists have been murdered by police when there was no video camera evidence. It is one of the greatest shames in civilized society that police take an oath to protect and serve all people, but they literally cannot serve or protect anyone who falls outside their unconscious biases. This is why we meditate – to uncover our biases and conditioning of hate and fear. Many police have an axe to grind with their own unexamined racism, age-ism, and zip code-ism. Most surprising, the police I met all had a strange bias against education and intelligence, based on their own perceived inadequacies. And once the police sniff out that you’re an “LLP”, a “Love and Light Person,” it’s all over. You won’t get any help at all. In my experience, they resent being challenged or questioned in a reasonable, kind, logical manner.
Many police have the lowest of low self-esteem. This is why their psychological agenda is to offload their unconscious self-hatred on any group that is different. Before my lengthy foray into police degradation, I had respected these people in uniform and thought they were upholding ideals. But I witnessed their low self-worth and the reality that they win points in their system whenever they can disappear your case. As I tell friends: The only time to call police is when you find a dead body in your house. Otherwise, it’s a waste of time and not worth the insults, the degradation, the risk, or the frustration. Even nice people get on their Shit List. Yes, there really is a Shit List. Nowadays, whenever I hear a police siren, I feel good that officers are racing to the Donut Shop for an extended stay. We as citizens need to police the police. They aren’t credible.
At a public relations event last year, “Cops are Nice”, the local police showed up at a venue to relate as real people. I told one officer about my repeated experience with his fellows as refuters, bullies, liars, obfuscators, prevaricators, deniers, patronizers, and so forth. He listened while his chest expanded with massive pain. Finally, he said with a heavy sigh, “Ma’am, we feel like targets – all the time.” My heart opened to him. We lingered and ‘compassionated’ over coffee. We got so deep in conversation that it all came down to the meaning of the all-sacred uniform. He agreed to read up on disturbing news stories and listen to an amazing TED Talk – Why I, as a black man, attend KKK rallies – about healing racism between a black musician and a white police officer who wears the blue uniform by day and the KKK hooded garb by night. We agreed that these sad people don’t know who they are and feel a sense of identity, belonging, and safety, only under uniform.
Before our conversation ended, I fantasized a negotiation with the nice officer for real police protection by offering him a non-stop supply of sugar donuts, but I decided not to ruin the moment. After all, we had moved a small mountain that day, together.
The world is burning with centuries-old rage about inequalities and abuse of power. It’s time for the police to wake up. It’s time for them to meditate. Meditation can heal everything, including issues of hatred, fear, wrong perception, and low self-esteem. If police had more awareness, there would be more fairness.
Finally, it’s fair to say that not all police are bullies. But since I refuse to call the police anymore, I probably won’t meet the good ones.
Quote by Osho from The Book of Wisdom, Ch 8, Q 5