(carlballou/Getty Images) Contrary to what some people increasingly think, not involving the police won’t make crime go away.
Belief in magic can be charming in a child. Much less so in an adult. So it’s disconcerting to see so many people express a belief that crime and disorder can be wished away if only the right people are chosen to deal with it. The right people, according to Vice News, are not the police.
I refer to the May 24 piece by Emma Ockerman that ran under the headline, “What If We Just Stopped Calling the Cops?” The article begins with an ominous scenario: “JeAnnette Singleton heard gunfire outside her home in Warren, Ohio, one night in August 2020.” A reader may wonder at this point if Singleton had been the intended victim, and if not she, then who? We aren’t told. “Two days later,” Ockerman continues, “she saw bullet holes in her and her son’s cars. She was scared. But she knew she wouldn’t call the police.”
And why not? “Singleton, a 60-year-old licensed therapist and social worker, is Black,” we learn. “So is her 29-year-old son.” Ockerman goes on to invoke the name of George Floyd, who had died at the hands of Minneapolis police officers months earlier. As was seen in the early ’90s, when every police encounter in the country was viewed through the prism of the Rodney King beating in Los Angeles, for the foreseeable future all such encounters will be judged by their potential for a George Floyd–like outcome.
Singleton worried the police would assume her son was a “drug dealer or a gang member,” the report reveals. “They could hurt him, she thought, or more likely do nothing at all.”
“I didn’t report it,” Singleton said, “and I hated it.”
Putting aside the question of why it took two days to discover the bullet holes, if Singleton or her son had indeed been the intended targets of the shooter, and if she was unwilling to involve the police in the matter, how did she imagine
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