Justice is provided to any group of people in a nation and its states and communities when duly elected officials of the people pass and enforce laws that are written to protect their lives and property from abuse or confiscation by others. Laws are written by legislators, enforced by police officials, and individuals in incidents of unlawful activity are judged by elected officials and juries from the people in accord with the evidence that defines the incident and the law or laws that are written to be applied to the individuals involved in the incident under consideration by the appropriate judicial court.
There is no doubt that most communities of people in any state or nation include individuals who harbor prejudicial opinions of other individuals, who seek to gain resources for themselves in ways that are not lawfully permitted, and who are prone to express their feelings of anger and frustration against others who they believe have abused them in acts of personal physical violence or verbal abuse. So most individuals live in communities where there is always the possibility of unlawful or disrespectful or unfair activity or speech being expressed against them.
When an individual becomes involved in a situation that he or she feels is unlawful or disrespectful or unfair or abusive, he or she has some opportunity to decide how he or she is going to respond to the person who is abusing him or her. If his or her response is in keeping with the law, the incident can be resolved in a peaceful way. If his or her response is also unlawful or disrespectful, it only complicates the situation and makes a peaceful solution of the abusive problem more unlikely.
Police officers in any community have a special responsibility to enforce the laws that apply to the residents of that community and to personally protect them from physical harm and to protect their property from being confiscated or destroyed by others. In some circumstances they will have to make quick decisions regarding how they are going to legally enforce the laws and bring the situation of abuse or personal loss under control so that its issues can be legally resolved. In some incidents the nature of the present activity of individuals at the site of the disorder or crime may require the application of force by the police officer in order for him or her to bring the situation under control.
Victims of criminal activity may protest against unjust decisions in courts by appealing the judge’s decisions. But criminal activity by victims is no way to protest any injustice. And riots are only expressions of a crowd of people who are out of control and prone to illegal activities of their own. Riots have little chance of implement justice in any situation.
The incident in Ferguson MO on August 9, 2014 in which a white police officer, Darren Wilson, shot and killed Michael Brown, a black young man, who, although he was unarmed at the time, his actions and attitude presented a serious physical threat to officer Wilson who was unable to get Mr. Brown to surrender to him by lying prone down on the street. This incident and the subsequent judgment of a Grand Jury that reviewed all of the evidence regarding the incident before ruling that the officer Wilson had not acted in any criminal way in his behavior in the situation has created a wide spread discussion and debate regarding the relationship that often exists between police officers and the residents of the communities in which they serve. Some members of that community and those in other communities feel that police officers are often unfair and overly harsh in the ways that they apprehend and handle individuals who have committed a crime or are possible suspects in a crime, even though police officers have well established laws governing their actions in the completion of their law enforcement responsibilities.
Lawlessness at any level of society that is not enforced for any reason weakens the foundation for justice in every community and state and nation where it is accepted. If individuals anywhere have to apply their own resources for control and safety and protection from personal injury and the loss of personal property through their own efforts, everyone in such places are in danger of being a victim of violence or abusing or disrespectful or thieving activity from others.
There is no simple way to establish justice anywhere. But its foundation has to be respect for the laws by everyone who wants to live in a safe place where every individual can be treated with respect. What do you think forms the foundation for justice in any community or state or nation? What are the most effective strategies that victims of injustices have for correcting the injustices that they have suffered? Let’s talk about this.