Legal but not just

Tough morning, tough week. I’ll (mostly) avoid whining, but let’s just agree that any day that starts with sleep deprivation is a tough day.

Tough week because it’s been awful watching Louisville make the national news over the Breonna Taylor tragedy. I’ve come to embrace Louisville as my second home, and seeing it torn apart by protestors and police is tough. Tragedy upon tragedy.

I have a pithy, high-minded, fully formed essay about all this somewhere in my head, but it’s hidden away after a sleepless night. The gist of it is that the protestors are protesting the wrong thing. Don’t blame the cops – they’re just doing what they’re trained and told to do, albeit poorly. Blame the law. Protest the legal system, not the enforcers. In no world should it be legal to break in a citizen’s door in the dead of night and rush in with deadly force. Our homes are our safe place, our sanctuary, our castle. Government-sanctioned entry to that place should be rare, should be a highly-regulated event and should be documented vigorously. For example, it should be illegal to fulfill a warrant and enter a private space (home or business), without a video record (body cams).

But in this lovely year of 2020 the powers that be in Louisville have ruled that the break-in and shooting that killed Breonna Taylor was legal. So be it. But that doesn’t make it right, or just. So attack the legal system. Change it.

Going to war with the police is (a) the wrong target, (b) unwinnable, and (c) also unjust. Two wrongs won’t make a right. So take all that protest energy and change the system.

I know, easy to say but tough to do. But the right thing often is.

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