Jul. 7th, 2016

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I'd placed the video call while sitting in the car atop a remote hill. The state park campground hosted my tent as well as a dozen friends, and tho I'd be staying only one night, I was anxious for the respite.

As we chatted, zie told me my stream had become choppy. "I'll drive out to the road for better signal," I told hir. Slipping out one earbud and tossing the screen aside, I started the car and headed toward the entrance.

Partway out, a car appeared ahead of me as I exited a hairpin turn. It moved aside, then pulled in tight behind me. I knew what was coming.

Sure enough, when shortly after exiting the campground I turned off, the car pulled in behind me and turned on its flashing lights. I rolled down the window, shut off the car, and made a show of tossing the car keys on the roof above me.

Zie chatted with me between moments with the officer. He verified my information and that I was allowed to be at the campground, and let me go on my way. When zie commented that it had gone smoothly, I could only reply that of course it had. "I'm white."

I can't indict every official involved in law enforcement, but more critically I can't excuse a system which ignores, or worse excuses, the culpability of individuals who show themselves to be undeserving stewards of the trust we have placed on them to pursue the peace in the guise of the whole public.

Being unable, or more likely unwilling, to protect all of us means you cannot be trusted to protect any of us. And that these failings are allowed to continue without any effort to understand how to ameliorate the issue let alone hold accountable those who have abdicated their duty to us means the entire system must be treated as unworkable. Its failure is our failure, and the lack of change is our shame.

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dariaphoebe

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