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Thecountry has witnessed domestic attacks on law enforcement officers onseveral occasions. The assassination of Darren Goforth, a deputy atthe Harris County Sheriff Department on August 28, 2015, is among theseveral cases of inland attacks on law enforcement officers. TheDallas incident, leading to the death of five officers, suffices tobe the most recent and fatal assaults. Seven other officers werelater attacked on a Thursday night by sniper fire (Achenbach et al.1). This paper seeks to identify the motives for the attacks. Inaddition, the paper will propose workable solutions that can resolvethe impending problem.
Reasonfor the Conflict
Fromthe incidents, it turns out that retaliation about the killing ofindividuals from minority groups particularly the African Americanswas the primary cause of the attacks on law enforcement officials.According to David Brown, the Dallas Police Chief, “the attackerwas upset about the recent police shootings and said he wanted tokill white people, especially white officers (1).” Investigationsconducted by the Guardian revealed that young black Americans werenine times more likely to succumb to death by police officers ascompared to their counterparts, the White Americans. According to thestudy, the country witnessed 1,134 deaths in 2015 under the custodyof law enforcement officers. Research indicates that male AfricanAmericans that constituted 15% of the total killings represent a mere2% of the total American population. The death rate of the masculineAfrican Americans was five times that of their White counterpartsaged between 15 and 34 years (Swaine et al. 1). From the killings, itis evident that attacks against the police officers are moves by theupset African Americans to avenge the demise of their counterparts.
Thesecond reason emanates from disruption of trust, as the strongestbond that yields peace between civilians and law enforcementofficers. In the US, a police officer is in charge of 266 civilianssince for every 100,000 citizens there are 376 police officers(Achenbach et al. 1). Domestic attacks originate from civilians thatbelieve that it is the responsibility of the police officers to offersecurity to the communities. However, cases involving increasingdeaths of civilians in the hands of the officers communicate themessage that the law enforcement sector has derailed from one of itscore obligations which is to protect civilians. As a result, theattacks act as a reminder that the community no longer trusts thepolice officers.
Thethird reason originates from the perception of civilians that lawenforcement officers are unable to implement the law by ensuringjustice to the offended, apprehension and punishment of criminalsfollowing the occurrence of a crime (Achenbach, et al. 1). Consequently, there is a growing notion among citizens that thepolice force is unable to protect citizens against various criminalactivities. As a result, reduced confidence in the law enforcementofficers also acts as a catalyst to the planning and execution ofdomestic attacks by citizens.
Solutionsto the Conflict
Theestablishment of strategic partnerships at all government levels isan effective solution to the conflict. It is necessary to initiatetop-level talks that entail comprehensive and full partnershipsbetween the federal and state governments in combating domesticattacks (Mayer & Scott 6). The Federal Government should alsoprovide leadership in improving the security of both the black peopleand the police. Instigating a culture of change where the police canaccommodate the American Black population, while the Black populationviews the police as people committed to protecting them, is a vitalstep in resolving the impending security issue. The initiative wouldguarantee a positive relationship between the law enforcementofficials and civilians, therefore, mitigating the domestic attacks.By so doing, the officials would regain the already fading trust fromthe civilians thereby curbing the attacks.
Itis imperative to decentralize the security infrastructure andframework to include all the stakeholders. The continued occurrenceof domestic assaults implies that there is a need to change theculture of a centralized security system to a decentralized one thatcollects intelligent data at the local level (Bjelopera 52). The newstrategy should be an intelligent-led policing model that yields aclose working relationship between the law enforcement agencies atthe federal, state, and local levels with the community. The designwill ensure equal treatment of both suspected and convicted criminalsthereby eroding the perception held by minority groups that they aresubject to unfair treatment by the officers. The result is theelimination of domestic attacks on grounds of vengeance.
Thepossession of bomb-making materials, ammunitions, rifles and othersweapons by citizens may suffice to be the motivating factor behindthe attacks. A workable solution is to implement stringentregulations on firearm ownership. Investigations should be conductedespecially on people with past criminal records and those believed tohave a mental illness. Guns, for instance, should not be sold tocriminal suspects or people diagnosed with mental illness.
Achenbach,Joel., Wan, William., Bermann, Mark., and Balingit, Moriah. FiveDallas police officers were killed by a lone attacker, authoritiessay.The Washington Post, 2016.<https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/07/08/like-a-little-war-snipers-shoot-11-police-officers-during-dallas-protest-march-killing-five/>
Bjelopera,Jerome P. Thedomestic terrorist threat: Background and issues for Congress.Congressional Research Service, 2012. Print.
Mayer,Matt A., and Scott G. Erickson. ChangingToday`s Law Enforcement Culture to Face 21st-century Threats.Heritage Foundation, 2011. Print.
Swaine,Jon., Laughland, Oliver., Larty, Jamiles., and McCarthy, Ciara. Youngblack men killed by US Police at highest rate in year of 1,134deaths. TheGuardian, 2015.https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/dec/31/the-counted-police-killings-2015-young-black-men