By Bishop Marjorie Holt, PhD
The world has had to witness one of the most egregious acts performed by some who were sworn IN to SERVE but bowed OUT to flex. I am sure that the whole of the environment that was established in the S.C.O.R.P.I.O.N. Unit, a/k/a Street Crime Operation to Restore Peace In Our Neighborhood, the undercover crime suppression Unit of the Memphis Police Department, seemingly escaped or aborted the real intent for the Unit being created.
The Unit chose to create and initiate its own behavioral context and content that would be uniquely shared and functioned in to squarely define them in a “closed, exclusive, yet selective manner” with no threshold that is/was able to measure eminent risk of their service/lack of service.
The question remains how does one evaluate and derive at that which makes sense when there is no leadership or supervision relevant to the task at hand, which is to minimize the risk(s) or maximize the outcome(s)?
And as a professional with a background in sociological ideologies, the study of social causes and the consequences of human behavior, it is baffling that an operation of this magnitude would be implemented upon the request from the powers to be, the community, or rankings and ratings of the proliferation of crime, that no tool or instrument would have been implemented to trace the relevancy of or the magnitude of hopeful results that were intended to be used as a model in and throughout the U. S. with the potential to decrease crime throughout volatile metropolitan cities.
We must ask relating to this brutal killing of Tyre Nichols, where was the mental acuity of each of the Officers that prompted such action without regard to the life of an individual that looked like them, all of them?
We live, AFRICAN Americans, with the fear of White Police Officers on a daily basis because of the historical perspective that looms personal reflections and references to actions that have led to death of family members. So it prompts me to ask: at what point do you stop being Black to become Blue and take on the juxtaposed culture of the BLUE and forget the history of the BLACK?
Did not the sacrifices of our past create a path for your future and how was it so easy for you, all of you, to vacate that significance? Even in the wake of another tragedy, the lens at which we look through this one, reminds us of the power of togetherness even when one looks like us, even when it’s wrong, and how it is that acculturation in this case, usurps commitment, as well as exhibited the absence of detachment physically, psychologically, intellectually, spiritually and, yes, morally.
We do applaud the quick response on the part of the D. A. and the Police Chief of the Memphis Police Department but there is a much larger systemic issue that must be addressed, not just the inactivation or elimination of this unit.
Rather there needs to be an overall overhaul of the total operation of each Police Department nationally, the purposes for each unit/special units being created, developed, initiated and how each will function, with the overriding and humbling mission that must never be aborted or interrupted, and that is how do you understand what it means TO PROTECT AND TO SERVE and what will your commitment look like with or without monitoring?
It is unfortunate that the absence of humanity, along with the distorted egos of these disguised persons, aka THUGS identified as Police Officers, have now quickly eroded their lives, their families, their community, and this nation. Once again, at the hands of the Police, we will heretofore, witness them and others as being living examples of From COPS to CONS and in this case, From MEMPHIS to MISERY!
Marjorie Holt, Ph. D.
Bishop at Bethesda Christian Center
5967 Telegraph Rd.
Toledo, Oh. 43612