Demario Davis: “We have to change the way policing is done”

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Many companies in every industry are putting out statements, which don’t really state all that much.

When Saints linebacker Demario Davis was asked about the violence that has erupted from protests of the death of George Floyd, he had specific ideas.

During an appearance on NFL Network, Davis said any hope of progress has to begin with honoring the memory of Floyd — but it can’t stop there.

“We can’t bring justice to these families,” Davis said. “Justice would be bringing those people back and we can’t bring them back. The first thing we can do is try to honor those families. The way we honor those families specifically the Floyd family is making sure that all four of those officers are not just charged and arrested but convicted. Three of the officers haven’t been arrested but 1,600 people have been arrested since the protests began. That’s a problem and that continues to sweep the issue that exists under the rug.

Then we have to change the way policing is done in our country. We know how to respond to crisis, we know how to respond to tragedies. Just think back to 9/11 —  9/11 changed the way that we do airports. You’ll never walk into an airport and it’ll be the same. It was changed as a form of protection. We would never allow that situation to happen again in our country and that’s what we need to do around policing. We need to change the way that that we police so we won’t have these incidents come up again. Because every time it does it tears at the threads of America. It tears us apart.”

Davis also wasn’t prepared to give a pass to the law enforcement industry for a “a few bad apples” defense (illustrated in a different way by Chris Rock), saying standards have to be higher for certain jobs.

“We can’t allow bad apples in this specific situation in this specific occupation,” Davis said. “It would be the same if we were to say it’s OK to have a few bad apples as pilots. Most of our pilots do well, but a few crash planes, we can’t have that. Some occupations can’t afford to have a few bad apples and police officers is one of them.”

Davis is a member of The Players Coalition, an organization that sprang up in response to another non-violent protest of police brutality (which wasn’t received well at the time either). He cited the diversity of every locker room, but recognized that more needed to be done.

“For whatever reason everybody is getting involved in this conversation saying, ‘Hey, we have to do something.’ And that’s what’s been needed,” he said. “That’s what’s been needed in the past, and that’s why I’m hopeful in this time because it’s different because everybody is coming to the forefront and saying we’re going to link our arms with the black community. They’ve been crying for too long, now we need change. And that’s what we’ve been asking in every other situation that’s came before.”

This time, the anger bubbled over. This time is different. And this time, Davis hopes the response changes as well.

31 responses to “Demario Davis: “We have to change the way policing is done”

  1. He is absolutely right. There needs to be laws specific to the conduct of law enforcement officers. A 100% accountability blanket. The District Attorneys who try cases with the assistance of those same officers need to be taken out of the procedures. That is an inherent conflict of interest that must be addressed. We need comprehensive laws and monitoring of police conduct. That is the only way change will occur over time.

  2. Simple, maybe start with stop committing crimes. Maybe the NFL could lead the with any criminal conviction while under contract is a lifetime ban.

  3. Pure evil to choke a man to death while he begs for his life.

    Pure evil to watch the man being choked to death, and do nothing to stop it.

  4. Riots and looting sure isn’t the solution. All it does is shift focus from the original incident to the more current crimes committed by the people rioting.

  5. Police brutality and racism will never be remedied unless there’s a political revolution. The establishment has too much invested in the existing system.

  6. MostlyRight says:
    June 1, 2020 at 4:50 pm

    Get rid of police unions who fight for the job security of every bad cop.

    ————————————————————————————-

    Nailed it! This is the biggest problem with getting rid of the bad apples. Until they do something as bad as what happened last week, the unions will make sure they don’t get fired.

  7. At this point I am living for November 3rd, so we can affect the change that will truly make a difference in America. Those in power now, are not doing what is best for this nation. They are destroying it.

  8. If you have 1000 good cops and 10 bad cops, but the good cops don’t do anything about the bad cops, you really have 1010 bad cops.

  9. fringetastic says:
    June 1, 2020 at 6:11 pm
    If you have 1000 good cops and 10 bad cops, but the good cops don’t do anything about the bad cops, you really have 1010 bad cops.
    ______________________________

    Absolutely nailed it.

  10. Very well said and spot on. One of the most difficult professions in the world to do correctly, but they are compensated horribly. If we really want to make changes in how police do their jobs, it should be worth their while (the same argument can be made for teachers).

  11. For too long this has been a problem in America. The double standard is disgusting. Dylan root shoots up a black church and not only is he arrested with no harm done the cops treat him to Burger King before taking him to jail. George Floyd allegedly tries to use a fake bill and hes murdered in broad daylight while unarmed and not resisting. Our system is broken. If you dont see it you’re part of the problem. These bad cops are making the real cops who serve every day with honor look bad. I’ll never understand why the good cops toe the blue line. Screw that.

  12. Police brutality and racism will never be remedied unless there’s a political revolution. The establishment has too much invested in the existing system.
    ————
    Yea those “revolutions” have worked out really well for civil rights and tolerance elsewhere. anyone who thinks this is a brutl racist country hasn’t seen much of the world except as a tourist.

  13. Well.
    You can take after most of the blue states that release criminals willy nilly.

  14. Police have about the hardest job there is, dealing with the real scum of society in many cases. People that would kill you for $20 or because you looked at them wrong or didn’t pay them proper “respect.” Differentiating the simple law breaker pr the innocent person from the really dangerous criminal is a tough job for anyone. Doing it in the heat of the moment with physical harm a distinct possibility is even harder. Police get no respect from a huge portion of society. I am not saying all police are good, there are bad police just like there are bad teachers, bad lawyers, etc. But no one can deny they have a most difficult job that involves routinely risking their lives. You can’t Monday morning QB that type of stuff unless you have done it yourself.

  15. The actual statistics are that shootings by the police are way down the last 3 years. I would guess this has more to do with increased use of body cameras but the decline is a fact.

  16. Ya not sure destroying stores and stealing shoes is helping, or making the ghost of that murdered guy too proud, or doing anything positive for racial stereotypes.

    I never watch news but my brother had CNN on and some clown was comparing it to the Boston Tea Party

  17. First of all he wasn’t “choked to death” autopsy confirmed that. He died from pre-existing conditions exhasberated by the struggle with police and the knee pinning. Yes, it was wrong and that cop should do time but stop saying he was “choked to death”. RiP George Floyd.

  18. Agree with most of what he said but this “1,600 people have been arrested since the protests began”. Nobody was arrested when the protest started, they didn’t start arresting until the riots started.

    Would be great to get all the bad apples out of law enforcement, and also agree one of the best ways is restricting the police unions. But just like any job, you can not take away every right they have. Curse somebody or put on the cuffs to tight and they lose their job.

    I think one of the main reasons some bad apples don’t get fired is simply there is nobody in line waiting to take their place. The job isn’t easy, it is very stressed filled and the pay isn’t great. Police have the highest divorce rate, highest alcoholism rate, and highest suicide rate by profession.

    Much more training is needed, more accountability is needed, maybe even mandatory counselling is needed. The reason for the mandatory counselling is because if an officer asks for it that will be held against him/her. And if you want the best of the best you have to pay for it.

  19. I agree. His stance is well thought out. And for those who disagree, consider the fact that it’s not just a black man-white cop issue, if that helps in the perception of it. Any solution can affect everyone, and may be to their benefit, including those in law enforcement who do the right thing as well. Cops are not inherently the bad guys, same are as with any group of people. Unlike most people though, they have the heavy responsibility of having to be the bigger man in crisis situations. They don’t get to have slip-ups in judgement. That’s why they deserve respect, but also why they deserve ridicule when they don’t act right. They have one of the toughest jobs in the world, but the reason it is so tough is that they’re held to a higher standard-or should be. However, the job is not treated with the respect that it should be, and that affects its effectiveness. What I mean by that is this: cops are not valued enough to warrant the more stringent standards that would weed out a lot of the people who end up being “bad apples”.

    We can’t expect anything more from criminals, but we can expect more from law enforcement. And to be fair to them, it’s much easier to judge their actions from the outside than to be in their shoes. That doesn’t mean that they-and we-cannot do better. For some of us, it’s respecting them more. For others, it’s demanding more. And for them, it’s making sure that everyone around never says, “screw it, this job isn’t worth it.” Bear in mind that though the only headlines are when cops do wrong, cops who do right are taken for granted. I don’t there is a way forward without acknowledging that and also acknowledging Davis’ argument that incidents like Floyd’s should never happen and shouldn’t be excused.

    The issues are never as black and white (figuratively) as we would like them to be. Better training, better to pay to attract better candidates, and better community relations along with more respect for police will lead to more qualified candidates and better character models in the police force, and hopefully end incidents like Floyd’s murder. We can come up with all the reasons for or against a point of view, but no one wants to see that happen, or have to explain to a loved one why his/her/their friend or relative won’t be ever coming home again. We have to be better, and that’s on all of us, as well as cops. Specific solutions have a chance at success, and instead of fighting on Facebook or in the streets, time would be better spent trying to find them. I don’t know if he and I would completely agree, but I laud Davis for trying.

    My basic point is this: something needs to be done, even if you think the problem is just to restore trust. The issue, beyond George Floyd, is that cops have a tough job and some need to make better decisions more consistently. One or two are as impactful as one or two hundred. Better decisions come from better employees who we value enough to train better and equip better, and like Davis said, hold more accountable as part of that. It’s easier to someone more accountable when you hold them to a higher standard and invest more in them, and chances are that they’ll do a better job. Policing is too big a responsibility to be left to someone making under $40,000 (starting wage for an officer in my area is $37,500 with a four year degree, less without) and occasionally questionable character or intelligence (most of course do not fall into this category, but one or two who can have that very same impact as one or George Floyd style murders). Demand more, value more, hold more accountable. I think that’s the way.

  20. Hard to see meaningful change happen with policing. The police officers who killed Floyd didn’t follow established protocols. Meanwhile, police protocols are established by many decades, centuries of criminal codes and case law. The meaningful change sought here is really just showing up to vote in November, getting rid of bad “leaders” whose ignorance and lack of empathy prevent them from doing a good job. The apathetic, low voter turnout in the last election is appalling in view of the result of the election and these protests, which were completely avoidable.

  21. fringetastic says:
    June 1, 2020 at 6:11 pm

    If you have 1000 good cops and 10 bad cops, but the good cops don’t do anything about the bad cops, you really have 1010 bad cops.
    ==========================================

    So by that logic, if a person is a victim of violence in a neighborhood that does not help the police identify the bad person that committed the crime, the whole neighborhood is bad. Go it.

  22. Finally, there are a couple of good ideas to help. Now, let’s get both sides of the issue together and agree on something other than blaming the other side. If we don’t do it together, it won’t get done, not one thing. And, anyone who thinks the riots express a valued opinion should be kept as far as possible from any effort.

  23. upnorthvikesfan says:
    June 1, 2020 at 5:22 pm
    MostlyRight says:
    June 1, 2020 at 4:50 pm

    Get rid of police unions who fight for the job security of every bad cop.

    ————————————————————————————-

    Nailed it! This is the biggest problem with getting rid of the bad apples. Until they do something as bad as what happened last week, the unions will make sure they don’t get fired.

    ——————-

    What happened to George Floyd was certainly bad, but there has been worse and officers were still not held accountable. I’m not sure why this one is the one that breaks the camels back but I am glad it is finally coming to a head because otherwise it will continue.

    I’m generally not for getting rid of unions but this particular union is rotten to its core. I understand protecting members, but when other members are eroding your standing in the world then maybe its time to make some examples of that. The Fraternal Order of Police has NEVER done that. They will protect their own regardless of what they do to the citizens they are sworn to serve and protect.

  24. tqaztec says:
    June 2, 2020 at 8:28 am
    fringetastic says:
    June 1, 2020 at 6:11 pm

    If you have 1000 good cops and 10 bad cops, but the good cops don’t do anything about the bad cops, you really have 1010 bad cops.
    ==========================================

    So by that logic, if a person is a victim of violence in a neighborhood that does not help the police identify the bad person that committed the crime, the whole neighborhood is bad. Go it.

    ————————————

    Is it possible that maybe we can hold police officers to a higher standard than some random neighborhood?

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