The telegenic police giving impassioned speeches and kneeling with and hugging protesters while their coworkers indiscriminately tear gas, beat, cage, and shoot rubber bullets (or in Louisville, actual bullets) are nothing more than superficial propaganda to make (mostly, but not all) white people feel good.
Institutionally, the police (including the “good” ones within) views itself as an aggrieved victim. They are entitled pissbabies unable to withstand a modicum of criticism who, horrifyingly, have access to an arsenal of war material while conservative leadership urges them to lay waste to the actual humans resisting them.
They (including “good” cops) want this all to go away as soon as possible. When/if it does, they’ll talk about reform, diversity hiring, cultural & mental health awareness, sensitivity training, etc. – all of which is already being done and doesn’t work at all. The well-oiled PR machinery is already in place for the authority-approved “healing process” to commence.
At the very least, these “good” cops should take off their thin blue line apparel, remove their shitty punisher tattoos and, most importantly, stop allowing themselves to be used as feel-good propaganda shields for the paramilitary terrorist organization they freely chose to join.
The police as institutional entity is fundamentally unreformable. The rot is ubiquitous and runs too deep. There is an unbroken line connecting Derek Chauvin to its former iterations; from the slave patrols of the south; to the union-busting tools of the bourgeoisie; to the professionalized purveyors of state violence during the civil rights era; and, finally, to their eager enforcement the failed racist War on Drugs.
Nothing less than defunding and demilitarizing should be seen as an acceptable outcome to the unrest spawned by the murder of George Floyd. If we dare to dream we might go further:
The alternative is not more money for police training programs, hardware or oversight. It is to dramatically shrink their function. We must demand that local politicians develop non-police solutions to the problems poor people face. We must invest in housing, employment and healthcare in ways that directly target the problems of public safety. Instead of criminalizing homelessness, we need publicly financed supportive housing; instead of gang units, we need community-based anti-violence programs, trauma services and jobs for young people; instead of school police we need more counselors, after-school programs, and restorative justice programs.