So, on the one hand I have been critical of the Black Lives Matters movement's essential strategy, to whit, that of breaking the law in order to gain attention for its agenda. I think that strategy is doomed to failure as a means of improving the problem set that it treats, as it obliges the police to take enforcement action against ever more people -- and the more aggressive the lawbreaking, the more aggressive the enforcement action is going to become in turn. You can't get to the place where the police learn to work with you if you're forcing them to either fail to do their duty or else to use force against you.
On the other hand, I'm sympathetic to a large part of their claims. Police militarization of equipment and training is a problem. It puts lives at risk needlessly by adopting a posture in which lethal force is an option early. The loss of the "peace officer" mentality that looks for solutions that regain and strengthen the common peace, in favor of a "law enforcement" mentality that merely acts to enforce the law, has damaged the police as much as it has damaged anyone. The use of the police as revenue collection agents, coupled with the multiplication of (increasingly trivial) offenses for which one can be fined, is harmful to the common peace and lawful order. It undermines public trust in the institution of the police, and that ends up also harming the police as well as the nation as a whole. Likewise, as the Waco situation shows (in a context in which race is a non-factor, as essentially everyone is white), genuinely independent review of police actions can be a helpful control against the impulse not to come clean when you make a serious mistake.
So, while I think they need a completely different strategy -- one of obeying the law scrupulously while pushing their agenda -- I'm open to hearing their policy ideas. An affiliated group has just released an agenda detailing several.
About half of them sound good to me, and the other half I think aren't so good. Broken windows policing is one I'm divided on. On the one hand, I'm not convinced it doesn't work, as demonstrated especially in once-dangerous urban areas in New York. I wonder if we couldn't use more of it in places like the south side of Chicago. On the other hand, it may be that there is a point of diminishing returns past which the policy should be allowed to slide -- a little -- in the interest of greater peace and trust between the police and the community at large.
I'm curious to hear thoughtful responses to it all.