Even if this online petition was capable of accomplishing it's goal, which it's not (unless we are underestimating the political power of local liberal elites), we have no illusions that changing the man in charge will change what his job requires him to do. When we work our jobs as bartenders, dishwashers, or construction workers, we know that we can't decide what our job will entail. We have to do what the job demands of us or we'll be fired. Being a police chief is no different. The policeman's job requires him to uphold the privileges of race, class, and gender our nation is built on.
We refuse to be sucked into the fantasies of bourgeois reform, hoping that this time the man in charge will be different. This perspective, that if we can just get a good police chief things will be better, is highly convenient for those who rely on the "good cops" to maintain their privileges as the system's reformers. We know from our daily interactions with police, the prison system, and all oppressive systems that it is not the man that makes the system from within, it is the system that molds the man to it's ends.
|Local graffito mentioned in a Nation magazine column (linked)|
No matter how many cops are replaced, no matter who the police chief is, as long as anyone in our society wears a gun and a badge and demands our obedience, that person is an oppressor and enforcer of privilege. Obfuscating that reality behind calls for the "bad apples" to be fired makes one an accomplice to the continuation of the police as an institution of domination. We need less cops, not better cops!