This issue has two sides. First, where does the necessity for protection from civil and criminal prosecution for unfortunate human error, necessary snap decision making in extremely high stress situations, allowable self defense and defense of the public end, and criminal/civil culpability for their actions kick in?
Secondly, what other accepted practices that have evolved over the years needs to be revisited?
As stated, some protection for public employees is essential in maintaining public services. Since we're all human, and with that comes inevitable errors, how can any of us deny others, who's human error could result in tragedy while performing on our behalf, some measure against ruin when it occurs? What smart, productive person would accept such personal risk for $50k and a pension (that they most likely would never last to obtain) without some protection?
Do policies like "stop and frisk", "asset forfeiture", questioning tactics for minors, plea bargain corruptions, stoplight cameras, racial profiling, militay equipment, zero tolerance/mandatory sentencing, excessive force (always justified by the 95% overused exclamation "officer safety" even when it's ridiculous); lend themselves to overall distrust and even hatred of public servants?
"Community policing" is a joke once practiced and beneficial. ..On the other hand, there are a lot of individual cops who are stellar public servants.
As it is right now, and frankly forever, cases like Zimmerman and Wilson could never be convicted for no other reason than "reasonable doubt". Nobody who is impartial could say either are guilty "beyond a reasonable doubt" given our laws of self defense and the evidence presented each jury.
The "reasonable doubt" standard has its own inherent issues. The most public frustration comes when someone overwhelmingly believed to be guilty, is acquitted. The reality is that the standard is in place based on the idea that some guilty must go free to minimize the number of innocent people wrongly convicted...a trade off. ..
Reasonable doubt isn't going anywhere, it's a constitutional standard which has no real opposition. All of the policies mentioned above however are just that...policies. Policy and accepted practice can be changed without a constitutional battle.
Many of the demands I have been hearing surrounding Wilson and Zimmerman would require constitutional amendment to remedy at the expense of more innocent conviction, or prosecution/conviction of unfortunate human error. Would stripping (or reining in) our servants of the policies above, which would actually be possible in a reasonable amount of time, quiet the angry?
It seems all I hear is noise, no solutions (which are even remotely possible)...