Traffic stop reform starts bottom up; no hope for fix from top

Kaitlin DeFoor, a Chattanoogan who works as a Coca-Cola sales rep, suffered a traumatic encounter with Tennessee Highway Patrol, whose officer co-opted a Panera Bread store parking lot to arrest her and demand she sign a citation for using her phone while traveling in her car. The charge was dismissed. (Photo Kaitlin DeFoor on FB)

Bottom-up reform relies on the commoner to accomplish its end, not the chief, leader or high official.

By David Tulis / 92.7 NoogaRadio

Reform of abusive police practices will rely more and more on the working man, the broken man, the jobless man, person with unpaid fines, the soul with three jobs and no degree. It relies on a man with a drug habit or a girlfriend with a drug habit; his parents broke up when he was young.

He is the man who’s finding his sense of dignity as an image bearer of God, even though he may not be a Christian. Unconsciously, he is relying on the strong towns theory, the ideas of Christian reconstruction and bottom-up reform, reclaiming the public square for liberty, with public improvement  emanating from self-improvement brought by particular grace (the Holy Spirit) and common grace (those crumbs that fall from the children’s table).

Bottom-up reform does not rely on great ones. The district attorney and inquisitor. The city council, the mayor, high officials such as the Rev. David Banks or Judge Clarence Shattuck, all of whom have maintained the status quo. It does not rely on courts to set a new policy. It does not rely on elected officials such as Sen. Bo Watson or Sen. Todd Gardenhire. It does not rely and cannot rely on the lawyer judicial cartel.

It does not rely on the NAACP or Unity Group of Chattanooga Organized for Action nor on Concerned Citizens for Justice nor CALEB, the group of groups launching the community bail fund this week into its first case.

It does not rely on policymakers, government agencies, churches or programs. It understands that there is an anomie and the corporatization of society and that there is little soul left on modern American society.

Reform has to be bottom up. It has to come from individual men and women who stand their ground because are made in God’s image. They stand their ground and insist on their rights because they are tired of living in fear and under servitude. Reform will not — and cannot — come from the top.

No person at the top can see the problem because of all the compromises he made to get there, and all the support he has among hundreds of connections that would be disturbed if he threw down the law against the judicial deep state.

He is incapable, because of his commitments to others, of seeing the problem nor seeing any remedy for it.

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