Why have I been blogging about race and police violence so much? Because it is kids that look like mine that are dying and most in this country do not care, because it’s not their problem. But I fear for my sons and if you have darker skin and are reading this, yours as well.
No matter how much we teach them “proper manners”, how to dress and give a firm handshake, home school them and teach them to remain sexually pure…when the LEO sees them walking, riding a bike (yes, look it up), and of course driving, those lights are getting tripped because our boys are seen as the face of criminal behavior regardless of what the statistics say. It’s in our country’s DNA, and this is why we cannot ignore, and I will not on this blog, the racial component. Therefore, any action even viewed (e.g. Tamir Rice) as defiant can end in death. At best, the LEO will approach them like they’re dealing with a gang member, not the 4x per week, active youth group, mission-taking, home schooled, authority-respecting young man that you’ve tried to raise.
That part, I can tell you from experience, has never changed in this country.
That leads me to today’s post. This is the best article that I’ve read so far concerning the police violence that we are hearing about regularly today.
Personally, I’m tired of the ignorant straw-man arguments about LEOs. Many still use the “you don’t understand how hard it is…” like some Uno Draw Four card to win the discussion. First, that certainly doesn’t work on me, as I know that one doesn’t have to “be in the shoes” to judge right and wrong. If that’s the case, most of the people saying, “What about black-on-black” crime?” have no validity as many are not “black”.
That said, here’s someone who has been there, so what do you think he has to say? Here are some excerpts:
“On any given day, in any police department in the nation, 15 percent of officers will do the right thing no matter what is happening. Fifteen percent of officers will abuse their authority at every opportunity. The remaining 70 percent could go either way depending on whom they are working with. That’s a theory from my friend K.L. Williams, who has trained thousands of officers around the country in use of force…”.
“And I worked with people like the president of my police academy class, who sent out an email after President Obama won the 2008 election that included the statement, “I can’t believe I live in a country full of ni**er lovers!!!!!!!!” He patrolled the streets in St. Louis in a number of black communities with the authority to act under the color of law.”
“It is not only white officers who abuse their authority. The effect of institutional racism is such that no matter what color the officer abusing the citizen is, in the vast majority of those cases of abuse that citizen will be black or brown. That is what is allowed.”
“The profession — the endeavor — is noble. But this myth about the general goodness of cops obscures the truth of what needs to be done to fix the system…Institutional racism runs throughout our criminal justice system. Its presence in police culture, though often flatly denied by the many police apologists that appear in the media now, has been central to the breakdown in police-community relationships for decades in spite of good people doing police work.”
“Beyond the many unarmed blacks killed by police, including recently Freddie Gray in Baltimore, other police abuses that don’t result in death foment resentment, distrust, and malice toward police in black and brown communities all over the country. Long before Darren Wilson shot and killed unarmed Michael Brown last August, there was a poisonous relationship between the Ferguson, Missouri, department and the community it claimed to serve. For example, in 2009 Henry Davis was stopped unlawfully in Ferguson, taken to the police station, and brutally beaten while in handcuffs. He was then charged for bleeding on the officers’ uniforms after they beat him.”
“About that 15 percent of officers who regularly abuse their power: a major problem is they exert an outsize influence on department culture and find support for their actions from ranking officers and police unions. Chicago is a prime example of this:…The victims were electrically shocked, suffocated, and beaten into false confessions that resulted in many of them being convicted and serving time for crimes they didn’t commit. One man, Darrell Cannon, spent 24 years in prison for a crime he confessed to but didn’t commit. He confessed when officers repeatedly appeared to load a shotgun and after doing so each time put it in his mouth and pulled the trigger. Other men received electric shocks until they confessed.”
“This allows him to leave viewers with the impression that the recent protests against police brutality are baseless, and that allegations of racism are “totally wrong — just not true.” The reality of police abuse is not limited to a number of “very small incidents” that have impacted black people nationwide, but generations of experienced and witnessed abuse.The media is complicit in this myth-making: notice that the interviewer does not challenge Safir. She doesn’t point out, for example, the over $1 billion in settlementsthe NYPD has paid out over the last decade and a half for the misconduct of its officers. She doesn’t reference the numerous accounts of actual black or Hispanic NYPD officers who have been profiled and even assaulted without cause when they were out of uniform by white NYPD officers.”
“Instead she leads him with her questions to reference the heroism, selflessness, risk, and sacrifice that are a part of the endeavor that is law enforcement, but very clearly not always characteristic of police work in black and brown communities. The staging for this interview — US flag waving, somber-faced officers — is wash, rinse, and repeat with our national media. When you take a job as a police officer, you do so voluntarily. You understand the risks associated with the work. But because you signed on to do a dangerous job does not mean you are then allowed to violate the human rights, civil rights, and civil liberties of the people you serve. It’s the opposite. You should protect those rights, and when you don’t you should be held accountable. That simple statement will be received by police apologists as “anti-cop.” It is not.”
Please read the full article HERE!
This one needs to be bookmarked if you’re tired of some of those discussions as well.