Sunday, August 02, 2015

Bad Cop, Bad Cop

Why do cops keep killing black people?
North Charleston Patrolman Michael Thomas Slager firing several times at Walter Lamer Scott’s back while he's running away after the officer already had hit him with a stun gun. To make matters even worse, after he falls down the officer slowly walks toward Scott, who appears to be unresponsive, and places him in handcuffs. Slager was charged with murder after a video surfaced contradicting his initial police report.
Or putting Eric Garner in a chokehold for about 15 to 19 seconds during an arrest even though he repeated at least eight times, “I can’t breathe.” The New York City Medical Examiner's Office attributed Garner's death to a combination of a chokehold, compression of his chest, and poor health.
Or the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was fatally shot by Darren Wilson, 28, a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. On November 24, 2014, it was announced that the St. Louis County grand jury had decided not to indict Wilson. On March 4, 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice cleared Wilson of civil rights violations in the shooting, finding that witnesses who corroborated his account were credible while those who incriminated him were not, and that according to the evidence, Wilson shot Michael Brown in self-defense.
Or the death of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old boy fatally shot by a Cleveland police officer because the officer thought he was holding a gun when actually he was carrying a replica of a gun, a Colt pistol that shoots plastic pellets. There was even a caller to Cleveland’s 911 system that had reported that the gun Tamir was holding was “probably fake” but of course the officers did not know any of this at the time. On June 3, 2015, the County Sheriff's Office released a statement in which they declared their investigation to be completed and that they had turned their findings over to the county prosecutor, who will review the report and decide whether to present evidence to a grand jury. In the aftermath of the shooting, it was reported that officer Loehmann, in his previous job as a policeman in Independence, Ohio, had been deemed an emotionally unstable recruit and unfit for duty.

I would say we need to put a stop to all of this killing, but it's becoming more and more apparent that black lives just do not matter as much as other lives and perhaps to the police they do not matter at all.
And now there’s the case of Sandra Bland who was found hanged in a jail cell in Texas three days after she was arrested during a traffic stop. The family is ordering an independent autopsy to find out what really happened to the 28-year-old. Authorities claim that Bland committed suicide in their custody, but family members are skeptical.
So if you’re black, must you just accept that you’re born with a target on your back? Is this how we’re going to allow things to regress without even raising an eyebrow, realizing that there is something happening here and what it is has become altogether too clear?

And the grand juries and all of those supposed special investigations are not doing a damn thing to get to the poisonous roots of racism that have been embedded in our society since long before Jim Crow.
And I am not even sure what can be done about any of this other than continuing to ask the question, "Why do cops keep killing black people?" until we get an answer that confronts this issue and doesn’t just bury it.
We need to realize and accept that we’re all a part of this problem and stop shielding our eyes and pretending that we’re not all black in some facet or other and need to stand together as a united front against all of these bad cops who are murdering people in cold blood. This should not only be a black issue but should be a people issue concerning each and every one of us and until that happens we’re all fucked.

Charles Cicirella

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