The highly controversial death of Micheal Brown has once again sparked the news media’s attention in police brutality and abuse of force. Unsurprisingly, every new report usually involves a white cop, and a black male. Their stories told and retold, all with similar predicaments, all with similar ends. The unspoken, unwritten disdain between the police and the black race is about as old as the “Policing System” itself, seemingly with no resolution in sight. Only being brought to light every so often by the combination of a slow news cycle and an obviously wronged black person. It is time that we as a nation come together and at least acknowledge that a problem exist. Every week, a new story hits local news and makes it’s cycle around social media and national re-posting sites, but nothing is accomplished. We are all outraged, we all want change, so why doesn’t anything change? Nothing changes because we have not pushed hard enough for change. This article is me pushing, and encouraging others to push. I have gathered several stories from across the nation that plainly show the problem. All of these stories are very hard to “spin” as the right wing news media loves to do. The evidence is clear, the abuse of power and brutality is plain. With this article I hope to keep the light on this issue and make a case for action. We don’t need any community leaders or local news to make a statement. We need the US government, as in the executive branch, to AT LEAST ACKNOWLEDGE that there is a nationwide problem between the police and the black race. And so, with that being stated I present my case to you, the reader.
Here we have 90 year old, 87 at the time of the incident, Venus Green who was brutality accosted in her home and rightfully searched, under the flimsy suspicion of a local shooting. After being called a “black bitch”, unlawfully detained, and manhandled, Mrs. Green locked the police officer in her basement while he was unlawfully searching her house without a warrant. It took 3 years for the city of Baltimore to settle out of court with Ms. Green for injuries she suffered from the incident including a separated shoulder. Do you think that the officer would have handled the incident a little differently had Ms. Green been another race?
Another incident pictured here, involves a white South Carolina State trooper shooting and wounding an unarmed black male after stopping him at a gas station. The black male, LeVar Jones, did as the S.C. trooper instructed and was shot. The trooper was arrested and charged immediately. However, do you think that the color of Jones’ skin played a role in the troopers eradicate actions?
In the video above and the link following it we see Detroit police follow two young black men into a restaurant. If the two men had been any real threat, the police would have stopped them before they entered the restaurant. But instead the officers chose to enter the restaurant behind the men and harass them. After the young men, in response, asserted their rights, the officers began a fight and then arrested them. Again, two white officers against unarmed black men. Are you beginning to see the pattern? Three months after the incident the city of Detroit dropped the charges of assault and battery, obstruction of justice, and resisting arrest, amidst news media pressure following the release of video of the incident. Do you think that the charges would have been dropped against these two young men if video was not available? Do the police have to be “policed” in order for all citizens to be treated fairly? Do you think that the color of the young men skin played a role in the officers acts of following and harassing them?
Then there is Eric Garner. Eric Garner was choked to death by “New York’s Finest” following a street fight that Garner helped break up. Mr. Garner was approached for questioning when one of the four officers questioning him, apparently, did not like his tone. In the video, Garner alleges that the police harass him routinely and request that they stop. Unarmed, literally with his back against the wall, Garner died screaming as loud as he could muster for help. It would seem like there should be more to this story, but sadly there isn’t anything else.
Lastly, in California, an officer brutally beat a 51 year old black woman because she was “walking in the traffic lanes” and “posed a threat to herself and others” during a routine traffic stop. In the video the officer is seen repeatedly landing blows directly in the head region of the woman. There is no explaining how this “use of force” is appropriate when it can clearly been seen that this woman was subdued long after the first 5 punches. Sadly, the officer distributed more than 10 punches. In the end the state of California settled out of court with the woman for 1.5 million dollars.
I picked these five incidents for their common elements. First, these five videos have unquestionable evidence, four of which have video. Secondly, in all five incidents the police departments have had to reprimand the officers involved. Third, the citizens involved are unarmed and black. Lastly, all five incidents began as a routine questioning of sorts. There is no questioning that these officers did not treat these citizens with respect, honor their rights, or follow correct protocol/procedure. The follow up question that you have to ask yourself is why. What caused these officers to jump so far left of their protocol/procedures. A reasonable answer is because of the citizens skin tone, which is a problem. It is a problem that these officers felt assured in their actions. It also lends itself to the idea that in the past these officers actions have been condoned.
In closing I present the case Floyd V. City of New York as proof that police officers, in at least New York, have been proven to discriminate and treat citizens differently because of the color of their skin. If this can be proven in New York, I believe it can be proven else where in the U.S. I present this case to the doubters. Being that it was proven true in at least one major city, I call on the executive branch of the government to at least acknowledge these facts.
I have started a petition on ” We the People”. It will not hurt my feelings if no one signs, as it has been with other petitions I have started. But I have done so, so that I can rest easy know that at least I tried. Will you be able to say the same?
“The only reason that we do not collectively take action is because “it” has not directly affected us individually. Only in being affected do we take on the dysfunction around us.” -S.R. Freshley