Scholars and pundits often ponder the chasm between the negative views that Blacks and Latinos tend to have of police officers versus the overwhelmingly positive views held by Whites and Asians. But for members of the first two communities the reason is clear: Blacks and Latinos suffer disproportionately when untamed police officers run amok and the American highways and byways have corpses as evidence of the grim, haunting, heartbreaking reality that there is a war on minority families by unruly cops.
Summer 2014 has been particularly brutal for Blacks and Latinos at the hands of police officers. Littered across the law enforcement landscape is a rogues gallery of out of control police officers who shoot and kills Blacks and Latinos with impunity. Afterwards, they retreat to their hiding places like schoolyard bullies who start the fight and then high tail it off the premises when confronted by any able opponent.
From robbing residents in Long Island, New York, as part of a drug gang, to imposing an illegal chokehold in Staten Island to kill Eric Garner, lawless New York cops have a template for illegal conduct that they do not seem eager to shed, after cockily embracing the Teflon persona for years, a persona that was in full bloom under former mayors Rudy Guiliani and Michael Bloomberg.
The grand jury in Garner’s case convenes today, Monday, September 29. In Ferguson, Missouri, officer Darren Wilson shot and killed unarmed African-American teenager Michael Brown and left his body splayed in the street for almost a day, like he was a wild animal undeserving of respect. The grand jury in Brown’s case is not expected to return a decision until next year.
Speaking on Wednesday, September 24 at the UN General Assembly, President Barack Obama mentioned Brown’s shooting, saying “It left the city divided.” Addressing the Congressional Black Caucus Awards Dinner on Saturday night, September 27, the President said that police targeting of the black community makes it “difficult for the people who need the police the most to trust them.’ He also said that “a culture of mistrust exists between law enforcement and the African-American community” and “young men of color are targeted by the police for walking while black,” among other things.
Sexual predator police officer Daniel Holtzclaw in Oklahoma City was recently fitted with an ankle monitor and charged with the crime of preying on vulnerable African-American women ranging in age from late 30’s to late 50s. According to the charges brought against him in court on August 29, evidence showed that Holtzclaw raped some of the women and forced others to perform sexual acts on hi as a regular part of his daily routine.
How on earth do police officers expect to be respected or trusted by the Black and Latino communities when they face the repercussions of police misconduct?
The decision by outgoing U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to launch an investigation into the Ferguson police force for repeated violations of the civil rights of Blacks and Latinos is a great first step. Hopefully the investigation will quell this disgraceful blue code by unsavory police officers who believe that they function above the law that they are sworn to uphold. Is it any wonder the rap group N.W.A.’s 1988 hit “F the Police” became such a huge inner city anthem and has faced resurgence in response to wanton police brutality against a specific segment of American society?
Whether it is coercion of minors like what transpired with the Central Park Five, or the unwarranted killings of Sean Bell, Amadou Diallo, Anthony Baez, Oscar Grant, John Crawford, or countless other men across this country by lawless cops, it’s time for residents to rise up and say: Enough!–OnPointPress.net