~ “The Execution of Justice and The Killing of Misconduct” ~
Gregory V. Boulware
Periodically, I go back to my old neighborhood in Germantown to hang out with the fellas. Ron is one of the Brothers that I tend to sit with on his front porch of Baynton St. He told me of an incident while seated in this serene and wonderfully peaceful setting. He and another good Brother whom I know to be a good man as well were sitting out on the porch too, when a cop pointed and shined a search light on them. The gentlemen that I happen to visit with are all over the age of fifty while many of us are over sixty years of age.
I’ve often wondered what goes through the mind of any police officer who happens to be a person of color. Do they… is their first and foremost loyalty to their people and culture or to their family in blue? Why is it that Black Officers often abuse their positions and practice bullying on their respective culture-sharers; people who look like them, or simply preying on Black Men in particular? How do Black Police Officers feel; what do they think, how do they feel after they have learned that a Black Life has been taken; another Black Life that has been taken by a white police officer, regardless of what part of the country (or world) it happened?
Eighteen-year-old Michael Brown Jr., was shot and killed by a white cop in Ferguson Mo. Former police officer Darren Wilson’s actions sparked national and international protests after witnesses insisted the teenager was surrendering. The officer reportedly ignored the plea not to shoot. He shot him anyway.
The cop fired seven bullets into the son of Lesley McSpadden and Michael Brown Sr. The young man’s body laid in the street for more than four and one-half hours as law enforcement with nearly twenty dogs, barricading the area and would not allow anyone to approach or go near the slain child. His hysterical and horrified Mother was also not allowed to touch her dead son’s body.
“Forty-three year old Samuel DuBose was shot in the head and killed by (then) University of Cincinnati Police Officer Ray Tensing after a traffic stop. Brother DuBose was pulled over for having a missing front plate on his car. Justice made an entrance with an attempt to rectify this murder when a Hamilton County Grand Jury returned an indictment of murder and voluntary manslaughter against Tensing who was also fired from the police department.
A Texas State Trooper stopped Sister Sandra Bland on July 10th, 2015, for an inconsequential traffic offense and she ended up dead in a Waller County Jail Cell! The authorities continually insisted that she hanged herself with a plastic bag. Anyone and Most Everyone know better than that. It is common knowledge across the country when you are arrested and booked; everything on a person’s body has to been confiscated. This protocol or rule is especially targeted for belts, shoestrings, neckties, longer-than usual socks, strings, weapons, and most everything else – oh yes, plastic bags too. As it is, their explanation of what was or is available in a jail cell, it’s a built-into-the-wall-combination sink and toilet; there is no individual trash can! Now if they provided room-service with your continental breakfast, maid service, and a bathroom cleaning, it’s quite possible for Sister Bland to have the availability of a plastic bag long enough and strong enough in order to hang herself.
We will not forget the ‘killing choke-hold’ of the Brother in New York or ‘Amado Diallo’ either. He was shot and killed in a barrage of police gunfire after reaching for his wallet inside the doorway of his home, the Brother who was shot while running away from a white cop for a traffic violation, and not to mention the many other reported and unreported atrocities against unarmed non-dangerous Black, Red, Brown, and White citizens.
“The U.S. Must Reform Its Laws On The Use Of Deadly Force By Police”
These deaths have revealed the deep-wounds of “American Racism and White Supremacy” for the World to see. However, it was the ‘Intrepid Young Black Men and Women on the ground who challenged the authorities, police officers, dogs, and the military style vehicles and equipment. They faced rubber bullets, tear gas, and other weapons containing live rounds. Their endeavored courage and diligence has prevailed in gaining the attention of people across the country and around the world.
Ron went on to tell me of the disturbing situation. “The cop shined his light on us while we sat on the porch. Then, Ray shouted for him to get that light out of my face. Ron said that he attempted to stop Ray from saying anything, it was too late; the cop got out of the car and approached us. He then came up on the porch and said to me “what are you guys doing?’ I replied, “we’re just sitting and chillin.” He then said “well you’re not sitting and chillin anymore…” The cop then proceeded to accost me by trying to get handcuffs on my wrists. Two or three more cop cars rolled up and shined their lights on all of us. They shouted to their colleague, “That’s not him!” And they rolled off. This individual froze when the lights hit. He must have realized that he had no reason to pick on us. So he took my identification back to his car and ran a make on me. He came back to me with a ticket; a summons. I asked what it was for, he replied, “You have outstanding warrants on you for traffic offenses.” He then left and did come back around the block in his cruiser. He gave us a look. All of the neighbors were out in force at that time. I suspect they were waiting to see if anything was going to happen. It almost did when the cop tried to arrest me. My buddies got up from their chairs while the cop’s partner drew his weapon.”
Now the way I see it is, why did the cop hassle these particular senior citizens in the first place? The Brothers did tell me that they, the cops, were looking for a Black Bald Man in and Orange tee-shirt. Ron continued to tell me that on that particular day, there was a neighborhood block party where all or most of the participants were wearing orange tees for whatever the reason… The day was a pretty hot one, Saturday August 15, 2015 to be exact.
“STAND UP FOR JUSTICE”
Again, I wonder what Black Philadelphia Officers think when another Black Life has been taken by white police officers.
Philadelphia has a really decent group of Black Police Officers. James (‘Jimmy’) Clark, a Homicide Detective, then Captain Singletary, formerly of the 14th Police District in Germantown, Richard Ross, and Commissioner Charles Ramsey are just a few off the top of my head. The Community Police contact officer, ‘Officer Johns’ should be mentioned as well for his contributions to Germantown neighborhoods as well.
I’m from the old-school. We mostly didn’t fraternize with the cops in our hood. We knew them from their patrolling our neighborhood areas where we grew up in North Philly, South Philly, East Falls, Roxborough, Manayunk, and of course our beloved ‘Germantown.’ We knew those cops because they were on the street walking and riding. They knew all the kids by name; they knew their parents and their parents – all by name and house locations. The folks in the neighborhood knew their names too. They were the real cops of the hood! Where have they all gone? We sorely miss them and want them back.
At the particular block-party, the patrolling cops should have gotten out of their cars and said hello to as many participants as possible, shake a few hands, and show a friendly face to let us; them know that they were there as friends to serve and protect.
The cops were supposed to be looking for a Black man accused of domestic abuse. He was standing up on the other corner watching the ordeal go down. I asked Ron why he didn’t point him out to the hassling cop. His reply was, “Man I was so angry, I just didn’t want to do anything for or have anything to do with this cop at the time. However, I would have ‘snitched’ on his ass in a heartbeat under better circumstances.”
“We Are Not Asking For Justice, We Are Demanding Justice!” ‘Stand Up For Justice – Justice or Else October 10, 2015, in Washington D.C. – Spread the word!
Til Next Time…
Richard B. Muhammad and Janiah Muhammad, Final Call Staffers, August 4, 2015
J.A. Salaam, Staff Writer, Final Call. August 4, 2015
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