Category Archives: Police

Hard To “Plan” For Some Encounters With Police

Walking-while-Black---Is-NOT-a-CRIME!-T-ShirtsSomething that doesn’t gets discussed. There’s appropriate emphasis on “the talk” with black youngsters, and telling black people in general how to act when they are stopped by police. What is not factored in is the sense of total surprise and world turned upside down of minding your business one second and being treated as a crime suspect the next that frequently happens to well-dressed, respectable, pillar-of-community black folks going about their business who are suddenly stopped on the street and told they “resemble” the description of someone who just committed some major crime. Never mind the often 20 years, 40 pounds, and 6 inches of height difference between the perp and the person stopped.

It takes an inordinate amount of presence of mind to really deal calmly with a situation where you have to wonder what someone crazy enough to stop you with that rationale is in fact likely to do next. The disconnect is so great that it’s as if you are standing there facing a police officer who has gone completely off his rocker.

The visceral response is to get distance between yourself and someone with a gun who is babbling incoherent nonsense about you possibly having just robbed a bank or something of the sort. It’s one thing to plan to be polite, respectful, follow instructions, not talk back. But in reality, how could you possibly not be overcome by initial confusion, ask questions, or say something?

I’m not talking about Michael Brown or Eric Garner, here, but the hundreds of thousands of black men and women, or worst of all, teenagers, who are caught totally off guard. Who, in their right mind (outside of daily life in a ghetto ‘hood, sadly), plans on or even rehearses for being stopped in their tracks in that way during an ordinary business or school day? And the police know that and often take advantage of that confusion to claim resistance and escalate the encounter.


Demand Police BodyCams

BWVcamera1Ferguson is far from over, but there is a sense of “what can anyone do?”

A practical next step to combat the widespread sense of helplessness among good people is to really take up the cause of police bodycams.

They must be required equipment, a part of the uniform. Police unions are fighting them, but it is a cause that can grow if people want it to.

Race Has NOTHING To Do With It…


Awful news is cops seem to be trying to outdo each other in taking out unarmed black men, women and children and getting away with it. (Almost wrote “getting off.” That too.)

Hopeful news is so many people are on video alert; half the country is walking around with their phones in their hands and start filming scuffles and police action almost as a reflex. Plus security cameras are everywhere.

Weird news is that cops seem oblivious to greater than 50-50 possibility that they will be caught on camera doing this shit. Not that grand juries will weigh it as they should. But SM is galvanizing public response.

And people lose sight of the fact that even if these uniformed shooters and beaters get off on criminal charges, they often end up costing their municipalities millions in civil judgments.

Militarized Police In Ferguson, MO

Perhaps someone can tell me under what circumstances police would unleash this sort of weaponry on the residents of any majority white small town anywhere in America — night after night.

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