Police Brutality: Let’s Take The Power

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Assuming this “credible� drug dealer even exists, or is telling the truth, what do his assertions have to do with the price of rice in China? Was that why the five possibly drunk officers unleashed 50 bullets at Sean Bell and his party? This is truly despicable.

POLICE BRUTALITY: OUR SOLUTION


The November 25 police murder of Sean Bell represents a perpetual tragedy that hangs over our communities—the solution must come from our communities.

 

In America, terrorism of some form always looms. Police brutality is a contemporary manifestation of a control mechanism being used to contain Black self-determination.

    

This nation was made strong due to uncompensated Black labor. The elites have played us, since slavery, as pawns in their divide and conquer racial hierarchy game. Pathological white paternalism has defined us and decided for us. In the face of all our calamities can we afford to let this continue?

    

Our communities are continually being ravaged and decimated by many social ills—40% percent of the nation’s homeless are Black. In America, the rate of Black unemployment is double that of whites. In New York City, 50 percent of Black men are unemployed, not to mention the two million Black people in American prisons. It’s bad enough that our people have to face all these outrages, but there is an equally pernicious evil we have to face: police brutality.

    

The ongoing Sean Bell Case is a reminder. Sure, a grand jury has indicted three of the officers. Yet, many of us know deep in our gut that these killer cops will walk when all is said and done. We saw it in the Diallo, Dorismond, Stansbury, Spruill, Bumpers and Baez cases. None of these murderers are ever held accountable for their crimes.

 

We must seize community control of the schools, courts and police that now victimize our neighborhoods.

 

In the wake of Sean Bell’s murder many have viciously impugned his character in an attempt to humanize these officers and justify their unjust actions—only today there is an article in the tabloids about a drug dealer telling New York Police that Bell shot him last year in a drug dispute:

 

Police are normally eager to dismiss the words of drug dealers—especially ones in captivity. How convenient to now say that this drug dealer sounds “credible� and how convenient that Bell isn’t alive, thank you very much to the police, to defend himself.

 

Assuming this “credible� drug dealer even exists, or is telling the truth, what does his assertion have to do with the price of rice in China? Was that why the five possibly drunk officers unleashed 50 bullets at Sean Bell and his party? Did the drug dealer call the cops and say “watchout� for this Bell? The Daily News even referred to it as a “twist� in the Bell case. How so? This is truly despicable.

 

Some pro-police brutality elements have even said cops should threaten to leave our communities, since, in their view we can’t do without these cops. I totally endorse this view—they should leave so we can recruit honest cops not carrying the baggage of racism.

    

Many communities across this nation have local, autonomous police departments where the police are accountable to the people of that town or area. On Long Island, here in New York, for example, there are many local jurisdictions that have their own police force responsible for patrolling their neighborhoods. In my opinion this model of local police—who are accountable to the residents—is what we need to stem the tide of police criminality and murder that we are told we must accept.

    

Minority police groups such as 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care should be consulted to advise and help implement such a plan. Municipalities who have their own police such as Hempstead, Long Island—which is a majority Black and Latino community—should be studied and their methods adopted and modified where necessary. This model would be easier to implement in boroughs like Brooklyn, Bronx and Harlem. In the diverse neighborhood of Queens, implementation would require a little more creativity.

    

Ironically, the fact that most Blacks are residentially segregated makes it even more practical to develop this police model for our communities. At present many of the cops who commit these vicious crimes don’t live in minority communities. This must stop.

    

One of the problems with many of these officers is that they have no connection—or cultural understanding—of the very communities they patrol every day. Most of them carry the racial baggage that they have been indoctrinated with by the larger white society. 

     

After the murder of a Sean Bell, Timothy Stansbury, Patrick Dorismond and Amadou Diallo we were told about how fearful these officers were for their lives and how that fear could have contributed to the “accident.�

 

In essence, this is a confirmation of the stereotype of the Black male as a beastly, ever present menace. Why is it that cops never behave in this trigger-happy manner in white communities?

    

That’s why we need a Residential Police Plan. First of all, under this model, applicants would be required, upon acceptance, to reside in the community that they police. This eradicates those who are either uncomfortable, “afraid,� or have animosity towards people within the community.

    

Moreover, requiring residency facilitates accountability, which we don’t have right now. This model would also require that police chiefs—and all officers—be evaluated and retained of fired depending on their effectiveness and efficiency. The local police chief, trained officers, would also have to face elections every four years like the mayor. The mayor would only get to appoint the overall commissioner, who would also have to be confirmed by the City Council.

 

The police chief would enjoy greater autonomy in setting crime fighting priorities relative to each local community’s pertaining conditions. This chief would also be responsible with coordinating working relations with other police departments.

 

The time for the Residential Police Plan is such a plan is now. We must all demand that local, state and federal legislators back this plan. Politicians who oppose it should pay the price at the next elections.

    

We always talk about “taking back our communities.� We can’t if we don’t have one iota of control over the schools, courts or police in our neighborhoods.

Last time it was 41 shots; this time it 50; next time 100?

 

Let’s take the power now.

 

 


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