Racism And Police Killings in the Age of Donald Trump

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Trump-- simply vile.

As the police killings and murders of Black people continue with no end in sight, and with opposition growing to the mass incarceration of Black people, the 2016 Presidential Elections represent a crucial crossroad for America.

With racism on the rise, as evidenced by the political ascendancy of one of the most xenophobic figures ever in American politics, what would racial policing look like in a Donald Trump presidency with his already declared Nixonesque focus on "“law and order"?

With only several weeks away before the election, Black people continue to be killed at an increasingly alarming rate by police.

Recently, police killed 18-year-old Carnell Snell Jr., after he ran from a car that was stopped for having suspicious license plates. Police released a video that seems to show Snell with a gun —which, towards the end of the video he tucks away in his waist, as he fled.

We don'’t see the really important moments when Snell is shot dead, reportedly, trying to scale a wall. There are no police body-cams. One question here is: was Mr. Snell shot as he was going over the wall with a gun tucked in his waist?

Is mere gun possession, legal or otherwise, legitimate reason to shoot dead a Black person? Does this rule apply to Whites as well?

The autopsy report should be examined closer to shed light on where the bullet wounds entered Snell’s body. In a country where there is bloviated rhetoric about “Second Amendment rights,” a Black man having a gun— probably tucked away, when he is shot running away, scaling a wall— cannot be sufficient justification for police to kill.

In yet another horrible video release, from July, Sacramento California Police are shown killing a homeless Black man— after, they tried twice to run him over.

In the July 11 police dash-cam video, we witness police trying to run over 51 year-old Joseph Mann— before they shoot him fourteen times. Police claimed they had to shoot him to death because he refused to drop a knife he was holding in his hand.

What would the excuse have been if they had killed him when they tried to run him over, twice, with the police squad car?

The police encountered Mann after several 911 calls about a Black man walking around with a knife and gun. After he was killed, no gun was recovered on Mann. He suffered from mental disease— which should’'ve been clear to officers, who followed and observed him for several minutes before the deadly confrontation.

Once again, we see police escalate a situation against a Black person— and then cry that they were in fear for their lives so they had to kill. The Sacramento Bee newspaper enhanced the audio that corresponds to the police video.

The statements being made by these officers is beyond deplorable. On the audio, one officer who was driving one of the police cars can be heard saying “"I'm going to hit him,”" while another officer says “"OK. Go for it. Go for it.”"

Mann was able to elude the police attempts to run him over. A minute before officers opened fire on him, one cop can be heard saying “"fuck this guy.”"

The condemnable conduct of these cops is indicative of why relations between Blacks and the police has deteriorated.

The absence of politicians of principle, this goes for business leaders as well, speaking out on this issue sends the message that Black lives don’t matter. That message can be heard clearly from the lack of political movement by politicians at the local, state and national levels as racial policing continues to spill Black blood on the streets of America.

The entire political establishment is failing Black America. Democrats, even Black ones, are not doing nearly enough to stop the bloodletting. Republicans are far worse.

A couple of weeks ago, during the first presidential debate, when the candidates were asked what they would do to foster racial healing, Donald Trump'’s answer revolved around his “law and order” mantra. He also claimed he would ramp up the discredited “stop-and-frisk” prejudiced policing policy.

Is Trump saying racial healing can be fostered by increasing the very types of policing policies that are at the heart of the killings and murders of Black people?

Neither Trump, nor his running mate Indiana Governor Mike Pence, see a problem with the scores of unjustified killings of Black people by police.

During this week’s vice-presidential debates, Governor Pence complained about Secretary Clinton’'s use of the term "“implicit bias,”" as it relates to the killing of Keith Lamont Scott in North Carolina. In Pence’'s mind, there can'’t be “implicit bias,” in this case, since the officer who is said to have killed Scott is also a Black man.

According to people like Pence, the institutional racism embedded in policing culture somehow cannot be blamed if the person pulling the trigger happens to be Black. Is he telling us Black people who work within a racist establishment magically change that structure by their mere presence?

The current President of the United States, Barack Obama, is Black. Has White American racism against Black America decreased— or, increased— during his presidency?

The answer is obvious.

Then again, Governor Pence recently said “We ought to set aside this talk, this talk about institutional racism and institutional bias.”

The good governor also said “police are human beings---and mistakes are made.” To him, the list of unjustified killings and murders of Black people that we'’ve seen over the last few years, on video, are just inconsequential mistakes that shouldn't alarm us.

Governor Pence also seems to think the wrongful conviction of Indiana resident Keith Cooper is just another mistake he has no time to bother with. Mr. Cooper was wrongfully convicted of a 1997 armed robbery in Indiana. Several years after being incarcerated, evidence of his innocence started to surface—especially, after witnesses stated a police detective coerced them into testifying against Mr. Cooper.

DNA evidence as proves Cooper’s innocence.

Unfortunately, instead of being exonerated outright, a judge gave Mr. Cooper two options: go through a new trial or take a deal which would release him fairly quickly —but which would not remove his felony status. Because he had young children, who were living in a homeless shelter, Mr. Cooper opted for an immediate release, and he was freed in 2006.

However, Cooper has tried to clear his name by obtaining a pardon—and earlier this year former Indiana prosecutor Michael Christofeno wrote a letter to Governor Pence saying “Justice demands that Mr. Cooper be pardoned. We cannot undo the wrongful imprisonment of Mr. Cooper, but we can undo his conviction with a pardon.”

Governor Pence has so far refused to pardon Cooper.

He is running on a ticket with a racist xenophobe who was sued by the Nixon Justice Department for housing discrimination. Trump also fanned the flames of racism to help convict the Central Park Five—with full-page newspaper ads calling for the death penalty. Even though they have been exonerated by DNA evidence—and by the confession of Mathias Reyes, Trump as recent as yesterday still launched vile attacks against the Central Park Five claiming they had been guilty.

Moreover, Pence seems cozy next to the man whose political ascendancy was sparked by the bigoted “Birther” claim that President Obama is not an American citizen.

Yesterday a video recording of his vile comments about trying to seduce and "fuck" a married woman, forcing himself on women, and grabbing a woman "by the pussy" provided an exclamation point on the state of American politics -- that Trump remains a presidential candidate.

With Donald Trump and Mike Pence in the White House, police prejudice against African-Americans will obviously be given a greenlight— and the extra-judicial killings of Black people will continue with political cover from the presidency.

This cannot be allowed to happen.

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