Rep. Bobby Rush Does The Right Thing: Wants “Benghazi-type Panel on Police Killings

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[Speaking Truth To Power]

Congressman Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) is pushing for a congressional panel to address the systematic epidemic of police violence against Black people in America.

Judging by the telling silence of Congress, since this explosive issue was forced on White America by police killings and murders of Black people, including the police killing of Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York and Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri we must not wait for support from Capitol Hill.

We must pressure these bought-and-paid-for politicians to act. According to a story in The Hill, written by Christina Marcos, Congressman Rush has introduced legislation that would “create a select panel similar to the ones reviewing Planned Parenthood and the 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi.”

Nine members of the Democratic Black Caucus have signed on to the legislation including: Reps. Brenda Lawrence (Mich.), Elijah Cummings (Md.), Charles Rangel (N.Y.), Hank Johnson (Ga.), Sanford Bishop (Ga.), Lacy Clay (Mo.), John Lewis (Ga.), Keith Ellison (Minn.) and Gwen Moore (Wis.).

Congressman Rush—a former Chicago Black Panther member, who was part of the inner circle of legendary Panther leader Fred Hampton—made headlines when he wore a hoodie on the floor of the House of Representatives to protest the killing of Trayvon Martin.

For that action, he was removed from the floor—because he supposedly violated some congressional code of decorum. Unfortunately, Congressman Rush’s effort to have a necessary conversation on police brutality against Black people is being largely ignored. Why are there only nine congressmen—all from the Black Caucus—signing on to this legislation?

Why isn’t every Black leader in the House supporting this? What does Black America have to do to get these spineless Black, so-called, leaders to speak up? During one of the Ferguson protests, where a few cops got shot at, Missouri Congressman Emanuel Cleaver and Congressman Lacy Clay were both incensed at those who wounded the officers and offered a $3,000 dollar reward for the capture of the perpetrators.

Yet, interestingly, these congressmen—who should be fighting for the interests of the people of Ferguson—somehow, made no similarly passionate pleas against the police brutality exhibited against peaceful protesters. Is there any wonder why Black America is so disrespected by White America, when we have Black politicians who will fight for the rights of those oppressing Black people—but won’t do it for Black people?

Wishy-washy Black politicians and our White liberal “progressive” political “friends” are doing nothing, of substance, in Congress, to remedy the police violence that is being inflicted on Black America every day.

Yet, these people give us lectures about being “peaceful,” in our protests, while they continue to do very little to seriously address the brutal violence that America’s police perpetrate against Black people. Hypocritically, many of these politicians preaching peace, to African-Americans, are often threatening to bomb world leaders.

Where are these White “progressives,” who we give our votes to, and get so very little in return from when we need them to act on crucial matters such as prejudiced police violence? Why are they so silent? Why haven’t we heard from Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill who represents the state where Brown was killed, on this issue? Where are New York senators like Chuck Schumer and Kristen Gillibrand?

And as we entered into 2016, although the names have changed, police killings, daily, has not changed. The names that we added to the long list in 2015 include: Sandra Bland and Freddie Gray. Where is the vociferous political representation for Black America?

Given the fact that 2016 is a presidential year, Black America must continue to seriously assess the means and methods we must exercise to arrest the slow genocide tactics of a racist to the core political criminal justice system. What is clear here is: that the whole so-called justice system is rotten to the core—especially, when it comes to its dealing with African-Americans.

This is not just about murderous cops engaging in genocidal acts against Black people, this is also about those who work in tandem with them like charlatan politicians and prosecutors; the enablers. Unlike Congressman Rush, most of the political class isn’t doing a damn thing to change the corrupt culture of those in America’s police departments. Silence and obfuscation is what we are getting from politicians and prosecutors.

A few weeks ago, South Carolina Officer Michael Slager, who was caught on video murdering Walter Scott, in cold blood, by shooting him in the back—and who planted evidence to enhance his cover story that he was “in fear for his life,” something all of these serial killers of Black people say—was granted bail. If the situation was reversed, does anyone think Mr. Scott would’ve been granted bail?

The very same thing can be said of Chicago Officer Jason Van Dyke who was also granted bail, even though he is captured on police video shooting Laquan McDonald to death, as the teen was walking away from him. What does it say about the American “justice” system when law enforcement officers who murder Black people are allowed bail—when a Black cop killer would never see the light of day?

In several of these cases, where police officers have wrongfully killed Black people we’ve witnessed what can only truly be called: prosecutorial misconduct. We’ve all heard the saying a grand jury can “indict a ham sandwich.” Whenever a prosecutor truly wants an indictment from a grand jury it can obtain one with minimal evidence.

And, in fact, what’s to stop a prosecutor from charging killer cops without a grand jury? Would prosecutors wait to convene a grand jury for those who kill cops—especially, if they’re Black? Yet, in the Ohio case of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, in which Officer Timothy Loehmann shot Rice within two seconds of arriving on the scene, prosecutor Tim McGinty says this officer was justified.

Worse of all, he, basically, blamed this child for causing his own death-and, somehow, the fact that Officer Loehmann was fired from another police department for failing to follow basic procedures was not even mentioned. There should be no doubt to Black America that in the Tamir Rice case, as in the Eric Garner and Michael Brown cases, the grand jury process was manipulated by these shifty, shyster prosecutors to free their police buddies. In Ferguson, Prosecutor Bob McCulloch castigated those witnesses whose testimony were favorable to Michael Brown, who was killed by Officer Darren Wilson.

On Staten Island, Congressman Dan Donovan now represents the district of that borough that became available after another crook and thug from Staten Island, former Congressman Michael Grimm, plead guilty to tax evasion. Since a high percentage of NYPD officers live on Staten Island, Donovan no doubt got a leg up in winning that seat when, as prosecutor in the Eric Garner case, he finagled the logical outcome that Officer Daniel Pantaleo would not be indicted by the sham grand jury he oversaw. Donovan now sits in a Congress that has shown their indifference to the police killings and murders of Black people.

That indifference is clear when, after all this time, we see no congressional panel like the one Congressman Rush is trying to create—yet, we hear about Benghazi and Planned Parenthood panels.

We are in the 2016 Presidential Elections and Black America must ask this question: what message will we send politicians, in Congress, and at the local level, on Election Day for their absolute failure to stop police violence against Black people?


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