Police are the protectors of the purveyors of America’s wealth inequality.
Look Man, there need not
be any more award giving to police. Period. In Conservatives’
efforts to thwart and destroy labor unions, I see them passing over one
unionized group of civil servants - police unions. I see all deference given to
these people selected to protect and serve, and I can’t see why. You may
counter my argument because a policeman or policewoman stepped in to save your
life. Many everyday citizens have done as much. I contend that we need to see
that these people are human - and act less
than such on too many occasions.
Where do I begin?
Well, the beginning started long, long ago - likely
in the 1600s with the first sheriff’s department in New
York - but most recently, a Houston
police officer shot to death a double amputee in a wheelchair, who police said
was trying to stab another officer with a pen…yes, a pen! An ink pen! Have you
ever heard the quip, “Don’t bring a pen to a gunfight?” …figured you had never
heard that either…
The man, Brian Claunch,
was shot in the head Saturday morning after two police officers arrived at a
group home for the mentally ill. The officers were responding to a report that Claunch - a reported schizophrenic who lost an arm and a
leg in a train accident - was acting aggressively. Can you imagine two
well-trained, physically-fit policemen losing a pen fight to ‘half’ a man??? What
would/could they say at roll call? Gimme a break!
His caregiver had refused to give him a cigarette
and a soda, according to police and the facility owner. So, the man became agitated.
No doubt, nursing home staff briefed police upon arrival, so they knew the man
was schizophrenic. Then, why shoot him?
What kind of fear are police operating under? Everyday
Americans have to walk the streets without guns - and most choose to - and
maneuver around thousands of other people who walk the streets with them - and
no training! And, many of those people are as crazy as bats - and toting guns.
Outside a Metro station, the police attacked a man with no damned legs.
Police said Claunch was
clutching an object as he advanced on one of the police officers. That’s their
justification for cowardliness. I think of the case in August in which NYPD officers gunned down a Black man wielding
a 6-inch knife after the police stopped him for smoking marijuana in public. The
world watched the video as 20-plus officers followed the man - backing all the
way down Broadway - and then shot him in cold blood! No one drew a taser…
And what about the case where witnesses caught Washington, DC’s
Metro Transit Police pulling Dwight Harris out of his wheelchair while putting
him under arrest in May of last year? Outside a Metro station, the police
attacked a man with no damned legs!!! Then, the police said, “the patron resisted arrest which resulted in him falling out
of his wheelchair.” Falling???
Thank God for video! The video recording of the
arrest contradicts the official account. In the video, two officers can be seen
lifting Harris out of his wheelchair, and then dropping him to the ground - on
top of a metal grate. Just plain hateful…
Another outrageous abuse of power occurred almost a
year ago when White Plains,
NY police shot and killed elderly
Marine veteran, Kenneth Chamberlain, Sr., in his home. When police responded to
a call triggered by his Medical Alert device, he told police he was alright and
to leave. Police insisted on entering, forcing their way in; they tased him and then shot him dead. Mr. Chamberlain was 68
years old and apparently infirm, hence the Medical Alert device.
DC’s The Examiner newspaper revealed
in an expose that in the past three and a half years, more than 90 D.C. police
officers - from detectives to captains to the rank-and-file cops on the street
- have been arrested. I didn’t say nine…I said ninety! You can’t tell me these
people are more honorable than any
DC’s Metropolitan Police Department officers have been
nabbed within the District and as far away as Florida. They’ve been arrested on charges
ranging from child pornography to murder. The majority are
DUI and domestic violence arrests, but included are sexual assaults and murders
Of course, I could list literally thousands of unjustified police shootings
and brutal beatings, but one sticks out in my recent memory. After months, Alan
Bluford’s family still awaits a response - and a
police report - that explains why Oakland
police shot and killed the teen in the middle of the night. Alan was weeks away
from graduating from Skyline
High School when he was
killed around midnight last May. Police and the media initially claimed that
Alan opened fire and injured one officer. You know how they work together. Not surprisingly, however, they later admitted that
Alan hadn’t fired a weapon and the
officer’s injury was self-inflicted! A real Barney Fife moment…you think?
We need to see that these people are human - and act less than such on too many occasions.
Yes, the cowardly police blamed the
victim (just like in the Trayvon Martin case). Bluford was reportedly struck by three bullets in the back
and legs, while running away. The more brutal aspect to this incident is that by
some accounts, Alan might have survived had he not lay at the scene of the
shooting for four hours before receiving medical attention. Can you think of
any rational reason why responsible law enforcement officers would allow that
to happen? By comparison, the wounded police officer, Miguel Masso, was rushed to the hospital immediately.
I can’t say it loudly enough: We need
law enforcement; we don’t need cowards serving as law enforcement officers. Police
get the best benefits; they get the best perks and most get highly undeserved honor. Why do we continue to
allow American society to place these people on pedestals? Perhaps it’s because
this gang-in-blue protects the holders of America’s wealth, and wealth
acquisition, before Occupy Wall Street, was an admirable pursuit (i.e., pursuit
of happiness). Police are the protectors of the purveyors of America’s
wealth inequality. Let us not partake in police injustice; we can stop the brutality. Let us not give
police any more badges of honor.
BlackCommentator.com Columnist, Perry Redd, is the former Executive Director of
the workers rights advocacy, Sincere Seven, and author of the on-line
commentary, “The Other Side of the Tracks.” He is the host of the internet-based
talk radio show, Socially Speaking in Washington, DC. Click here to contact Mr. Redd.