The Police Were Never Intended to Protect Us.
I see people rushing in to claim that Dion’s post has to be wrong/the anger last night was unfair to the families of cops/it’s wrong to blame white/any people for what the cops do/well he might have had a gun at some point/the cops were doing their job/he looks like an adult so why at like he’s young (apparently puberty immediately renders black people dangerous criminals)/the news says something else happened and it must be right etc. Because you handcuff corpses right? wait, no you don’t so if he was in cuffs & dead? He was killed in those cuffs. Just like Oscar Grant.
I’m over here laughing in a graveyard sort of way because I remember the initial news spin given to the media by police spokesmen to cover up what happened to Lenard Clark, Amadou Diallo, Abner Louima, Sean Bell, Kathryn Johnston, Aiyana Jones, Rekia Boyd, Oscar Grant, Timothy Stansbury, Rodney King & Kenneth Chamberlain Sr. I remember the Burge torture cases here in Chicago & the two boys under 10 who were coerced into confessing to a murder they couldn’t have committed & how that experience ruined their lives. I can think of half a dozen deaths over the years that I know about where the body on the ground wasn’t armed/was mentally ill/called the police for help & died because of it.
Google inner city kids and PTSD sometime, note the plethora of studies showing that they’re essentially living in war zones & instead of kneejerking to blame gangs & parents start asking questions about how those neighborhoods got that way. Ask about Stop & Frisk policies (pro tip it doesn’t just happen in New York), racial profiling & who is more likely to be afraid of the police than to trust them. Ask yourself about the policy of silence in many communities when it comes to crime & ask yourself how that community norm was created. Ask yourself about how the police were first formed (look up paddy rollers & their connection to paid policing) & whether their purpose has ever really been to protect everyone. Finally ask yourself how many abuses, how many deaths of POC have to happen before the conversation is actually about what the police are doing to communities & not about whether or not you love your dad/uncle/cousin/mom/friend that’s a cop & totally not like the cops in these not so isolated incidents.
People need to wake up and realize this isn’t new. It didn’t just spring up last night. We don’t need to fabricate anything. A war has been going on for a long time now. Those of us who have to fear the police in our own neighborhoods know this. Those of us who were taught since we were young how to become invisible to the police - how we could try to make our bodies look less like targets and more like something worthy of life- live with the fear that something we will do or say will set them off and no one will care about our unjust deaths. What happened to Oscar Grant was caught on film and he and his family still couldn’t get the justice that they deserved. And nothing will ever bring him back to life. The lists of our dead is too long. The ways in which we have been scarred are still being uncovered.
I don’t want to have anything to do with you if you can’t understand how real this is.