When Tyranny Comes To An End So Will Racist Policing As The Conviction Of Derek Chauvin Is A Turning Point In Our Countries History
With the Derek Chauvin trial coming to a close their is a sliver of hope that accountability for police officers who do not follow the laws they enforce will be subjected to the justice system. While its only the beginning more work needs to be done to assure safety for the black community knowing that if they are pulled over for example of a tail light out that they are not executed for it or physically abused. The problem is that for so long our police have been getting away with murder that to change the entire culture will require in depth systematic changes from within to undo years of mistrust, abuse and racism which all exist in today’s police departments.
While their needs to be police reform its important to realize that defunding the police is not such a bad idea. When I say defunding I do not mean ousting our peace officers but rather rebuilding it. For example by defunding the police it reallocates money from policing to other agencies fund by local municipalities. It just means that instead of a police officer dealing with someone with autism who ends up shooting the victim a mental health worker instead or someone more qualified can handle with the situation. Cops are only human but they are doing inhumane things and what is scary is how they been getting away with it for so long.
While their is more work that needs to be done such as better training, accountability, body cams, better background checks, ending racism for peace officers it really is the culture that needs to change. When an officer sees their fellow partners for example abusing another human being they need to report it or pull that officer to the side and say hey look you cant do this the law does not allow it. While their are special protections a police officer is covered under it needs to change and honestly if it does not we will continue to see the killing of black citizens in our community.
If you worked in a nursing home and ending up abusing or killing a patient you would go to jail at the very least manslaughter. Just like any other field such as in mental health some workers were raping patients they are now in jail while some been doing it for years getting away with it. It is no different for a peace officer since they hold all the power and we as citizens only hold our voice. But imagine if someone like Darnella Frazier did not film the nine and half minutes Chauvin kneeling on George Floyd’s neck what would have happened? Chauvin and his partners would have falsified what happened and more unarmed black men and women would have been killed by these same officers in the future. What is even more scary about it is many are killed and get it away with it for years as none of us can be there for every arrest, traffic stop or patrol. The world watched this incident but imagine how many times the world did not get to see the murder of an unarmed black citizen dealt with by the hands of a corrupt police officer who is not in accordance with police.
The same voice that George Floyd used but was silenced by Chauvin when he kneeled on his neck for over nine minutes causing asphyxiation and ultimately death. Kneeling on his neck even after he pleaded to cooperate, stopped breathing and was convulsing due to the lack of oxygen in front of witnesses filming the entire incident. Something no child or even citizen should ever see walking the streets. Something no citizen should ever have to deal with no matter what you look like or your skin color is. We have to use our voices because the dearly departed are no longer with us so it is up to us to bring upon that change and say hey this is wrong what your doing. That includes other officers working along side their fellow partners to step up to the plate systematically and do their jobs as mandated reporters. If you cant do your job then you can go work a job where you do not jeopardize the safety of others period! Because you certainly should not be in policing if you cant follow policy or the laws you enforce.
We as a nation have to be better then this but sadly our police departments have been infiltrated by serial killers, anger ridden individuals and white supremacist who hide behind a gun & a badge. While we as a nation seen the death of George Floyd imagine how many thousands of similar incidents we did not see. Now imagine how many of those officers still are on the force and perhaps even continue to abuse their duty to protect and serve. While it does not surprise me since we have corrupt politicians in this nation being a police officer is a position of power and when you abuse that power for your own benefit their needs to be accountability.
When Chauvin was convicted it was a mark in this countries history perhaps even a message letting other peace officers know the world is watching and if you decide to abuse another human being your going to jail. Murder is murder whether you are wearing the badge and therefore its an us VS them culture especially if you are black. Often when a black human being gets killed for something as minor as a traffic ticket it gets dismissed perhaps because they ran. But wouldn’t you run if you knew the police may end up harming you? Fear leads to flight or fight something officers are not qualified to deal with. So rather they end up shooting them in the back . Fleeing should never be cause for execution either should being cuffed on the ground.
It will take years maybe even decades before the police are actually involved in the community and gaining the trust of its people. I say that with confidence because its going to take years to clean house to actually hire cops that care about the community in particular the black community who has suffered abuse from peace officers who really are not keeping the peace by provoking situations that are not necessary such as pointing guns in the faces while threatening their lives over something as simple as a brake light out.
While police are taught to deescalate a situation as the most powerful thing is your voice in fact it appears that police are causing escalation which ultimately leads to the death of another innocent life being taken. Sadly, some police may actually get off on killing of our black community members because some never face any consequences which is really the departments fault for not taking action. Not the action of paying millions to a family but actually removing part of the problem which is officers who simply do not follow policy yet continue to get away with it for years until we have another George Floyd incident or travesty.
How do we fix this epidemic of police officers abusing their position? By not forgetting people like Breonna Taylor, Daunte Demetrius Wright, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Philando Castile, Freddie Gray, Rayshard Brooks and hundreds of more names. As a matter in fact the first 8-months in 2020 164 unarmed black men and women were killed by police. While some were shot their was electrocution deaths and similar choke holds that were used on George Floyd which led to asphyxiation. These were people who were mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and most of all human beings who had their life cut short. Imagine telling a daughter or son your mom or dad will never come home again then the police wonder why the colored community has discourse towards them and fear.
While we can fixate on why police brutality occurs or its more of a human problem then any of the later. Sure we can put the blame on lack of training, fear, extremist groups infiltrating positions of high profile jobs such as policing or even more laxed hiring criteria however every individual who has abused their position as a police officer did so willingly. It is basic human principal that you do not abuse, kill or cause bodily harm as an officer of the law unless equal force is warranted such as the opposing party being a threat to your well being or you must use force to stop an assault from occurring towards another victim. Unfortunately, with most of the arrest particularly traffic stops this is not always the case.
Police have shot black victims just for running away in the back, strangled them while being cuffed such as with George Floyd or abused the black community knowing nobody was there to film the incident and that they would get away with it. Even with today’s body cams and watchful eyes the abuse still occurs then again it probably always has. Until such officers show basic humanity such as letting another man or woman breath, deescalating the situation or following the same laws they enforce onto others we will not change the culture. Just like with gun control its not the guns killing the people its the people pulling the trigger and today’s police are not fearless but rather fearful of our black community rather then trying to work with that community to build trust thus reducing these type of incidents.
We are taught as children right from wrong! It is wrong to kill it is not wrong to defend and police are murdering twice the amount of black people in our communities then white people based on a lack of common morals we were taught growing up. Have you ever noticed that in most mass shooting incidents such as the mass shooter who was arrested without incident at King Super in Boulder Colorado? Why was he not put into a choke hold, shot in the back or abused physically? If the police can apprehend a majority of mass shooters with AR’s then why it is it so hard to detain without incident an unarmed black man with an burnt out tail light? It can be done however at the time it was that officers choice to pull the trigger and play god or rather judge, jury and executioner.
The police have really one job which is to apprehend the suspect that way that said individual can go through the justice system. If the suspect is rightfully breaking the law then they have the right to prove their innocence. However, if they are not breathing they do not get the opportunity to do so but the cop that committed the abuse of power gets to go home safely. Honestly, both the cop and the suspect should always get to go home safely unless the suspect is seriously violating the law or is a threat to that officers well being or the publics don’t you agree? Their absolutely no excuse that this kind of thing should ever occur in a modern open progressive society such as in the US. As a matter in fact this is the only place in the world this occurs on such a massive level.
Police kill more innocent black citizens then mass shooters do yet instead of talking about gun control what we probably should be talking about is police control because it is the police that must lead the charge or by example so that the rest of society can fall on in. Until that happens local black communities will live in fear every single day or they leave their house not knowing that if they get pulled over for a ticket they could potentially be snuffed out. When cops start suffering the consequences for the same crime that its citizens get charged for only then will people of color will no longer have to live in fear. They will no longer have to run! They will no longer have to struggle because of that fear! They will be able to breath!
We as a nation must be better then this rather then kill our friends, community members and our neighbors. But until police reform happens and the DOJ investigates the years of corruption and this sort of abusive culture within I am afraid its going to continue. However, with Derek Chauvin going to jail it is a first step towards progress in showing the world how our Democratic Justice system works. But it also allows accountability for those cops who often think they are above the law because they are offered more protections then the citizens it chastises.
While not all police are bad some of them are perhaps because we live in a society where their is good and bad in everything. But we expect people in positions of power to be good and free from corruption. Unfortunately, police officers of today’s times are a dime of dozen so many who do get hired on could very well be ex druggies, white supremacist, violent individuals, mentally unhealthy or simple were not taught right from wrong even though human decent is really common sense as to treat others how you wish to be treated. If your a cop you do not want to be choked, shot at, kicked or verbally abused therefore you should never treat any human that way that your representing. The police are here to represent the rest of the community and I am afraid that the culture within is more about control and power over bettering the community.
Which reminds me of my years of encountering the police and most of my experiences not being good ones. I remember once when I was around 23 years of age and was dating a 19 year old girl. Well her parents did not like the fact she moved in with me so in order to get the police involved they lied trying to say she was sixteen and underage. The fact is they showed up at my home to arrest me and they checked her ID which of course said nineteen on it yet instead of charging the parents with making a false report they charged me with statutory rape of a minor in Buffalo NY for someone who was a legal adult. J
Just as when I moved to Florida back in 2005 I remember I was out walking home one day when an officer of the law stopped me for no reason put me on the hood of a cop car then said to me I just want to see who you are. That my friends is poor policing why not just ask? A cops voice is his most powerful tool however to many police officers lack the ability to communicate unless it involves verbal insults. I understand the police have multiple jobs to do on the streets but if we do not defund them they will continue to play other roles they have no business playing like mental health therapist which usually ends up with them shooting someone who probably needs a doctor and a shot of thorazine. I guess my entire point is that its not always a black or white problem its really just overall bad policing in general and I am not alone in my tales of the unfortunate.
Just as one evening while I was residing in Florida I was on the way to conduct research of a historical site with my son and the police pulled me over in a very rural area. Not because I was doing anything wrong they just wanted to know why I was swerving well at the time the road was winding, narrow and in the swamps. I had two IDs one was a suspended NY license because prior I guess my car insurance expired while the other one was a FL drivers license that was recently new and in good standing. They seen the NY license when I went to pull out the FL one demanding I hand them over the other one. They cuffed me so hard it caused my wrist to bleed then called about ten other police cars, trashed the entire inside of my vehicle, ate junk food in the back seat of my car and then left my son and I miles from the nearest payphone and gas station in the Florida swamps. At the time I had no cell phone and the cops would not allow me to drive my vehicle back home even though my FL license was valid.
Which brings me to another story about a buddy of mine up in Carson City Nevada. Earlier this week he had gotten off work and was heading home. He is a big black guy about 6’8 if you did not know him you might think he is an intimidating guy except for the fact that he is educated and cordial especially when it comes to law enforcement. They pulled him over right when he arrived at his apartment stating the reason why is that his registration is expired then wrote him a ticket for it. However, his registration does not expire till May so the cop lied.
To make matters worst is he had his girlfriend come outside to show the officers the paperwork which the one officer put a light in her eyes and was getting ready to draw their weapon on her a very less then intimidating lady believe me. The police did not believe my friend when he told them he lives there and they were like sure how convenient as if they did not believe him yet they asked! So automatically the police who pulled him over not only wrote a false ticket but they verbally assaulted him from the moment they pulled him over and for what? Because he is a black man driving home from work at night? That is all it was and at night Carson City is dead to the world so they followed my friend to his front steps.
The entire police system needs to be revamped as they should not be allowed to verbally or physically assault anyone even if a crime has been committed. That officers job is to take the suspect to jail transporting them safely! Just as you or I cant shoot a fleeing burglar in the back they should not have the right to shoot a suspect in the back because most of the time people flee out of fear or maybe they have PTSD due to prior engagements with the police. Reform requiring better training, stricter hiring criteria and perhaps removing protections will warrant the change we need in order to ensure the survival of our colored communities.
As a matter in fact some police forces in other parts of the world do not even carry guns they have many other means to apprehend a suspect that are non-lethal. But no matter it MUST be done because if we do nothing the police are no better then the criminals they arrests. In some incidences it is the police that are the criminals and the chiefs that operate certain departments that allow the behaviors to continue until that department is either sued or an innocent life is taken. But every officers partner, chief of police, congress and the general public has got to make changes from within or this trend will continue to be mainstream. I fear from my black brothers and sisters that today might be the last day I see or talk to them again all because a racist cop stopped them while driving ending their life prematurely.
While we do not want to see our police go away I think that for years they been covering up murder and abuse. We cannot allow this to continue otherwise we may setting ourselves up for being one of the first nations to not have police especially if the are run like gangs rather then officers of peace. With that being said we cannot bring back those that we lost but we can show that these people that were lost mattered by changing the entire way we do policing in this nation so that other people of color do not have to endure what they did. I cant imagine losing a loved one because a police officer suffocated them or shot them in the back their is no good excuse for such an action other then our police departments police with fear, ignorance and lack of discipline. Culture takes years to change and perhaps with the conviction of Derek Chauvin marks a turning point in our nations history so that in our future the police will once again be a respected trusted organization that they were meant to be!
My advice to the people is to do your civic duty continue to film bad policing, sue police departments or the city for misconduct, file complaints and keep pressuring for change. If we do not change the system it will be the system that destroys us and we will have a police force disobeying the laws they swore to protect and serve. We as a nation cannot allow an unarmed man or woman to be killed with our hardworking tax dollars. Honestly, nobody wants to be at the park, going for a stroll or dining out only to see a group of fearful white police officers gun down an unarmed citizen because they did not feel like sticking to police policy. The badge that officers wear means something more then just waving around a gun it is a code of honor, courage and justice. None of which I have seen when it comes to the murder of innocent black women and men in our community only to rinse and repeat the process.
We must bring back honor to the badge but more importantly to the officers whose sole duty is to serve and protection the communities that they patrol in accordance to the laws they enforce! Their is no longer a place for corruption and bad cops within our police department change MUST come from within and it MUST come soon! The world is watching and change starts with YOU but also within and until the police are willing to admit that this epidemic is a growing issue within the department we will continue to see innocent unarmed people of color sadly have their lives taken from them by the hands of officers who abuse that position of power and the badge they hide behind!
Lord Rick aka AngelOfThyNight
Founder, Journalist, Producer & Talk Show Host