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The Racist Reality Of Police Brutality
As the investigation surrounding the Baton Rouge police killings unfold, police investigations have unearthed a jaw-dropping discovery: The assailant responsible for shooting and injuring Baton Rouge officers is Gavin Eugene Long, a Marine veteran who served in Iraq. Montrell Jackson, one of slain Baton Rouge officers, made a status update gives us unique insight into how he felt about being a POC on the police force. He wrote, "In uniform I get nasty hateful looks and out of uniform some consider me a threat." Law enforcement's failure to acknowledge the reality of POC endangers the lives of those who strive to do good by serving on the force. That includes POC who wear the blue uniform as well as those who don't.
In the end, police brutality is everyone's problem. If #BlackLivesMatter to you at all, then you won't deny that racism is still an issue in the police force that's literally killing us. Anyone who chooses to support blue lives over black lives is entirely missing the point of #BlackLivesMatter.
As we mourn the death of the officers and POC victims of police violence, we need to realize what’s happening: Police brutality kills and silence is violence. As long as you ignore problems rooted in institutional violence for long enough, officers will lose their lives in shootings by people who feel justified in killing them. The failure to address police brutality is the failure to protect the cops who actually care about helping and protecting people. Until the police department needs to start taking serious accountability for police brutality and mass-incarceration against POC, minority civilians and officers will continue to die at higher rates than other people do. The police department needs to reform for the sake of the people—that includes the people they’re employing.
Whenever you see articles about corrupt cops, do you ever think about all of the people who have to work alongside them? I get it. People are shocked when I tell them about how the cops I’ve known personally have enlightened me on the harsh realities of police brutality. These people chose to serve on the force, a fact that makes people view them as complicit in a system largely based on white supremacy and fascism. As much as I see the sociological merit of these explanations, I can’t dismiss the fact that there are people who are becoming more than a little disgruntled with how things are going. I’ve known people who joined the force because they genuinely believe(d) that the best way to reform the system is from within.
If there’s one thing I’ve noticed, there’s one thing most of us have in common: Most people don’t like violence. When cops die, the majority cares. Their perpetrators face punishments. People who are murdered by police do not receive the same support and have their actions analytically chopped into tiny bits and dissected for even the slightest errors. This is why it’s especially important for law enforcement to hold offending officers accountable for abuses of power. If officers risk their lives on a daily basis, then forcing them to work alongside people who perpetrate or cover up police violence only increases their risk of danger. Until the police department makes the concerted effort to keep bad cops off of the force, we’re going to see the body count piling up.
From a young age, my parents raised me to defer to cops, but not for the reasons one might expect white people to tell their kid to be nice to cops As I got older, the more obvious it became to me that their insistence that I remain polite and submissive to law enforcement was more about survival than it was about being "right." I knew about profiling and overreach committed against minorities before I experienced it myself. Why? Because I believed black people whenever they told me the cops were mean to them.... which was way more often than I heard white people making similar complaints. No matter how polite and genuinely harmless I’ve been to cops, I’m sad to say my negative experiences with cops far outweigh the good. I treated them with respect and did my best to give them the benefit of the doubt. I’ve been screamed at, searched for sketchy reasons, heard them distort legal definitions to make them sound worse, been condescended for things that had nothing to do with my encounter, made fun of for my mental illness, and more. This pales in comparison to how doggedly I've seen my racial minority friends treated. Yet even my friends who lived in the 5 boroughs were quick to dismiss my observation that I was only harassed by cops when in the company of my POC friends and anyone with darker skin.
Thanks to the NYPD-12, the world has recorded evidence of an NYPD officer pressuring another officer into profiling black men and claiming young, male blacks and Hispanics are "who commit the crimes."
In other words, no. It was not "all in my head" and it wasn't an idea implanted in my head by the media. It was a repeatedly lived experience. Stop silencing victims of racial profiling and police brutality while expecting the situation to get better. It won't. We all want the same thing: peace. Like I said, we can't continue to let our country dissolve into pools of blood.
It’s time to break the blue wall of silence once and for all. It’s time to create stronger controls against guns falling into the wrong hands. These broken barriers divide not only between the people and the state, but the people who chose to serve on the forces for the greater good and civilians. It is a barrier that stands not only between the people and the state, but the people who chose to serve on the forces for the greater good. Cops can’t keep worrying about whether or not they can keep their jobs if they call out other cops for abusing their authority. That's the only way we can heal the country's relationship between POC and the police force. Until then, POC will continue to suffer, regardless of whether they're wearing a blue uniform or not. Furthermore, innocent people--especially POC—will continue to suffer.
#Real #BlackLivesMatter #Racism #POC #SilenceIsViolence #PoliceBrutality #RIP
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