By now most of you have heard about the unrest near St. Louis in the suburbs, in a place called Ferguson.
It has been on the nightly news and the other media for days now and most of you probably think that it
won’t happen in your city, that it is just some sort of ghetto event.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
There is a little bit of Ferguson bubbling up in communities across this land, as folks discover the fact that the police have become militarized and with guns being their main tools, shooting first to kill has become their action of choice when a confrontation develops.
To me, that appears to be the case in Ferguson, at least in this footage below. Note the extremely short time, seconds, between the cops arriving and the shooting of Mr. Powell, dead as a doornail, followed by
handcuffing the corpse.
There is an interesting change that has happened over the last decade or so in the suburbs- while the
police forces have stayed lily white mostly, their
prey constituents have become more black and latino.
Unfortunately their method of policing has had to adapt to a new reality and they have turned to the tried and true ways of dealing with minorities, busting heads and shooting the Hell out of anyone who causes
You know, white folks have long assumed that this type of policing would never come to their neighborhoods but I am not so sure. I watched another video the other day where a cop manhandled a
disabled person, note his skin color.
Police all over the country seem to look upon the average citizens as guilty until proven innocent and that
they will make that determination, not a judge and jury. Never in my life have I seen or read so many reports
alleging police brutality or misconduct or what I feel are police lynchings of the public, like that shooting in Ferguson recently. Or Kelly Thomas, a homeless man killed by police in Fullerton, California a couple of years ago. By the way, the jury acquitted the officers in that case despite overwhelming evidence against the officers in a videotape made by a property surveillance camera.
What is to be done about this? Can we trust our government and community leaders to act to stop these
illegal police activities?
I don’t think so. This is something that we the people will have to take care of, individually or as a group action.
Let me bring up a couple of historical incidents of folks fighting with the cops and living to tell about it.
Sonny Liston, former Boxing champion, had at least 2 altercations with cops, leaving one headfirst stuffed into a garbage can. They didn’t shoot him and he ended up serving time for one of the assaults.
Pat Buchanan, the political commentator, as a young man had a run in with police, he thought he was disrespected by them and got into fisticuffs with them, and ended up getting arrested.
I am sure few of you have heard the following name, Sagon Penn. In 1985, he was involved in an altercation with San Diego police that led to him shooting and killing one, wounding and running over another, and wounded a civilian observer(ride along.) In two trials, he was acquitted of the murder and other serious charges, and the jury deadlocked on the lesser charges. There was no retrial. Both trials focused on police issues dealing with the minority communities- sound familiar?
Sagon Penn took his own life about 15 years later, I am sure that hardly a day went by that he wasn’t followed by police or haunted by his notoriety.
We as a people somehow need to put across to the police that we are not going to take being dissed anymore, not going to take being pushed around anymore, and we sure as Hell ain’t gonna take our cops acting as judge, jury and executioners anymore.
As Dr. King said, a man can’t ride your back if you stand up.