Saturday, July 5, 2008

Reverse the Hate! Fight Police Brutality!

Earlier, this week, I watched as the local police made two separate stops of men walking in the neighborhood. First, the officers blocked traffic by pulling the cruiser to a slant. 10th street in Long Beach is a busy thoroughfare but kinda small so oncoming traffic has to swerve around the cruiser. This is dangerous and annoying. This is a vulger display of power that serves no purpose other than to demoralize the community. You know, show em who's in charge! Now, both officers had the young fella empty his pockets onto the hood of their vehicle and have him lean over the hood. It was at least 93 degrees and humid and this young man is searched while his hands are cooking on the hood of a hot police cruiser.

While, this may be standard procedure, I would think it would be tantamount to torture. His hands are burning and the officers are aware the engine is hot! The stop ended with the young fella being released and he cursed the cops as he walked away, black bandanna around his head, shirtless and muscular. He could not have been more than sixteen years old as he walked away with his girlfriend and little sister. He may have appeared to be a gangbanger but so what! A ticket wasn't issued, he wasn't arrested and the neighborhood is full of people dressed in the same style.

The next dude was Hispainic, his bicycle was laid on someone's lawn curb, the police, again blocked the street but sat him on the curb as they searched his contents and ran his id. There were two officers in each case and neither time did an officer move the vehicles out of the way after the person was detained making it easier for oncoming motorists. He wasn't arrested either.
Both young fellas walked away angry with the police. It seems to me that the Police, in spite of all the studies and urban rebellions, AKA Riots seldom implement community policing which has been recommended too many times to mention. Young cops leave the academy and patrol the ghettos growing older and hardhearted. Young fellas grow up watching those same cops grow old and a perfect hatred forms between the two.

We need changes, we need for our local police to live locally. They need to live in the cities they patrol not in some faraway suburb. The Police should implement foot patrols, forcing direct contact with the citizens of the neighborhood. They should know the residents, the business owners, the homeless and the yes, the hustlers. They should be involved with the neighborhood. They should greet the citizens, displaying common courtesies and building relationships. This would combat the hatred which is passed on generationally between everyone. This would help police combat crime as well by being able to spot potential problems and defuse tensions early in the neighborhood.
The current policy has not worked! The community does not help the police. The Police often behave as if they are an enemy occupying army, maddogging people as they pass. This is not hypebole because it happens to me all the time.

US versus Them must end! The Police must become responsive to the community and they must be held accountable. One way for that to happen is by foot patrols and true community involvement by the police. Police should be trained in great customer service, we pay for these services. I for one don't want to pay for my oppression and for someone to abuse me! Police Action Leagues should mentor and sponser kids and community organizations.

And when abuse does occur the police and the local justice system need to take that seriously. Bad cops hide behind their Unions, the blue wall of silence and the public's fear of crime. Community Oversight is important as well. Police officers too should know that crime will not be tolerated!

We can do better, we can break the cycle of hate!
Chime in and let's do something to change our community for the better.

Be Mindful! Be Prayerful! Be Careful!



Roadhouse said...

Unless you know what was being said on the police radio prior to the encounter, your taking the entire situation out of context. Where's the "justice" in spreading rumors about things you know nothing about?

On the east coast, we call that "talking out one's ass". And it's a common tactic used by those who actually do "hate".

There is a reason that police use the procedures they do, and it has nothing to do with "vulgar displays of power" or "demoralizing the community".

I hope you never get robbed or beaten, because I can't imagine who you would call for help. Certainly not those hatefull police officers.

achoiceofweapons said...

Wow! Roadhouse and welcome to a choice of weapons! I would say that it would be fair to say since you don't know my background, you actually can't make that kinda of judgement about me or my post. Do you know if I'm in law enforcement? No, Do you know if I've been in law enforcement? Maybe I'm a Lawyer....
Plus I don't need to know what was said on the radio scanner prior to the encounter. My post was about the relationship between my community and the police. That relationship is contentious at best. There have been several police killings and police abuse of citizens recently. It's not uncommon. You can wave your flags all you want but until you've been a Black Man dealing with inner city police I would suggest you keep your mouth shut or at least keep the safety on it.
Thank you for your post. You have great courage, please stop by often.

Roadhouse said...

If you are in any way related to law enforcement, then you would know that it is reasonable to assume that these officers may have been responding to a call in which a person of like description was being searched for. That means that the entire context of what you witnessed IS based on what was being said on the radio.
It is also reasonable to assume that they were putting pressure on a known criminal in order to let him know that he will have a tougher time doing business in that community. This is a time-tested tactic that has worked for well over a century. This method is also commonly used as part of larger investigations. To make any other assumptions is unfair to those officers.

Your police career (or lack-there-of) and my skin color have no bearing on this discussion. Unless you are a racist.

There is a slight difference between "flag waving" and giving people the benefit of the doubt when all the facts have yet to be presented.

But keep on thinking that casting aspersions will help the "contentious relationships" in your neighborhood.

achoiceofweapons said...

That is a delusional statement. First, let me clarify, the post was about the communities and the police's relationship to one another and occurances and procedures that I believe are over the top causing further anger and harmful to a healthy relationship with the community. Police departments do not live in a vaccuum. Everything we do Cops and Citizens affects each other. We can do better.
Now about Race, it matters in this country, law enforcement has tailored and created it policies in police work, gun control jails and prison sentencing based on race. Five Hundred years of history confirms this! I don't know where you live but don't lie to yourself. Alot of Police departments have racist ideas and polices, that does not mean that The police officers themselves are racists, but you can't be an ideologue, blindly parroting the so-called conservative nonsense.
Unless you have had a sworned officer walk up to you in a perfectly lit hallway, 45 caliber pulled and cocked and tell you :You fit the description to a 6'7, Dark skinned Black man, wearing all Black, and you are in reality 5'8, light complexed and wearing all green, 5'8 is a long way from 6'5 to 6'7, 180 is a long way from 225-250. Since that has happened to me and on several other occasions, with Guns drawn, again, respectfully, Race is real not imagined in this country. I am not racist and I don't believe you are either but some are, always have been and always will be guess what, Roadhouse...some wear suits and uniforms.
Thank you for commenting and again, Keep the safety on your mouth, once it goes off, can't take it back!

achoiceofweapons said...

Hey Roadhouse,
I've been meaning to ask, why have you not commented on the fact that the officers described in my post, placed the young fella, bearshirted and on a hot engine hood on a hot day on the hood for a long period of time while they checked his id? They could have sat him on the curb, checked his id and let him go. There were two officers there, both armed, in shape, highly trained, where was this young dude gonna go? ID, Wallet, House keys and pack of gum gonna go? He was on a hot car, no need to do that. The fact that they commented from thier windows after he was walking away and he returned theirs, demonstrates it devolved. The Officers are supposed to be courtesous, that's their job, it is not the young fellas job. He didn't take an oath. They did!

How about foot patrols, didn't comment on that. It's been proven that when police are active with the public directly, the public and the police have a better relationship.

So far all you've commented on is any critism oif the police. That's a shame because the post was about our shared interests in having a better relationship.

Roadhouse said...

I comment on things that I think need to be commented on. For example, foot patrols and the like require little comments because I assume you realize that this is an issue to bring up at your next town council meeting or through contacting your local legislators. Besides that, I have no problem with the concept. Hence no comment.
As for the "hands on the hood" thing, I wasn't there. So I will still refrain from casting aspersions. I do know that every episode of "COPS" that I have ever seen has shown the suspect having his/her hands being first placed on the hood (regardless of climate) so that it is harder for them to toss evidence. I have also seen this many times personally in my years of driving trucks. Maybe it was an oversite on behalf of the officers. But my original theory about pressuring a known criminal is just as reasonable as when I first proposed it.

If you're truly curious about police tactics, ask a police officer.

As for racism in the ranks. I am not implying that the police are not human and therefore without flaws. But, I will need to see a copy of those policies based on race that you are talking about before I jump on the "the system's just tryin' to keep a brother down" train.

Personally, I fight racism by simply not participating. If you have been a victim of racism, it's because you encountered a bigot who happens to be a police officer. That does not mean that there's a bigot hiding behind every badge.

Skin color matters to bigots and racists. And I DO know that both still exist in 2008. But painting with a broad brush will not stop it. Assuming that every adversity a black man suffers is a result of racism won't stop it either.

Before you tell me to "shut up" again, or "keep the safety on my mouth", knocked on my blog's door first. And so far, I haven't written anything I think needs to be taken back.

achoiceofweapons said...

Chief William Parker LAPD's entire career. Chief Parker recruited primarily from the South specifically to patrol Watts, the 15 mile radius known worldwide now as south central los angeles. He, in his own statements advised when dealing with juvie crime, that there is no rehabilation for them, throw them in jail and throw away the key. Juvies!
White Juvies though could be rehabbed they were just rambuncious kids! Fact! He dictated the whole social order that influances the legal system to this day.
Again, you watch cops, I live it. You have not walked in MY shoes, you can't but again, keep the safety on your mouth cause you don't know from which you speak!
Check Prop 14 in California on Wiki and it will outline California's own brand of Jim Crow in the housing, in Watts and how the 65 riot really started. Again, High unemployment, Overzealous police officers constantly harrassing the citizens until a cop did something tragic and set off the powder keg. The 92 riots were shown to have the same conditions as the first. It ain't the people it's the cops who don't learn and won't change their tactics. Reality check, most people the cops stop aint criminals period but they get treated like they are constantly. All I said was change tactics! The cops could be courteous and fair, that's all. But if they walk around being dix to people all the time, then they will get the same results. And I have suggested it and so have two other commissions, the Kerner and The Christopher. LAPD is still under Federal Mandate today for what they haven't implemented.

Roadhouse said...

Why stop at the Watts riots. We can set the wayback machine as far back as we want to and we'll surely find even more racism and injustice.
But today is 2008. In 2008, police officers put the hands of suspects on their hoods to be in full view of dash-mounted cameras that are fixed to view the front of the car.
I'm sure that you're wrong about Chief Parker. Here's why. From the ground up, California's political structure is dominated by liberal Democrats. As they are the party of tolerance, peace, justice, equality, and superior intellect, I am sure that L.A. is a utopia of racial harmony and unity.
For L.A. to hire or elect a racist police chief would be crazy talk.

Sarcasm aside, I can only imagine what being a cop in a city riddled with gangs and a history of rioting would be like. The cops in my town don't harrass anyone. But then again, the citizens in my town are not prone to stealing television sets, burning businesses and beating truck drivers with bricks when we disagree with a court ruling. We don't have crips, bloods, ms13, latin kings, 18th street gangs or hell's angles either.

Coincidently, the citizens here are allowed to arm themselves and we generally don't look to the government to solve our problems for us.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and assert that the tactics of L.A. police officers are a little less forgiving because the environment is a tad more hostile than other towns.

Please explain what a cop did in 1992 to justify a group of un-related civilians pulling a cement truck driver (Reginald Dennehy) from his truck and beating him to near death, all while laughing hysterically about it.

achoiceofweapons said...

I will not defend Damien Football Williams and the group of thugs who beat Reginald Denny. But I will continue to criticize Sgt. Stacy Koon, Officer Tim Wind and the like who chose to whup the living poop out of Rodney King while over one hundred officers and peace officers looked on. I will speak on how they said the beating was Gorillas in the mist, how about how they beat the other three that were in the vehicle, off camera, And the fact that all of these men, admittedly of questionable rep, got paid my tax dollars cause some fool cop broke his own police rules. See the real conservative view for me is that you admit that police have hard jobs but not so hard that they have a license to harass and kill. What about the Killing of Oliver X Beasley in 1991 by LAPD, he had his hands up but refused to get on his knees, citing his religious beliefs that he wasn't bowing down to anyone except God. Shot Dead! What about the Long Beach PD, Who shot an old 60 year old Homeless woman in 2002. Two officers in their 20's shot her dead for weilding a screwdriver at them even though she was 15 feet away from them, and mentally ill. What justification did they have? Two young physically fit, highly trained professionals shooting a 60 year old woman. What about the Beating of Devonte Brown, a 16 year, mentally challenged boy, already subdued by the officer, who hit him with a flashlight and his fist( Caught on camera) I could name several other incidents, How about off duty police officer Don Jackson, Long Beach PD who in 1992 in plain clothes demonstrated how fellow officer treated Black Men, who were beligerent. They slamed his head into a plate glass window. NBC news crew filmed it.

Roadhouse, you were linked to my man Go Zack! I read your blog and found it interesting. I don't agree with most of views but I found it interesting none the less. However I must remind you, that it was you, were started the negitive vibe with the talking out your azz comment. I just took the gloves off. No problem but like I said I think there are much better ways to communicate. Let's start again.

Last thing, Just because a person critizes a cop or a tactic used by cops don't mean that they don't support them. It means they calling it real period!

Roadhouse, you can't relate to what I am saying or describing but it's real. You are not Black, You have never been followed and stopped just because there were three to four Black men in your car. You have never had a gun pointed at you during a stop. You have never been in the kill zone for a traffic ticket. You have never been treated rudely by an officer, told to shut up when you asked a question that you are entitled to ask under the law, I experience is different but none the less real.
Thank God it ain't your experience and I hope that it never is but it is mine and alot of folks that live in my neighborhood.

Roadhouse said...

In a city with a population the size of L.A.'s, I can assume we can cite thousands of questionable busts and bad shoots. But I still don't see what this has to do with the situations in your original post. You seem to have drifted far afield from that topic and the reasonings I proposed.

I can also assume that you did not like being falsely accused by the officers that treated you so poorly, yet you applied a similar principle to the officers you wrote about. Granted, casting aspersions and pointing a service revolver at someone are on two different levels, but two wrongs do not make a right.

Though I do not know what it's like to be a black man, I know that being white does not entitle me to stereotype ALL blacks because of the actions of a FEW blacks.
If I met you on the street, should I assume that you're really a crack dealer, or a pimp, and then write posts about you that implied that? After all, L.A. does have a lot of crack dealers and pimps.

achoiceofweapons said...

Well you are correct, we should not assume anything about each other and that was the point of my post. We should work together, courteously for our own common good. Unfortunately that is not the case in my city. A few years ago a LA County Sheriff friend of mine, started in the department. At the time a neophyte officer had to work inside the jails for the first two to five years before they were moved out onto the streets. A study was conducted. It found that the officers who did this could no longer distingush the dregs of society and the society on the street. So as a result, they shortened the tour of duty and began to rotate officers into the street sooner. I think it may have helped some. The Sheriffs were notorious for a while.I think it's a little better. But the attitude I described is what alot of the police departments are suffering through, The US versus them. But the people are part of the US actually there is no them.
Look forward to hearing from you and reading you often,