Monday, August 15, 2016

Police Injustice, the Policing System is working as Designed

Lost amongst the Trump-led GOPdammerung, the Dept of Justice released a depressing report on the state of policing in Baltimore. That report has been coupled with two more Police Shootings of young black males, one in Chicago and one in Milwaukee.

Now, the Milwaukee shooting appears to have been lawful, a "good shoot", but, criminals took advantage of the tensions and engaged in assaults and vandalism using the shooting as a pretext. The Chicago shooting is more complex and does not appear to be a "good shot" at this time.

It appears that young black men need to re-learn the lesson their fathers, uncles, and grandfathers learned;
"You need to understand that there are two gangs in the projects. The police are also a gang but they really have the power. I mean, these n* run around with money and cars, but at any moment the cops can get them off the street. Never, never, never piss off the police." -Sudhir Venkatesh recounts a discussion with "Autry" in Gang Leader for a Day (pg. 239)
The system of Policing in America is working as intended. Modern Police Departments were created during the 19th century to deal with 3 changing factors in America; 1) the growth of cities due to Industrialization, 2) the influx of immigrants from new nations, 3) the end of slavery and the Black exodus. Thus, a system needed to be created to deal with problems that original Sheriff's were not designed to handle; to control, disenfranchise, and ghettoize undesireables. To accomplish this it is not necessary that every Police Officer be racist. It is, in fact, desireable for the majority to be color-blind.

Every shooting is not done by a Bocephus white slave master racist cop but, that's what makes the rigged system work. The system by being generally good and staffed by lawful, honorable people creates a space for a bad element to exist and operate. Humans have a difficult time processing issues related to large, anonymous systems. It's too much. An individual bad actor or department can be identified and dealt with but, the system of control which has been created, and feed for centuries works in the background grinding out victims without being addressed.

Overall, the quality of modern police officers is very high but, that's a lie of statistics. In a Nation of 320 Million any one death is a insignificant blip, but such a calculus is used by those who do not suffer from the system.

Ferguson, Missouri two years ago became a microcosm of the harshness of the system. Michael Brown, got into an altercation at a gas station over a pack of swisher sweets, of which, Darren Wilson was unaware.

The altercation between Wilson and Brown at the door of the squad SUV and into the street without video evidence can never be properly reconstructed and one eye witness account will nver be heard but, right-wingers didn't feel comfortable with the known facts and had to start adding elements that were untrue. Conservatives sites claimed Wilson suffered a broken orbital bone from the "beating" he took and Faux News and the right-wing internet ran with the wholly untrue "diary" of Witness 40 to describe the final interaction and last shots fired at Brown.

But, when the Dept of Justice released the report which showed the Ferguson PD had been transformed from Officers into revenue generators to fill budget gaps that received little fanfare. Police Departments have been monitized over the last few decades as villages and cities have had to deal with declining budgets.

On top of turning Police Officers into tax collectors "Broken Windows" Theory has been in place for years. Broken Windows hypothesized that by cracking down on every minor infraction major crime would be detered. Additionally, "Stop & Frisk" and the War on Drugs turned policing from protect and serve into halt and harass.

Taken together, these had the effect of turning LEOs into occupying force, while other factors, the availability of high-powered firearms and long guns have led to a Paramilitary police look and mentality.

The recent Chicago Police shooting of an escaping car thief, and the mentality that led to the long altercation and not split-second decision was neatly avoided, while Chicago police bloggers who blamed both Mayor Rahm and Daley for cutting the training budget. Other anonymous LEOs joined in by saying lack of training was the problem.

This is part and parcel of the system. Bad shoots can be blamed on a lack of training or stress from working conditions and not from the violence/control/dehumanization inherent in the system. But, if these aren't enough to cover the bad shoot, then the character/criminal history of the suspect becomes pertinent and subtle lies can be added to the narrative.

Conservatives have been conditioned by right-wing toxic talk radio, Faux News, and the incestuous right-wing internet sites to reflexively blame all members of the maligned group. After every incident if the perpetrator is black, all members of the black community or #blacklivesmatter are guilty, if the offender is a muslim, all of islam is responsible, if the immigrant is hispanic, he's illegal.

Also, as conservatives have been trained to focus all their ire onto President Obama, every shooting in Chicago, every riot in Milwaukee becomes his fault. Additionally, since they ascribe to President Obama tyrannical powers they demand he turn those powers onto #blm and uniltaerally declare the organization a "terrorist group".

The arguments around #blm today are eeriely similar to those made about the Civil Rights Era; act responsibiliy, don't be so militant, don't do things which cause people to be annoyed or inconvenienced by you and eventually we'll get around to your concerns.

It wasn't until blacks began causing damage to property, in response to police shootings of black men that the media and conservatives began to pay attention. Of course, conservatives immediately called for violence against any and all black people and began demanding shoot-on-sight orders for looters.

Of course, it's hard to take conservatives seriously when they cry and moan about private property damage seeing as they venerate the Boston Tea Party as a near-Holy Event.

But, during the Civil Rights Era, black leaders knew they needed an unassailable champions to be the vanguard of the movement, that even the whiff of impropreity would be the wedge conservatives needed to discredit them and get sentiment against them.

While, the young black men killed in recent years have not be paragons of justice and untainted by criminal backgrounds, society in general and the black community have witnessed numerous incidents of #crimingwhilewhite, in which a white suspect has not been killed by Police and the treatment of President Obama, have created the perception that it doesn't matter what blacks do, because conservatives consider them criminal a priori and right-wing media will spare no effort slandering and smearing the dead black person.

To conservatives no police shooting of a black person is ever bad. No black person has ever been denied his constitutional rights, his right to due process, his right to be free of unlawful search and sezuire. Conservatives believe every black person is a criminal who just hasn't been caught yet.

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