[“Speaking Truth To Empower”]
Previously, I’ve called for primary challenges against Democrats—including Black ones—who are unresponsive to the needs of our people. We must escalate this strategy…If the Democratic Party wants our votes next November they must be must be forced to fight against racial policing.
Photo: Facebook

Atatiana Jefferson yet another innocent victim of police racism.

Monday was a day of national outrage to protest one of the latest egregious acts of police brutality: the cold-blooded murder of 28-year-old Atatiana Jefferson, who was shot dead inside her home by former Fort Worth Police Officer Aaron Dean.

Several cities hosted day of outrage events, although mainstream media coverage was non-existent.

Vexingly, while Black America is speaking out loudly against police brutality, congressional politicians are doing their best to ignore our voices. Troublingly, Black politicians are missing in action on this issue.

Why are Democrats, especially those running for the Presidency in 2020, so silent in condemning the consistent killing of Black people by police across America?

Monday’s national day of outrage was organized by the UNTIL FREEDOM Organization. This entity was founded by Tamika Mallory, Linda Sarsour, Mysonne Linen, and Angelo Pinto. In New York City, UNTIL FREEDOM led a rally at Foley Square in partnership with the Arc of Justice, Justice League NYC, leading activists, advocates, elected officials, faith and community leaders, artists and others.

UNTIL FREEDOM co-founder Tamika Mallory addressed the protesters and denounced the racist “police terrorism” that left Atatiana Jefferson and Botham Jean dead inside their homes. Mallory likened the behavior of police, like former Officer Aaron Dean and former Officer Amber Guyger, to that of “wild beasts.” She described them as “thugs in our community.

Mallory was clearly also referencing two incidents of police brutality in Brooklyn last weekend.

In one incident, inside a Brooklyn train, at the Franklin Avenue stop, a viral video shows at least 10 NYPD officers swarming then throwing an unarmed, unresistant, young Black man onto the train’s floor. At no time did he fight the cops before being violently attacked. Witnesses say police were brandishing guns outside the train. Some officers were also accused of attempting to block people from documenting their abuse.

The NYPD alleges they were following a tip about a gun, which wasn’t found on the man. In the end, they charged him with fare evasion.

In another incident, at the Jay Street-Metro Tech Center train station, where police were called because of an alleged fight, the video here shows NYPD officers punching and beating up at least three Black teens. In this disturbing cellphone video, several officers are first seen struggling with one teen on the subway platform. As this is happening, another teen is protesting amongst these officers apparently trying to get them to stop assaulting the other teen. Another officer then comes running up behind this teen and takes a cheap shot punching this teen in the head, from behind.

That same officer later attacks another teen who was doing nothing more than probably criticizing the bully behavior of these officers. This teen is punched several times by the officer. This teen then decides to fight back, against this malicious police attack, he is then jumped upon by several officers and thrown to the ground and arrested.

While all this police abuse is occurring a white shirt NYPD officer—signifying the rank of Lieutenant, or higher—is seen only signaling onlookers to move away from the scene.

In a sad example of feeble Black leadership, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, a former officer, called for this thuggish officer to be placed on modified duty, pending an investigation. Modified duty for assaulting two teenagers—including one whose arrest was caused by an unprovoked attack? The assault witnessed is ample evidence to justify immediate termination.

What political leaders should take note of here is this: some Black people—especially the young—are now deciding they will fight back against bullies who wear police uniforms. The main fault for this tragic confrontational reality lies squarely at the feet of politicians who refuse to hold violent officers accountable for their brutal criminal actions. The institution of policing is losing credibility because they constantly cover-up and protect abusive officers. Even worst, many NYPD officers can hide behind nontransparent laws, like the 50-a Law, which allows cops to hide their wrongdoings from public scrutiny.

During the Foley Square rally, Mallory made it clear Jefferson and Jean “were doing the right thing, the right thing, and they were shot and killed in cold blood, in their homes.” She asked “If we don’t stand up for this, what in the hell will we ever stand up for? Mallory said she wasn’t advocating violence but asked: “if we don’t protect ourselves, who the hell is going to protect us?”

Mallory’s questions are extremely relevant.

Black America has few friends when it comes to speaking out forcefully against police violence. Killer-cops and police bullies who brutalize Black people must be opposed at every turn relentlessly. A clear message must be sent that Black Americans will resiliently resist racist police abuse.

After Mallory spoke, Ashley Carr, the sister of Atatiana Jefferson; and Alyssa Finley, sister of Botham Jean addressed the Foley Square crowd.

Finley, the older sister of Botham said she is now unable to watch the television show ‘Power,’ because it was a program, she often watched with him. “It’s difficult, I miss my brother every day…I want him back” she said.

Carr mentioned the fact that “It’s been fifteen days,” since Atatiana was murdered, and the “wound is still raw.” She talked about Atatiana getting a degree in biology despite dealing with difficult circumstances only to lose her life to police violence. Carr said Atatiana “played by the rules” but was still killed like a common criminal. She asked the question “where do we go from here?” Her nephew, who she said is eight-years-old, has been psychologically scarred by witnessed his aunt’s murder. She also asked, “when does this stop, when are we able to just live?

Carr correctly stated, “I do know we need to get out and vote, in local courts and things of that nature, because that’s what actually helps us get through this. It’s not just all about the presidency. So, you know, this is an election year. We have to make our voices known.”

Ms. Carr’s words are directly on point.

We must punish passive politicians who are weak in fighting this scourge of racial policing. It’s time to declare all-out war on police brutality—and all those who enable the criminal conduct of corrupt cops to continue. Police who complain about being stereotyped because of the actions of reprobate cops cannot say this while doing nothing to hold those officers accountable.

Where is the Democratic Party on this? Why are their lips so silent? Why is former HUD Secretary Julian Castro the only 2020 Presidential candidate who speaks unequivocally on this issue? Why is he the only one who has produced a plan to combat racial policing?

The silence of Black leadership on police brutality is an absolute disgrace. Some talk about mass incarceration, while acting as if institutional racism in policing is somehow a separate issue. Racial policing must be treated for what it is: a central component of mass incarceration.

Weak-kneed leaders who won’t stand up against dishonorable police unions must be voted out of office. Punishing politicians who refuse to fight for our equal rights to blow breath, and live, is now an imperative. Aren’t our lives worthy of respect?

Previously, I’ve called for primary challenges against Democrats—including Black ones—who are unresponsive to the needs of our people. We must escalate this strategy. The Democratic Party wants us to be singularly focused on getting rid of Trump, who is indeed a reprehensible representative of those who view non-White lives as worthless. But the Democratic Party is betraying us here with silent inaction when they should be speaking and acting against the genocidal situation that exists between Black America and the racist institution of American policing.

If the Democratic Party wants our votes next November they must be forced to fight against racial policing.

Here we must remember these wise words Dr. King once said, “In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

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