No “Happy New Year” for those Murdered by Police in 2017


Oliver — who killed Jordan Edwards, a top student.

[Speaking Truth To Power]

2017 is nearly over.

However, the bloodletting and killings of Black Americans by the hands of state-sanctioned executioners, under the guise of doing police work, continues with regularity—while Capitol Hill, and Washington watches.

The silence amounts to acquiescence. Why don’t we have the kind of media and wider societal denunciation and support for corrective measures against police brutality similar to what we are seeing against sexual abuse of women? Instead we get the standard “we are dealing with a few bad apples” lie; do we hear that about sexual predators?

Will Black America ever stand up to force the “powers that be” to respect Black lives and humanity? Or, will we continue to watch helplessly as our people are being brutalized and slaughtered?

The Internet site tells us, with still two days left in 2018 that 1,182 people have been killed by police this year in America.

At least 291 of these people are Black. We should keep this in mind: Black America represents just 12 percent of the population yet about 25% of those killed by the police, according to the figures from the website. The deadliest months for Blacks were February, when 35 Blacks were killed; and August when 31 were killed.

An important point to remember here is: the racial characteristics of some victims listed on the site have not been recorded because they have not been confirmed.

One of the most heartbreaking killings this year was that of 15-year-old scholar-athlete Jordan Edwards. He was shot in the passenger seat of a car by Officer Roy Oliver in Texas. Edwards and his older brothers had decided to leave a party that had gotten rowdy.

Police initially claimed there was an “altercation with a vehicle backing down the street towards the officers.” But body-cam footage showed otherwise, and Police Chief Jonathan Haber fired Oliver claiming he “did not meet our core values.” Why didn’t Chief Haber know this before since Oliver was a high school member of “Caucasians in Effect,” and once said he “hated anyone who was not Caucasian?” Moreover, didn’t police know during a psychological exam that Oliver showed an “elevated score” on the “risk-taking index?”

This year, among Latinos, at least 106 were killed. Latinos represent 17 percent of the US. population. One of the telling numbers this year is: in January at least 24 Latinos were killed by police. This figure is nearly double the 13 Latinos who were killed in June—the second-deadliest month for Latinos in 2017.

Why is it interesting that 24 Latinos were killed in January by police? In one word: Trump.

Are we to forget how Trump characterized Mexicans, and by racist innuendo, Latinos as “drug dealers,” “rapists” and “criminals” during the election? Is it just coincidental so many Latinos died in January, as Trump was about to be inaugurated, after all his talk about “building a wall” to keep “them” out?

Now some police apologists will argue that of the 397 Blacks and Latinos killed this year that we can’t prove many of these killings weren’t justified. While there is truth here, and while some of these killings maybe justified, the reality is we can no longer afford to believe what police tell us about these shootings. Corroborative evidence is needed. Police have been caught consistently lying too much when it comes to killing Blacks.

For instance, take the case of 17-year-old Xavier Mullen killed on Aug. 25, in Akron Ohio. According to police Mullen, allegedly shot himself to death—while sitting in the back of a police car with handcuffs on, behind his back. Mullens’s mother, Lisa Carswell looked even beyond the cuffs, asking the pertinent question: “how did he get in the back of the cruiser with a gun?”

Another curious police story is that of Romello Isiah Palmer, 21, who reportedly died while allegedly being questioned by Chicago Police. This case is somewhat reminiscence of what happened to Sandra Bland; and there is a conspiracy of silence here. At this late date, there still seems to be no public record regarding cause of death. Cases like these illustrate why we can’t just accept police accounts.

Some apologists of police misconduct make the specious claim that because the total number of Whites killed by police exceeds that of Black and Latinos that this proves institutional racism in policing is a myth.

What these folks try to deflect from is this fact: the raw numbers show us the killings of Black and Latinos are disproportionate—relative to our population percentage. They also want us to forget this: White-Americans still represent 70 percent of the U.S. population. So why is it Blacks, and Latinos are killed at a higher rate?

Now, we will be told by police that Blacks and Latinos are engaged in more crime than Whites. Are they also telling us Black and Latinos are more likely to engage in violent armed attacks against police? If so, where are the statistics proving this? We shouldn’t forget what former Georgia policeman Lt. Greg Abbott told a White motorist “we only kill Black people, right?” Additionally, not only do Blacks and Latinos on average live in poverty stricken communities their unemployment levels are consistently higher –two times in the case of Blacks– relative to Whites’.

We should also consider the counsel of Dr. Amos Wilson, in his book: Black-on-Black Violence: The Psychodynamics of Black Self-Annihilation in Service of White Domination.

“We must recognize that within limits, alleged Black crime is socioeconomically functional for the White American status quo and is ultimately symptomatic of the societal ‘needs’ of powerful segments of the American class structure and its dysfunctionality. In this context, we must ask ourselves the following question: Why do White-Americans need to criminalize significant segments of the African-American population?”

Indeed, these is a “need,” in White America to criminalize Blacks. For if a false reality, about our supposed criminality, can be created they can then excuse the oppression they have heaped upon Africans brought to America since enslavement. Demonization is a way of trying to suppress White guilt for a multitude of crimes.

Dr. Wilson’s insight here also speaks to why American cities, like Ferguson, use the police and courts to further impoverish Blacks through phony tickets and summonses. In the NYPD, quotas and programs like “collars for dollars,” earn bonuses and promotions for White officers, at our expense.

“Powerful segments of the American class structure” do “need” and thrive off Black criminalization. Isn’t this why Congress says nothing when innocent Blacks are murdered and shot down dead in the streets by police? Why haven’t they challenged Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ eradication of the consent decrees President Obama fought for to keep police departments in line?

Why isn’t Congress pushing for body-cam legislation—especially, considering the FBI report about “Ghost Skin” police? “Ghost Skins” is the FBI term for the racist element, from KKK groups and others, who are known to be infiltrating and obtaining jobs as police. Instead of investigating “Ghost Skins,” Sessions is targeting those protesting police violence.

Every time the nation witnesses a mass killing—usually, by some deranged White man, killing White people—pretentious politicians, particularly Democrats, talk about the obvious need to stem gun violence. Yet, they are like deaf-mutes when the perpetrators of gun violence are police officers killing innocent Blacks. Why is gratuitous violence acceptable when police are killing Blacks?

Knowing there are no consequences, why wouldn’t a police officer kill with impunity? The blood trail leads right back to Capitol Hill and the inaction.

We should also note here that: it was a Democratic establishment in Chicago that suppressed the video showing Officer Jason Van Dyke killing Laquan McDonald. This was done to protect Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s re-election bid. Also, it was Democrats Senator Claire McCaskill and then Governor Jay Nixon who vouched for allowing prosecutor Bob McCullough to oversee the grand jury that was looking into the Michael Brown killing by Officer Darren Wilson. This allowed McCullough to engage in a de facto prosecution of Brown and those testifying that Wilson committed murder. Brown’s killer wasn’t even tried reminding us of the bad old days when racist sheriffs who killed in broad daylight were never prosecuted.

Towards the end of this year, we witnessed the emergence of the Me-Too Movement: where women are standing up against those who’ve sexually abused them. Democrats, like Nancy Pelosi, have declared “zero tolerance” against this behavior and several Democrats have been forced out of office, even without due process: like iconic Congressman John Conyers.

Not only do we support the Me-Too Movement, but we encourage Black women—the most sexually-exploited of all women—to speak out as well. However, this question must be posed: how can Democrats talk about “zero-tolerance” for sexual abuse, while staying silent about the unjustified police killings and murders of African-Americans?

Predatory police still brutalize and take Black lives. This has been a rite of passage for American policing since the Slave Patrol days.

We must resolve to stop police violence and murder. Black America, we have no one but ourselves.

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