Chief Tom Jackson ran Ferguson Police like a Godfather
[Speaking Truth To Power]
The man charged with shooting two Ferguson Police officers now insists he is innocent of that tragic incident—and says he was badly beaten to confess to the shooting.
Given the March 4 Justice Department report—exposing and detailing the racist police practices of the Ferguson Police Department and the City —how can we believe anything officials in Ferguson or St. Louis tell us?
Last Tuesday, lawyer Jerryl Christmas, who is defending the accused shooter who wounded two cops, Jeffrey Williams, maintained that his client was not the person who shot the two policemen outside the Ferguson Police Department recently.
Christmas asserted that Williams did not fire a gun that night, nor did he have a gun.
But, Bishop Derrick Robinson, of Kingdom Destiny Fellowship told the St Louis Post-Dispatch Williams admitted to the shooting, because he was robbed in the protest zone on March 11. Presumably, he was either trying to shoot those responsible for robbing him, or, was trying to let off steam by firing into the air.
“He told me that he shouldn’t have done it,” Robinson said. “He was embarrassed; he showed deep remorse; he wishes he could retract things.”
Why would he tell that to Robinson and not his attorney and how does it get from the Bishop to the newspaper; the same paper which was dishing convenient “leaks” last year that ultimately tainted the public perception and helped spring Officer Darren Wilson, who killed Michael Brown?
Christmas, the lawyer insists Williams was sympathetic to hearing that the officers were shot—but was not expressing responsibility for the shooting. “He was remorseful about the officers being shot, he just said he couldn’t believe it and he felt bad.”
Christmas said Mr. Williams was beaten and was “definitely roughed up” by police. “I don’t believe they have the right person in custody. I don’t believe he was the shooter,” Mr. Christmas said. He added that Mr. Williams “clearly told me that he was in pain during the questioning, and I think he would have said about anything.”
Some people are now wondering if the alleged confession of Mr. Williams wasn’t obtained under coercion, especially, since Mr. Williams’ mug shot photos show abrasions on his face—and according to Christmas, Williams has injuries on his back and head as well.
This is a serious matter that needs to be looked into by authorities independent of Ferguson or St. Louis police jurisdictions.
Ferguson police officials deny the assertion that police obtained the “confession” by beating it out of Mr. Williams. St. Louis County spokesman Brian Schellman insisted the accusations were “completely false.” Schellman claimed Williams was put through the same booking process “in the very same manner as anyone else taken into custody” which in itself does not offer much assurance.
Unfortunately, given what we know of police officials in Ferguson how can we trust any of these folks? The Justice Department report made it clear Ferguson is a hotbed of institutional racism—where Black people are exploited by police, and the courts, in a sickening ticketing scheme calibrated to balance the city budget on the backs of Blacks. Recently-departed police chief was ordered to increase City revenue by targeting Black people; he did so, raising revenue by 30% through bogus ticketing and fines.
Given the appalling findings of the report, it seems clear the conduct of these Ferguson officials went much further than even the worst outrages outlined in the report. We now have a window, with a sort of bird’s eye view, into the kind of amoral persons who are in power in parts of America. Places like Ferguson where Black people are used as a primary source of municipal revenue—and where African-Americans can be shot down dead whenever some White person feels “threatened.”
It explains much about why Michael Brown was shot down in worse fashion than an animal—many wouldn’t shoot a dog this way—by Officer Wilson. It also speaks to why the Ferguson Police behaved the way they did during the first days of protests after Brown was killed—with war-surplus military vehicles deployed in a manner to menace and intimidate protesters. The “peace officers” were the ones disturbing the peace.
Many people have been giving speeches about being “peaceful” and “non-violent.”
But, by and large, wasn’t it the Ferguson Police who disturbed the peace by reacting to citizen’s concerns with an oppressive show of force? Wasn’t it the police who violated the First Amendment Rights of peaceful protesters, by trying to stop them from assembling? How is it that so-called law enforcement can so cavalierly trample on constitutionally protected “rights?”
In Congress, we often hear politicians giving speeches about the “rule of law.” On the immigration issue, we often hear talk, especially by the GOP, about immigrants who “broke the law” by coming into the country.
If these people are such believers in “upholding the law,” why don’t they show any concern about the obvious problems we’ve seen—especially over the last year—regarding law-breaking among “law enforcement” officers? How can these “leaders” expect others to respect “the law” when they allow police officers to abuse their power?
Where is Washington here? Hypocrisy exposed.
Capitol Hill has said basically nothing on this issue. Those now protesting against police profiling, brutality and murder of unarmed Black citizens need to pay close attention to this lack of consideration. What is the message they are sending? That they don’t care about police who brutalize and kill innocent people—especially, if they are Black people?
Then again, these U.S. Senators and members of the House of Representatives probably come from the same areas where racism among cops is a major problem.
In fact, perhaps, we should see the racial reality, in Ferguson, as nothing more than a more transparent form of the racial politics that is being played out in Washington daily.
There is a connecting thread between the divisive demonization that Republicans have engaged in, to delegitimize America’s first African-American president, and, the racist criminalization against the Black residents in a place like Ferguson.
President Barack Obama’s name has been used as a political punching bag. Racist innuendos and unsubstantiated charges have become the order of the day when these political pretenders speak the president’s name. We don’t have enough space here to list all the idiotic charges these people have made against President Obama.
But, behind all the claims of this president being, supposedly, more criminal than all the White men who’ve occupied the nation’s presidency, is the not-so-subtle discomfort with seeing a Black man in the White House. A jail house—not the White House—is where some White people prefer to see Black men.
The same racist police profiling practices that law enforcement uses to daily harass, and criminally catalogue, African-Americans can be seen in the racist rhetoric—trying to pass itself off as legitimate political debate—which Republicans use to demonize President Obama. Like all the bogus lawsuits and charges of the president allegedly violating the Constitution, we see the fraud that police departments are using to rationalize the continuing war being waged against Black America.
That “war” is meant to thwart the economic and political progress of African-Americans—who more than anyone were the drivers behind the economic prosperity of America through centuries of uncompensated labor.
In the final analysis, much of this racist police action—that we see across the country—is the continuation of an old story, where far too many in White America concoct varying means to exploit and hold back Black people.
The report on Ferguson’s police department and City by the Department of Justice is a crystal clear example of this reality. But Ferguson isn’t the only place where people are using governmental agencies and their apparatus to engage in institutional racism against Black people.
Racism pays well; as Ferguson shows.
How can we trust anything police officers in Ferguson—and across America—tell us, especially, in light of the Justice Department report?