I wrote a quick thought on twitter before coming here to write, but I think it sums up the point of this post… My tweet was nothing mind blowing, just straight to the sad, horrible truth. And I said:
It is heartbreaking that yet another unarmed, young Black male, Michael Brown, an innocent teen with a promising future, was murdered by a police officer who not only has his life but his freedom as well.
Darren Wilson, a sick psychopath in my books, claimed Michael Brown as having a “crazy intent” to kill him. The problem arises here; Michael had no such goal. The media has hyped up any American it can on these lies, though. Watching Fox News they fuel the fire, making this innocent, unarmed teen into an evil wanna be murderer. The part that hurts the most is that so many Americans are dumb enough to believe this and other lies the For-Profit, government run media shares. Never do they do independent research. It’s all about what the good ol’ TV says.
The cop, as always, walked away; no punishment despite the witnesses and evidence. “I don’t have a gun, stop shooting.” … Michael Brown’s last words. How haunting… May his soul find peace on his next journey.
As tragic as this is, while this case has been going on, other teens and adults have been harassed and/or murdered by police. This is nothing new, and it will be nothing old if we don’t demand change.
Let’s take a quick look back…
I hate being away from home because so many of my notes are there, but police brutality is nothing new to me. However, it was at 14 when I saw a man murdered by the cops for having a bout of narcolepsy at White Castle. I’ll never forget that day. He was a Black male in his mid 40s, there is a video of it somewhere online but I refuse to watch it again. He wasn’t acting in any such way that warranted the treatment he received, however the cops needed something to do.
So they hog tied him. He was overweight, and he cried. He plead with them. They talked, made jokes, asked everyone each other if they were okay ( I cannot recall the exact amount of cops that night but I’d say at least 7 were present; at the very least). Then he went silent; his muffled cries stopped and for the first and only time in my life, I felt as if a part of me left this world as he died.
Of course I have to mention the tragedy with Amadou Diallo; who was unarmed and shot at by multiple officers over 40 times, 19 of them riddling his body. He was trying to show them his wallet. A cop shouted gun, and that was all it took. No conviction. Nothing but a paid vacation.
Then there was the precious Devin Brown, 13 years old, murdered by the LAPD. He was going through a hard time in life after his father had passed away, but was no trouble maker. But even if he were a trouble maker, death would still have been uncalled for.
Another teen, 15, idolized the police. He had a mental handicap and his mother called the police because he had a knife to his throat. The police answered his actions by shooting and killing him.
Age doesn’t matter, old or young… Let’s look at young first; a six year old was at school, where the irresponsible principal called the cops because the child was upset. He had broken a picture frame and was cutting himself; a clear sign that he needed help. Instead, Miami Dade police showed up, tazered the little 6 year old with 50,000 volts of electricity; enough to kill a grown man (and it has done). When the trigger is pulled it lasts “only” 3 seconds. But if you hold the trigger down, it will go until the battery gives.
Miami police said this was necessary to stop the child from cutting himself. He was six. They were grown men, supposed to be trained professionals. I wouldn’t be able to live with myself. This young child was taken to the hospital and put under mental evaluation.
The more I learned the more I became obsessed with the sickness and determined to do something about it. I volunteered with a national police brutality agency, and worked my way from volunteer to counseling and legal aid within a year. I was still in my teens, and I am so thankful I had the opportunity to work as I did.
For every case that goes reported of police brutality, not even half of them make it to the news, and if they do it is one paragraph in the local newspaper if they are lucky. Others didn’t want it to be public because of the humiliation caused by sick police. I remember trying to find lawyers for victims, in some places I had the lawyers themselves straight up tell me they were not willing to mess with the police department due to fear; that I’d need to find a willing lawyer out of state to come.
That costs even more money; money most victims don’t have.
I started keeping documentation of police brutality in the early 2000s when I was 14 of cases both which I worked on, and which I didn’t. I kept up to date with the police and what would happen… Does anyone remember Donovan Jackson? The 16 year old Black male who had mental handicaps had stopped to get gas with his father when he apparently ‘was too close’ to a cop. These cops would claim that Donovan attacked them, though a tourists video proved that wrong. Handcuffed, the video shows us this teen being beaten against the cops vehicle.
A point I always found interesting about this case is the man who recorded the crime, a few days previous, had been stopped by police and let off despite having traffic tickets (I believe it was traffic violations or tickets, again, I don’t have my notes with me). As a white male, that seems to be the normal. However, a few days after the recording of Donovan Jackson’s beating and the video was released, he was stopped again, but this time taken in to jail. I can’t recall the exact details of it, but I do know it was related to his involvement in recording the horrific crime.
A crime the officers got away with. Later, Donovan Jackson would sue over extreme excessive use of force. He would lose, and the cops would counter his allegations and claim they were discriminated against. Not only did they remain on the police force, they won the case and walked away with $2.4 million dollars despite the evidence against them.
There are so many cases it’s impossible for me to list; a Black male in his 80s took lunch to his wife, who was in a nursing home, every day. This one particular day he had made cupcakes. Driving to the nursing home he was pulled over; the cop tossed the food he made for his wife onto the street, I remember that so vividly… He was then beaten for not getting out of the car fast enough, his legs were smashed by the door (photo and audio evidence) because he couldn’t get in fast enough. The officer received no punishment, of course.
Police brutality has been my life obsession since I was 14. I am now in my 20s, it still is, and though I have been neglecting writing on it as I have in the past, the time to write again has begun. Back when I first began compiling, writing and working against police brutality, it seemed no one else cared. Now, however, it seems there is more awareness within the online communities which is good. But we need more than this; we need to make America safe for all people; especially non-white males.
Cops should be held to a higher standards than every
day citizens. And every day citizens should have the right to defend
themselves without worrying about it being a capital punishment. Cops
should not have a badge that enables them to go around and kill or beat
anyone they want. We should be able to protect ourselves when we are in
the right. If we could do that, perhaps most of the thousands of lives
American cops have stolen would still be here.
But wishful thinking gets us nowhere. Asking and peaceful protests get us no where. So what are we supposed to do?
A great article on police abusing their power can be found here.