Police Misconduct

Police Doin' What They Do in Charlottesville

That is, the bare minimum--at least when it comes to policing white thugs. 

White supremacists display the fearsome power of the discount Tiki torch in Charlottesville, Va,  August 2017. (google.com)

White supremacists display the fearsome power of the discount Tiki torch in Charlottesville, Va,  August 2017. (google.com)

My social media is blowing up with this stuff in Virginia, and it's very interesting to see the divide here.  Because my white liberal friends are shooketh.  To the core.  Much lamenting, pearl clutching and even crying.  Black folks are like, "ah--you finally put the robe on, but we knew you had it in your closet the whole time."  As a people, we are saddened by displays such as this, but ain't ne'er a negro shocked.  Nor are we astonished by the lack of a police presence last night, when KKK members raided some suburban mom of that entire stash of Tiki torches she got from Target clearance a few years ago.  Tough stuff, that.  Grown ass men, walking around with a Polynesian import in hand, yelling anti-immigration rhetoric as they walk their weak asses through the mean streets of a predominately white fucking college campus.

Racists get out their finest sheets and Confederate flags for white supremacy rally amongst a small gathering of police officers. (google.com)

Racists get out their finest sheets and Confederate flags for white supremacy rally amongst a small gathering of police officers. (google.com)

The events of last night and this morning in Virginia were not a surprise.  This was not a chance encounter, like, one Nazi was walking down the street and saw another Nazi he knew and crossed the street to catch up, and then they were like, "Hey, isn't that Joe from United Nazi Church?  Oh, and there's Cam the manager at KKKFC!" and before they knew what was going on, it was goddamn Nazi reunion.  Nah, son.  This shit was planned.  For months.  There were probably cottage industries that sprang up alongside it.  You know someone probably made a killing bleaching sheets and starching hoods so they'd stand up nice and all pointy like.  How drôle to show up with an over-bleached, yellowed sheet and a droopy hood like some low class racist yokel.  No, these mother fuckers were primed and ready for primetime.

Lone black woman in flats and maxi dress approached by armored cops. Avengers and Suicide Squad just out of the frame. (Reuters/J. Bachman)

Lone black woman in flats and maxi dress approached by armored cops. Avengers and Suicide Squad just out of the frame. (Reuters/J. Bachman)

So where were the damn cops?  Pick any large assembly of Black Lives Matter protesters, and not only is there a large show of force from the local police department, but they also call in the state police, the Suicide Squad and the Avengers.  But here, when you have a planned congregation of several large pro-white hate groups, and you know things are going to be more incendiary than a Tiki torch in August, there's barely any show of force.  I'm glad a state of emergency was eventually declared, but it was so obvious that they were not ready for what they had to contend with.  Interesting.  For any assembly of black folks, the very worse is assumed, and cops are there, the itchier the trigger finger the better.  In fact, it ain't even gotta be a whole assembly of black folks; it could just be one black guy driving with his family.  But for a gathering of several known hate groups, it's "oh, it'll probably be alright.  We'll just wait and see what happens." 

Yeah, black people ain't really asking where the cops were in Virginia.  We already know why policing this sort of a gathering wouldn't be high on their radar.  One, because a gathering of white folks will always be given the benefit of the doubt, even when they don't deserve it, and two, because most of the police force probably took the day off to join in.

So, What's the Going Price for a Black Life These Days?

Family of Philando Castile, including his mother, Valerie, respond to the acquittal of his killer. (Craig Lassig/European Pressphoto Agency)

Family of Philando Castile, including his mother, Valerie, respond to the acquittal of his killer. (Craig Lassig/European Pressphoto Agency)

Weeks after being gutted by the acquittal of that asshole that murdered Philando Castile, we found out that Castile's family is being awarded a $3 million settlement.  I'm happy for them.  Really, I am.  It won't bring their loved one back, but at least it's something, and God knows they deserve something.  Yet, happy as I am when I hear of families receiving some sort of financial restitution, it is never enough, as a cash payout for a stolen life can never be enough.  And after so many headlines like this, I have to ask why is it that all these cities, all these police departments would rather shell out cash by the millions instead of putting an end to the carnage? 

This is happening across this country in cities large and small, but we'll focus on just one.  Back last year it was reported that the cash strapped city of Chicago had paid out over $662 million in a little over a decade for police misconduct.  That's over half a billion dollars.  Yet, the city has only made token efforts to reform its police department, because apparently they'd rather just keep killing Black and Brown folks and paying off their families instead of making real changes to get real results.  I don't claim to have all the answers to end police misconduct towards minorities, but surely half a billion dollars, if pointed in the right direction, could effect some real change?  But instead, Chicago, and other cities and towns like it, would rather keep the status quo than keep their money.  It defies logic.  But to do otherwise would be to defy racism.

The police department and the cities that support them are built on a foundation of white supremacy; racism is woven into the very fabric of American society.  To start to pull at all the bad threads that make up that society could cause the entire cloth to unravel.  Dismantling these systems -- of which police misconduct is but a symptom -- will take time, effort, and yes, money.  More time, effort and money than our society is apparently will to expend just to save a few minority lives. 

How many more lives will be snuffed out?  Shootings by police are at an all time high, white supremacy retains its chokehold on American society, and the taxpaying populace seems almost perfectly content to shell out $3 million here, half a billion there for the loss of a life in state sponsored murder.  In Chicago the total was $662 billion from 2004 - 2016.  What will that figure look like in the next decade?