I do not trust the police. There I said it. I know many individual officers that are nice, honorable people that have my full confidence. Until they put on that uniform. As a police officer, I do not trust them or the institution to which they belong.
The last few years have been difficult with shooting after shooting, death after death, and the perpetrators not being held accountable. I am in no way saying that things were not fucked up before all of these shootings began getting media attention. I saying that the mainstream white community had no idea how bad things were. Now, there were some woke people, but most white people walk around wearing blinders, sticking their fingers in their ears, and yelling, “EVERYTHING’S FINE. THERE ARE NO PROBLEMS. LIFE IS GREAT.” Which is a very different experience than what the African American community faces. If they walked around with difficulty seeing and hearing they are likely to get shot for not following directions from the police.
In addition to the recent rounds of violence I also recently watched the movie Straight Out of Compton, great movie by the way. I knew the words to almost every song in the movie cause that is what I grew up listening to. Nothing, and I mean nothing, tells the story of a middle class white kid like hardcore gansta rap. In the movie, they show a clip of the Rodney King beating. That made me go watch the entire video of the Rodney King beating. Watch the video, go on, I’ll wait. They beat the every living shit out of that man, and were acquitted. It made me realize that nothing has changed for Africans Americans. Great strides were made in the 1960s and 1970s. We got rid of Jim Crow, we had desegregation, laws were passed to ensure that white people treated black people fairly. Yet, from the 1980s to today the needle has not moved much.
Is it any surprise then that there was violence in Milwaukee this past weekend? I am not making excuse for the violence, but we have to understand that the violence was an expression of intense anger that could no longer be contained. Is it any wonder? What are the first two things that you heard about Syville Smith? He had a gun and he was a career criminal. That is what we have heard about every African American victim of police violence. They were dangerous and they were criminals. The media is complicit in destroying the character of the victims. So, lets look at the second part, that Syville had a lengthy police record. No, he had one misdemeanor and some traffic tickets. He had been arrested and charged with a number of felonies in the past, but all the charges were dropped. So, either he is a criminal mastermind, or we need to not take what the Milwaukee police say as the gospel truth. This is the city that has the highest percentage of African Americans incarcerated in the country and is considered the most segregated city in America. I chose to believe that Syville was not a saint, but he wasn’t Al Capone either.
Now, lets talk about the first bit of news that is reported about the incident. That Syville was armed. The police say the body camera the police officer was wearing clearly shows that Syville had a gun in his hand. Of course, right now we just have to take their word for it because they have not released the footage. Well guess what? I do not want to take their word. Their word is garbage. I do not trust the police and neither should you. We, as in you and I, give the police authority. Let me say that again, you and I give the police their authority. That means we need to question their every move to ensure they do not abuse that authority. They are not infallible. They are humans with all that entails. That uniform does not elevate their nature to that of some semi-divine entity that is incapable of acting on the negative aspects of human nature. Because we give them power, we need to assume that they will be corrupted by that power. Watch them, question them, make sure that they are remaining honest and fair. I am not saying that police should be nice, though that is my preference. I am saying if they are going to be dicks, be dicks to everybody. Do not blindly think that they are not going to abuse their power. Make them prove they are not abusing their power.
There is a third bit of news that is reported with this shooting. The fact that the officer that shot and killed Syville is also an African American. Like that makes it okay. Yes, an African American police officer killed another black man, but since the cop was black we will consider this just black on black violence and ignore it. It does not work that way. It really does not matter what color skin the police officer has.
But don’t let it be a black and white one
Cause they’ll slam ya down on the street top
Black police showing out for the white cop.
Those words were written almost 30 years ago by Ice Cube in the song “Fuck The Police.” Listen to the song, go on YouTube and give it a listen. Does it sound like the late 1980s or could that exact song be written for and about today? This is one of the few times that those that defend the police think that skin color matters. They keep saying race is not the issue, but then turn around to highlight the race of the police officer in this incident. Guess what? We see through bullshit.
My final though on this goes back to not trusting the police, at all. I do not expect majority of honest police to come out and condemn the small minority of police that give the rest of them a bad name. I don’t think Muslims should apologize for Muslim terrorists. I don’t expect Christians to apologize for Christian terrorists. What I do expect, and you should too, is for the police to stop defending the minority that is racists, criminal, and gives the rest of the police in this country and bad name. They do not even ask questions. At the first hint of criticism, they close ranks and protect, protect, protect, their own. Stop fucking doing that. The police should hold themselves and each other to a higher standard. We should hold them to a higher standard also. We give them power. The power to take our freedom from us. Think about that. We allow the police to put us in cages. We give them the power to use deadly force. We give them the authority to take our very lives. So, when a cop abuses that power, the police should be the first to step up and fix the problem. Not hide the problem.