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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Black men & Police

So I keep having this discussion with my homie Victoria about black men and police. I am terrified of the police due to the countless times that they have wrongfully harmed/shot/killed/beat my black brothers.

So one day I am coming out of Jumbo Slice one night a couple weeks ago and I see like 10 officers just roll past as I am coming out, my heart stopped and i walked quickly in the opposite direction. Note I was not doing anything illegal and did not have anything close to illegal on me (as I never do) but the fear of police that lives inside a lot of black men came out of me and I dipped.

Victoria always says, "That's not right, you shouldn't feel that way...police are here to protect" but in a black mans reality we do not see them as here to protect we seem them as something far different.

I say all this to say if we don't look for the police to protect then who are we looking at in times of need to do so? Ourselves? I know many of us act like we don't need any help but when it comes down to it there might come a time when you need to call someone when something wrong has been done to you and should it always be our cousin, block, set, or sibling?

It is going to take a lot of change for me to start trusting the police the way I see other people trusting them but maybe thats just me.

Here is an excerpt from a King Magazine article on the Sean Bell case:

Franklin Ogaard, a retired NYPD Internal Affairs detective, combed the area, shaking his head. “Fifty shots by police officers,” he says, “that’s not a good shooting. That’s a little extreme… [Some police officers] might be fearful of the community that they’re working in.” (Officially, deadly force may be used only when an officer or another person’s life is in direct danger. Whether NYPD had grounds to use such force in the Bell case is currently under official investigation.) On the scene to help this writer examine the crime scene, Ogaard continues to look for clues at the AirTrain station’s blown-out windows adjacent to Kalua. It becomes obvious the fear cut both ways. “The [cops] don’t realize, how [the Sean Bell shooting] affects us as African-Americans,” he explains. “Whether I go out or where I go is predicated by not just crime in the city, but the police.”

A security guard standing nearby concurs. “It got me so bad I go [straight] home every [night]…” he says. “I got a friend who says, ‘I’m not stopping for shit. I’m not getting pulled over by no cop.’ It could have been any of us.”

Read the whole thing here:

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