Friday, June 15, 2012

Means "Who Polices the Police?"

From Colorlines courtesy of AlterNet:

Police Chief Defends Detaining Teen’s Mother After Neighbor’s Fatal Shot

A 75-year-old Milwaukee man immediately confessed to fatally shooting his 13-year-old neighbor when police arrived but the officers still detained the teen’s mother and forced her to sit in the police car for more than an hour rather than let her hold her dying son or join him at the hospital. Officers also searched through the mother’s home looking for stolen firearms (that were never found) and arrested her other son on a year-old truancy violation.


“None of it makes sense. My sister was treated like she was the suspect,” Simmons’ uncle, Leon Larry told the AP. “And searching the house, it looked like they were trying to give the suspect a reason for what he did, an excuse for what he did. That’s garbage.”

More here.

Clicking through a link in the article reveals the money shot: the boy was black; his killer was white. I guess he was "standing his ground." You know, the way you can legally commit murder in many states, like in Florida, where Trayvon Martin was killed, although the jury is still out on that one.

I don't know that this story falls into the corruption or police brutality category--after all, it sounds like the cops have some nice legalese to support their actions. But it definitely falls into the cops-as-dicks category, and very possibly into the cops-as-racists category, too, which may very well bring it back into the corruption category. I guess we'll see. The point here is that incidents like this make me extraordinarily hesitant to call the police for help in situations when I might really need some help: it strikes me that there's a fifty-fifty chance that they'll find a way to bust me instead of whatever potential menace I'm facing.

Of course, I am to some extent protected by my white skin. This kind of harassment is something that African Americans face virtually everyday from the police. But it happens to white people, too, just not nearly as often. But harassment it definitely is. This woman had just literally seen her child murdered in cold blood by an angry white man and the cops fucking detain her while searching her home on a tip from her son's murderer. That's beyond lame; it's oppression.

Kind of makes NWA's classic "Fuck tha Police" seem a bit less hardcore and a little more inspirational.