Everyone who has encountered a bad cop wonders how such a terrible, nasty and disrespectful person could be allowed to be on the police force. Everyone who has tasted the bitterness of police abuse have anguished memories of being violated by someone they believed in, would protect them from the bad guys—not to be one of the bad guys.
Has a bad guy in a cop’s uniform ever crossed your path?
Perhaps you got pulled over for an alleged traffic violation, such as a broken tail light, and ended up beaten, jailed or shot. Abusive cops have caused these kinds of terrible things to happen to countless people.
- Eileen DeGraff, the unarmed young white woman who was publicly humiliated when a police officer in Washington, DC sat her down on a wintry cold sidewalk and handcuffed her to the leg of a US mailbox along one of the city’s major thoroughfares. The cop alleged that she was driving while intoxicated. The Washington Post ran a front page picture of the pitiful-looking woman, who had been sobbing and screaming at the cops while crowds of pedestrians and heavy traffic passed her by. A Post essayist, Henry Allen, wrote that the cop made DeGraff look “ridiculous, mortified, chagrined, embarrassed, trapped and dehumanized.” Good job, Officer Friendly!
- John Geer, the unarmed white man who was shot to death by a Fairfax County, Virginia police officer while standing in his doorway. His girlfriend had called the cops because she was upset that they were breaking up and he was allegedly throwing her belongings onto the front yard. Imagine that. Shot to death basically for being mean to your girlfriend. The cop who shot him was unprovoked, according to an official investigation into the incident. Geer had come to his front door to speak with the killer cop and the other cops who responded to the domestic dispute. The cops were about xx feet away from Geer, who refused to leave his front door to speak to them. A picture taken of Geer showed that he had his hands up as he stood just behind his screen door. It was clear as day that the cop shot him for no reason. In cold blood. Perhaps the officer just got tired of trying to talk the guy out of his house. The guilty officer was given a most lenient sentence: one year for manslaughter.
- Andrew Meyer, the white college student, who resisted arrest and was manhandled and dragged out of a University of Florida campus event by police after aggressively questioning the featured speaker Senator John Kerry. Video of the event was posted on YouTube, where it has been seen millions of times. Distraught and afraid, Meyer will forever be remembered for yelling at the cops just before they tazed him: “Don’t taze me, bro!” Meyer, a communications major at the time of the event, would go on to attend law school—and cash in on his infamous video by selling T-shirts and raising funds for his justice advocacy work.
These are inexcusable assaults that happened to good unsuspecting folk who did nothing to deserve to be mistreated. While the incidents represent pathetic police behavior, they do not compare to the centuries-long train of abuses suffered by black people, especially black men, at the hands of the law.
Notwithstanding the variety among groups
that have been subjected to police brutality in the United States,
the great majority of victims have been African American.
- Leonard Moore/Brittanica.com
Untold numbers of today’s law enforcers have normalized their overly aggressive and careless law enforcement behaviors by frequently using abusive tactics in their interactions with black men. Abuse has now become second nature to them, regardless of whom they encounter. (Though make no mistake about it, such cops unload their most potent law enforcement poison on beings with Negroid features and testicles between their legs.)
This is just one example of the law enforcement horrors that countless black men experience each day:
Al Hixon, a 29-year-old black man in Minnesota, was in a gas station when he was pepper sprayed, thrown to the ground, pounced upon by a six-foot-six-inch tall, 280-pound cop, and then falsely arrested in 2005 following a robbery at a nearby US Bank. He won a court case and was awarded $700,000 because the suburban Golden Valley police department violated his civil rights by attacking him with excessive force, battery and assault. He proved to a US District Court jury that, beyond the shadow of a doubt, police officers jumped on him and arrested him simply because he was a black man, period.
Hixon, a business owner with a stellar reputation in his community, was once listed on the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal’s list of the region’s top 40 leaders under 40. Offered a settlement prior to trial, Hixson rejected the deal and instead took his case all the way to a jury because, he said, “Going to trial so the nation and the world could hear the story meant a lot to me.”
Hixon proved that police knew the actual bank robbery suspect was white, yet assumed Hixon was somehow involved in the robbery because he was nearby at the time and, more importantly, because he was a black man.
One of Hixon’s expert witnesses, former Minneapolis Police Chief Tony Bouza, told the court that “The force used in this case was excessive, unnecessary, and constituted police brutality.” The former chief spent an hour on the witness stand answering questions. Hixon’s attorney, Anthony Edwards, asked Bouza, “Is it ever acceptable to (pepper) spray a compliant subject?” Bouza replied: “Never.”
What this ex-police chief said should never happen, happens all the time. Chances are that by the time you finish reading this book, some black man somewhere in America will be abused by a cop.
So, for white folk who find themselves unnecessarily tazed, harshly handcuffed, totally humiliated or shot for nothing; Mexicans who fear being the targets of President Donald Trump’s crackdown on illegal immigration; Muslims who are upset that in the post-9/11 era they are suspected of being terrorists, and other members of society who occasionally taste the bitterness of law and order run amuck, black men have a simple message: Welcome to the club.
Welcome to the Police Abuse Club, fellow sufferers.
In recent years, there has been widespread, rapid-fire exposure of fatal scenarios involving police and black people. This exposure, as President Barack Obama observed, has been driven by viral “videos of racial tensions (and) violence.” Quoted on www.chicago.cbslocal.com on January 5, 2016, Obama added, “What we have seen as surfacing, I think, are a lot of problems that have been there a long time.”
It made me hate the police.
Yes, these rapid-fire incidents are only bloody snippets of a much larger and longer saga of harassment, mayhem and madness. Abusive local and federal government law enforcers have for decades, on a regular, if not daily basis, antagonized and mistreated unarmed black men as if they were sworn enemies. In addition, for generations—even before organized police forces were formed in America—blacks were targeted by murderous self-proclaimed law enforcers, the likes of George Zimmerman, who hunted down Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teen minding his own business who was fed up with being watched, followed and harassed.
Shameless elected officials have instigated police abuse by stoking fear and hatred of blacks. In 2016, America elected one such official in the person of Donald John Trump. During his historic, hate-inspiring campaign, President Trump blatantly encouraged whites to fear and cops to target black men when he used Twitter to perpetuate the lie that the average black man is criminally inclined and dangerous. The impish and unapologetic Trump slurred all black men generally when he retweeted an info graphic created by XXXXX that depicted a masked black man holding an assault weapon with these words beneath him: most white murders committed by blacks. According to the FBI, of the XXXX,XXX whites murdered in XXXXXx, more than 70 percent of them were committed by whites. Further, white men account for XXX percent of all the rapes committed in America.
You will never hear Trump speak these truths.
Under one pretext or another, Trump and other politicians as well as police officers frequently attack and abuse black men through lies, misinformation and excessive enforcement of the law. I should know. I have been attacked by cops many times. I have had more than my share of abusive law enforcement encounters. Without provocation, abusive cops have put their disrespectful hands on me, beaten me with their fists and nightsticks, thrown me into stank, cold cages and pointed their guns in my face at close range.
Indulge me for a few tics. I want to show you something that may help you understand what I have experienced and how it has changed me into the person I am today.
Make a tight fist.
Hold your fist in front of your face.
Move it to the very tip of your nose.
Now, imagine your fist is a loaded GUN.
A big black gun.
Hold it right there for a few moments …
Now, sssssssslowly count to 10:
How does that feel?
No, you say?
Get yourself a real gun and try that exercise again.
If your imagination was vivid enough, you now have a better idea of what I have experienced and what I have become.
I am a police brutality survivor.
Ill-willed police officers have injured me while I was unarmed and causing no threat to anyone—no one at all. They have contrived false charges against me that forced me into court. They have publicly ridiculed and demeaned me in my own hometown, Washington, DC.
Law enforcers’ traumatic attacks against me have not only given me insights into the fractured relationship between police and black men, their abuses have affected the way I see the world.
In a normal life, there is stress. Most Americans at times encounter on-the-job stress and pressures caused by challenging business and interpersonal encounters. The pressures of being a single parent is stressful enough. Imagine having the added stress of being repeatedly racially profiled, stopped and frisked, bullied, betrayed, manhandled and incarcerated by violent, so-called protectors of the community. Imagine remembering these traumatic incidents of mistreatment for the rest of your life. Imagine transferring the negative posts-traumatic energy to others.
Yes, I am a survivor.
The ones who know most about a problem are those who have survived it.
And sometimes only a survivor can foresee the most effective way to solve it.