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Ferguson Missouri

I am too sickened to say much about the pseudo-military police occupation in Ferguson Missouri, except that I would love to know who the police think they are serving and protecting with their tear gas, assault rifles, and armored vehicles.  The only thing I can see being protected is their own power, and their own supposed "right" to murder young black men by shooting them in the back.

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( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
ljlee
Aug. 18th, 2014 06:45 am (UTC)
I wonder if America was ever a democracy for black people--I heard someone say it's always been a police state for this group, and I find myself unable to disagree. The militarization of the police affects everyone, of course, and it's worrying. My friends and I are pretty much resigned to a cyberpunk future ruled by corporations and brutal private militaries, a jungle of glass and steel without rights or safeguards. Better start preparing for the worst, right?
attackfish
Aug. 18th, 2014 03:25 pm (UTC)
Oh it has absolutely never been a free society for black people, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. As for the militarization of the police and over-policing, I had a run in with the Albuquerque police that I thought was going to end in my death. Two patrol officers stopped me and a friend of mine under the pretext that we might be drunk (we weren't) and I might be underage and driving past the under-18 curfew (I wasn't, I was 20). They held us for over an hour, taunted us, refused to allow me to call my parents, insisted my license was fake, asked for my insurance and registration, and then when I reached for it, said I could be going for a gun and then yelled at me for being noncompliant for not giving them my insurance and registration, told us they would shoot us if I reached for my inhaler, while I had an asthma attack, unclipped their badges and hid them in their car, and were thoroughly sexually creepy with us. I'm pretty sure that if I weren't a white middle class woman, I would be dead. I know that a certain member of my immediate family who aside from being a recovering drug addict used to have a nasty habit of mouthing off to the cops, would be dead. In my extremely law abiding life have had multiple run ins with bullying and abusive cops starting when I was ten. And even as I wonder how much worse it would have gotten, I know it would have been worse if I weren't white.
ljlee
Aug. 19th, 2014 07:29 am (UTC)
How did those bullying, violent creeps ever become police officers? o_O Or did they become acclimated to a preexisting culture? The increasing militarization of the police seems to be an ongoing issue in America. I don't know if it's because of the war on drugs or what, but it's scary. Maybe it's so scary that lots of people are using the black body count to other the issue as something that happens to "them" and not "us." You know better, of course, both intellectually and from personal experience. *shudder*

As a pet owner I think you'd also be concerned that the police now routinely shoot dogs during raids, even small, non-threatening breeds. White supremacy is a well-established tenet of American life, so while the police killing people is far more serious at least I'm not surprised, just angry and sad. Dogs, though, I don't understand. A big guard dog possibly trained to fight, sure--a distasteful necessity, but human safety comes first. But little yappy dogs? I thought Americans loved dogs. Do cops leave their culture and upbringing behind when they put on a badge? It doesn't make sense to me.
attackfish
Aug. 19th, 2014 12:12 pm (UTC)
I know that in Albuquerque, the recruitment posters emphasized that you got to carry a badge and act tough, and then they were surprised when they had one of the worst police shooting records ever. The FBI finished an investigation earlier this summer after a string of protests of police shodtings, and concluded that yes, it really was that bad. They also had a policy of recruiting cops who were about to be expelled from other departments for things like excessive force. Meanwhile, UNM had a world class criminology department, and as a sociology minor, I knew a lot of future cops from all over the country, many of whom broke down crying during their internships at APD or switched majors. It was acclimate or leave, at least there. I should note that APD didn't have a reputation for higher than usual racial bias, but they were absolutely famous for going after the mentally ill, so there were a lot of dead white and Latin@ faces on the news. You bet the afore mentioned immediate family member and I got the Police Talk, over and over again. We knew we should be scared, and we were.

APD also didn't need raids to shoot dogs. All over town were people who would tell you the department didn't account for bullets, so there were plenty of cops who would shoot into people's yards and kill their dogs. I knew someone who lost a dog that way. Our dogs were always inside or out only with us because of it. Police departments are often scraping the bottom of the barrel when it comes to recruits, and doing so by saying if you join, you get to be a bully with a gun and a badge. It isn't surprising when bullies answer the call. I say bullies as much as racists, because in my experience, there are a lot of biased cops, but there are also a lot of cops who aren't necessarily biased themselves, but have figured out if they stick to abusing black people, or mentally ill people, or the people their coworkers and bosses see as subhuman, they will get away with it. The biased atmosphere gives them the social license to operate.
ljlee
Aug. 20th, 2014 04:28 pm (UTC)
Well, at least they're equal-opportunity assholes... unless one is mentally disabled, that is. That's just awful! How does accountability go so wrong in a (maybe partial, definitely imperfect, but still) democracy?
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