February 05, 2008
This Week in Time has been all about Police Brutality and Racism. William Mac explains two outstanding examples of Police Brutality and racism that took place in Ohio and explains why these incidents are not, in any way, rare.
Read more on the blog at the following URL:
http://www.william-mac.com/thisweekin… (no longer available)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2Hj3keB-hQ (no longer available)
This Week In Time
By William Mac
This Week in Time
February 5, 2008
When researching the news today, attempting to find a common theme for tonight’s This Week in Time shoot, it wasn’t too hard to find a staggering amount of examples of police brutality along with hints of racism. The worst part is that I wasn’t even looking.
The most infuriating accounts of police brutality and racism were actually located in one single State – Ohio of all places. In this state alone, in just a one-week span, an innocent woman was arrested after she herself called the police for help. The police (two of which were males), after taking the poor Ohio woman into custody, forced a strip search on her and subsequently left her naked, cold, bruised and battered in an isolation cell for 6 hours.
Video link (over 18 only) (no longer available)
Video link follow-up (over 18 only) (no longer available)
Also in Ohio, the police shoot a mother as she holds her infant baby supposedly due in part to racism.
I thought the Southeast had a bad wrap.
These jaw-dropping horror stories don’t end with Ohio, but they are the two that warrant the greatest response. I just have to put my two-cents in concerning this one particular facet of the whole, generally messed-up cluster fuck of fascism.
In the case of Canton, Ohio resident Hope Steffey who was all but raped by somewhere around 7 police officers as her clothes were ripped off her body whilst she screamed bloody-murder – this is a clear case of not following protocol.
It’s bad enough that Hope was the victim for whom the police were called over in the first place. But, when two male officers are aiding in ripping her dignity from her it becomes a clear-cut case of illegality. The law in Ohio and in many other states in the Union prohibits any kind of strip search or general body search by police officers of the opposite sex of the person being searched — basically, guys with guys, girls with girls – no co-ed stripping.
As can be seen in the videos included, this protocol was clearly not followed. Of course, in an attempt to cover their asses, the county sheriff says that it wasn’t actually a strip search. Well, I don’t think it was either. Rape seems more plausible. In fact, it was about one step away from turning into cheap porn.
Once the brutish police officers had their merry way with the small young woman, they decide to have a little more fun. They lock her in an isolation cell without a blanket, without her clothes – completely nude – and without medical care for her battered body.
There is nothing I would love more than to say this is a very uncommon occurrence. I would love to say that most cops are good. However, I can honestly say that this is not the case — not according to my own experience nor the experiences of countless others in the United States.
Moving on to Ohio case #2.
A Lima, Ohio woman named Tarika Wilson is dead and her 14-month-old little boy is injured in the hospital after the local SWAT team decided to use them both as target practice. Never mind that neither one were actually suspects in…well… anything.
The situation would be understandable if perhaps the mother was shooting at the police officers, but it seems fairly improbable that she would be able to do so while holding the child in both her arms.
For the racist SWAT team it was a twofer – two blacks gunned down at one time – SCORE!
The SWAT team, in reality, was actually raiding the house in order to apprehend Tarika’s companion under drug-dealing suspicions. They handled the situation incredibly delicately by busting down the front door without warning, then immediately engaging in a good-old-fashioned shoot-out. Yee-haw.
Of course, internal investigations so far do not reveal any kind of police misconduct. That’s because police are incapable of misconduct, only the people they shoot and/or arrest are capable of misconduct. Everyone knows that — get with the program.
Many of the JC Penny-sweater clad suburbanites mulling over their morning papers with a hot cup of coffee will probably take no heed when reading about the complaints of other black residents of Lima who profess that rogue police officers often stop them without cause.
The reason? They’re lying of course. Whenever black people get shot full of holes and drugs are found on their bodies, the case is clear-cut for those not “in the Know”. Yet, for those of us that have actually dwelled in the underbelly of life with drug-dealers, vagrants and vice-ridden gurus – we know otherwise, unfortunately.
We know the cops sell drugs. We know that black people are targets. We know, because we’re there and you aren’t.
The case of Tarika’s shooting in Lima, Ohio was eerily similar to one that took place not so long ago here in my own hometown of Atlanta, Georgia when several police officers barged into an old woman’s house without warning and killed her.
The black woman who was murdered by police in this case was an elderly 92-year-old grandmother. She shot at police after they, without warning, barged into her house. She thought that they were burglars and rightly so. The police responded by emptying more than 32-shots into the old woman. Later on, they said that their actions were justified because she was a drug dealer. Of course, they found drugs on her to justify this allegation.
Luckily, in this case, after mounting pressure from the public, an investigation ensued. It turns out they made up the story they say they received from their informant. In addition, they planted drugs on the scene to make it legit.
The three officers were eventually indicted and have received a taste of their own medicine – jail.
Ah yes, and the newspaper readers all throughout Atlanta’s sprawling suburban areas think to themselves “what a shame, how could something like this happen.” What these people do not realize is that incidents like this are incredibly common.
The fact is that many middle-class homeowners within the United States hear stories like this and consider them rare cases. They laugh and mock the black community when they say police target them, that police are corrupt, that police push drugs and that police murder their family members.
I will tell you right now, from having lived in the drug world — the black community is not lying. They have a perfectly legitimate reason to be weary. And, unless you have lived this life and have seen the actions of police enforcement in these areas, then you need to shut your goddamned mouth.
You see, there is absolutely no need for SWAT teams and large groups of police officers to barge into households unannounced with their token “no knock” warrants. As we can perceive by these two news stories alone, this is not an affective way of conducting police enforcement.
What many others may not understand is that drugs rarely, if ever, play a part in these shootings and arrests. The police know where the drugs are, they know where the gangs are, they know where the Crack Houses are and they could bust them at any time, but they don’t.
In the projects and the ghettos can be seen in all hours of the day or night a group of people standing out in plain view, on the sidewalks, lighting up a joint, firing up a crack pipe, shooting a hefty gram of smack or dipping a straw into a bag of blow. What people don’t perceive – those who do not bare witness to this lifestyle – is that the police will roll right by, sometimes even waving, sometimes buying drugs and sometimes selling them wholesale to area pushers.
Police precincts often work with local area gangs. So, when one individual suspected of having drugs or being a drug dealer is busted by a disproportionate amount of SWAT members or area police officers it is only so that they will be perceived as doing their job.
However, in all reality, that kind of law enforcement muscle could be used to capture the crack heads and crack dealers lighting up on the side of the road in plane view. Instead of pulling over the black man or woman that just came from the local Crack House for a quick fix and a gram bag and arresting them, why not bust the crack house? Instead of complaining about the number of gangs and drug operations in the area, why drive right past a large group of them willingly flashing their signs? It’s all a little silly.