Let me start by saying I am not against the police or for the cancellation of animated children television shows like Paw Patrol, but what I believe must stop is the constant glorification of the police. One of the biggest problems as an African American is entering a courtroom at -100 with a police officer’s word against yours.
Too many judges give the police the benefit of the doubt. Too often the police word is accepted as the truth even with little to no evidence. As was the case a few years ago, when I had to fight a ticket against a cop who told too many lies to count. My evidence or what I had to say did not matter because according to the judge,”Why would a police officer lie on you?”,well, many police officers lie all the time. Not every police officer is honorable.
I have met too many police officers who have treated me like crap. And I am not talking about the time when several Chicago police officers held their loaded gun to my head for no reason after accusing me of every crime they could name. Even when I was a kid growing up on the south side of Chicago, I had incidents where a police car would drive up and start following me, as the police officers would make fun of my weight by calling me fat or some other name.
To most white people, they see a police officer killing a black man on television and think well that was one bad apple and most cops are good people. I can’t argue whether most cops are good people or not, but I have met a lot of bad cops over the years. I have received tickets for things that would make most people laugh. Heck, a few years ago, I had a good laugh with a couple of police officers about a $25 ticket I received. Even they could not believe the ticket because the ticket was just plain silly, but understand why I received the ticket. I was riding in the backseat of a car late at night and the car was pulled over by a police officer who wanted to know why we were in their neighborhood so late at night. The officer spent ten minutes asking us questions to figure out why we were out so late and why we needed to be in the area without telling us why he pulled us over. So right before he left, he made up a cheap violation to ticket me to cover-up his harassment. He said I did not have a seat belt on in the backseat of the car, which he noticed from over 50 feet away in the dark.
To be honest, the ticket incident was just a waste of my time. Some other more serious incidents I have had with the police are just plain sad and involve a lot of verbal abuse and threats of imprisonment for basically doing nothing. There are times when walking to a store means being stopped by the police and having to get questioned like a criminal.
Being an African American, I can tell you something many people never think about. Many businesses I frequent tend to think I really want to steal something. Even if I shop at a store for years and have never stolen anything from them. They don’t look at it as I am not a thief and am a good customer. They look at the situation and say they were there to stop me from stealing. I really wanted to steal something, but they were there to stop me. I would say the worse racism I have experienced has come from the police, CVS pharmacy, Citibank, Walmart, Freshline Foods, Ultra Foods and Service Merchandise.
To me, many police officers believe they are doing a good job in preventing African Americans from breaking the law with their constant harassment, which is something that the editors of Live PD and Cops likely used to edit out.
The media are too close to the police and many won’t ask the questions needed to hold them accountable. For all the Chicago media reporters living in nice penthouses downtown or in million-dollar homes in Hinsdale; it still took the effort of a freelance journalist to get the Laquan McDonald murder video released by the police. Our local media, like the judges, too often believe the police statements on shootings without looking at the details that led up to the shooting, which is part of the problem. Then the media wonder why the protesters are attacking them and their news truck.
The over glorification of police officers have led to many police officers feeling invincible. They see how many police officers have gotten away with murder and the television shows like Live PD making them look like the good guys to the point where many officers feel they can do no wrong in the eyes of a District Attorney, judge and jury.
The protests our nation is experiencing is rooted in the anger of decades of being mistreated and watching our loved ones and friends wrongfully die at the hands of the police.
I will never condone the looting and rioting but I understand the anger many African Americans and others felt when they saw the video of the police officer murdering George Floyd. The officer murdered Mr. Floyd while knowing he was being recorded because he has seen several police officers get away with murdering black men. He likely felt and knew that charges would not be brought against him. If so, no jury or few juries in the United States would convict him of murdering a black man even if convicted a judge like Vincent Gaughan would go light on him. He is by the way a police officer. One of the good ole boys.