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Black Males and Cops: Are We Living in a Police State?

In News, Opinion on December 24, 2011 at 7:26 pm
Warning sign for police brutality.

Image via Wikipedia. Beware the big scary man with the club and the legal right to use it.

There’s an interesting editorial piece written by Adisa Banjoko, West Coast Editor of website NewsOne.com, about the seemingly-endless trend of police brutality toward African American men in the US, that brought up a specific memory I’d long since thought was buried under years of newer experiences and friendships:

While in college, I vividly recall driving with a friend in Virginia. We were both college-age men in our mid-twenties. I’m a white guy and he’s a black man who at the time had a bad gherri curl hairdo. But we were childhood friends who grew up together and were on our way to go hand out, get some lunch, go see a movie, and maybe go club-hopping later. I was a careful driver, because I’d racked up my fair share of speeding tickets and couldn’t afford more. Within minutes of getting in the car, we were pulled over by a police car.

The officer pulled us over, asked to see my license and registration and asked my friend if he had any outstanding warrants or if they’d met before. I asked the officer if I was speeding. No. Were my plates or tags expired. No. Did I have any lights out? No. Turned out the officer wanted to get a look at my friend, just pull us over, and do a little intimidating. How nice.

From pepper-spraying little old ladies and shoppers, to beating peaceful Occupy protestors with batons (and bragging about doing so on camera –http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBxPzhXFT6c), to arresting little old ladies who dare to video tape them ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40pf26zbvoQ) police in the US have a long history of abuse of power and influence.

Yes, there are good cops. And they do their job. But police departments across the country are arming themselves more and more like little covert military units (http://www.thedaily.com/page/2011/12/05/120511-news-militarized-police-1-6/) and the beat-downs ain’t stopping.

So, I think this piece is relevant and worth reading:

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