In reference to the last article by Marita Carter titled “ Violence, A Means to an End” which focused on two primary incidents of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, both losing their lives to the very people whose purpose is to protect and serve. The question that is lingering is how are they serving us? The concern for the recent attention of Police violence has brought around the country is eluding is if law enforcement is careless, is the violence intentional, or are we the primary cause for our on injustice and failure of the system. I was able to interview a Detroit Police officer of 20 years to get his personal feedback and point of view. Some protestors and activist will say that this all a racial attack on our black communities, some people believe we are the cause, and others believe it is due to both.
No matter what we are willing to believe, the fact is that we know all law enforcement personnel are not bad. We all have to realize that sometimes we are at fault for our own reckless behavior. However, there should be lines drawn when it comes to the recklessness of Police Officers and how they are protecting and serving citizens.
I had the privilege of speak with an African American male, married with children, Detroit Police Officer who has been on the force for 20 years and he had an interesting point of view. Unfortunately due to his schedule I was unable to get a full interview, but this will be part one of two submissions of the dialogue between this writer and the officer. I gave you a little background on him so that you are aware that the Police violence that we are speaking of has been against African Americans, those who lost their lives were also someone’s child, brother, father, nephew, uncle, and friend. This information just allows the relativeness of the officers input into the matter and how it could be related.
I asked the officer a few questions:
Quetta: What are your thoughts on the recent Police Violence?
Officer: Police work is violent in some cities especially where the poverty level is low and lack of education. Violence doesn’t stop with citizens being the victim.
We try to lock the most violent criminals up. Sometimes people fail to realize that all Police Officers are not bad but we do have a bad bunch.
As far as the reports on the news I try not to watch it, read it, or respond to what people say, because the facts that are presented in the news are usually not facts at all. People like to trust what they hear what the witness say, but the testimony should not be spoken about. I purposely don’t read the news, because I rather wait to hear the case in trial, when all the presenting facts are present. I don’t listen to the protesters, because they believe what they want.
If you look at Society, People, and add a racial element to it, then it makes the situation intensified. In some neighborhoods you have the “no snitch code” in the streets. For example: if you have a person that beat up on the officer and then the police shot him, but all you hear about is the police shot him from the witness. Then we are looked at as the bad guy.
Another thing is would this still be an outrage in the communities if these incidents occurred with Black Officers?
Quetta: I understand your point of view, but there have been multiple killings recently by the hands of white Police Officers against African Americans. How do you justify this?
Officer: I want you to do me a favor when you get the chance, go to www.youtube.com and type in “police response”, “police videos”, “police fights”, or “Police assault shootings.”
I go to Police training all the time, because of assaults against Police Officers. We live in a violent Society and most of the violence is from the inner city and who the majority that lives there “Black People”.
You have a violent criminal element you get a violent response. You do have some Officers that have a chip on their shoulder and disrespectful, but not all Officers. But we get more attention to the negative, because of social media videos beating someone, but it never shows what happens 10 minutes earlier.
Quetta: Do you feel that African Americans and the Urban Communities are unjustly focused on because of racism and the way we are judged?
Officer: Absolutely. However Black, White, multiracial Officers, they profile. For example: When riding in all black neighborhoods all of a sudden four white teens pull up to a home in that neighborhood. We may assume they are buying drugs, so we pull them over to investigate.
Quetta: But that’s unfair and that’s not giving a real reason to pull them over. Example: I am a student living in a black neighborhood and some white women pull up to my house but it may be reasons for school. You would pull them over because you think it could be drug related?
Officer: No, we wouldn’t just pull them over; we would find a reason to pull them over. White people are targeted like black people. It’s not just happening to Black people, I can understand in Ferguson where there is only 3 Black Officers and the majority is white that are profiling unjustly.
Quetta: What about the young Black men who are unarmed?
Officer: In a neighborhood where everyone wears white tees, jeans, timberland boots, and hoodies, everyone looks the same and most of them fit the description on the criminal that may have just committed a crime.
There is a presumption that there is a law that says if a person is running you can’t shoot them. What if there was a murder, sexual assault, or armed robbery? When stories are told, you have to ask who is telling the story. No one knows anything when we ask what happen, but as soon as the news crew shows up everyone want to say what happened then.
Quetta: Do you believe that any of the Police violence is racially motivated?
Officer: I feel that if an Officer killed someone unjustly they need to go to jail, but I would have to wait to hear the trial. I don’t look at the news to get the information. I don’t know if it is racially motivated. Only the person firing the shots knows that answer. A lot of things have a racial tone to it, but we never examine ourselves and what we contribute to it.
**** THIS INTERVIEW IS TO BE CONTINUED ******
Do to the Officers busy schedule and time constraints the interview was not completed in its entirety. However, my own personal views in response to this are that there is still some lack of responsibility to the protection of our citizen’s rights. The Officer had some valid points, but it is still lacking a lot of accountability of what law enforcement is doing to protect the rights of others versus just catching the main person on interest in a minor or major criminal act. Regardless of what has been said or done, all Officers are not bad, but some of these citizens primarily African Americans did not have to lose their life for simplistic reasons of their skin tone, not listening when being addressed, unarmed nor dangerous, or because Officers lack sensitivity and cultural training. I have more input but I will wait until part two of this interview.
Until then what are your thoughts about the issue and the Officers responses?
Columnist/Enticing Resultz Magazine