Sunday, December 7, 2014

Do We Need Police Reform In America?

Do we need police reform in America? After recent events this past week, is there still any need for this question? The events of Ferguson and the New York killings have set off protests across the nation.

Street View

Following the announcement that a New York grand jury would not indict police officer Daniel Pantaleo in the death of Eric Garner, D.C. protesters took to Dupont Circle and other parts of the city to demonstrate.

Who Is Policing The Police?

There is a movement happening across this country. The narrative of this campaign asks the question "How do we police the police?" Right now, it has become clear that We The People do not have a proper mechanism in place. Our research has found this to be a problem spanning  several decades. Who will police the police has been a nightmare for the American citizen for decades. There has been some action in the form of citizen's review boards, but they have proven to be ineffective. 

 It's the position of the House that we need to up our standards for police officers and provide better pay as well. We need to push for an independent faction other than the criminal justice system policing cops.What is not working is prosecutors and judges in big and small cities and towns across this nation who work hand-to-hand every day with police being the agency to oversee the cops behaviors in this country. 

There is an apparent bias in the criminal justice system towards cops.

It's  now common knowledge of the total miscarriage of justice in the Michael Brown Ferguson case. 
But surely there will be justice for the Eric Garner family in that  police choking murder case. Wrong! Even with a video that was, in this writers' view,  proof of the homicide by cop, the police officers in this matter were set free. Disappointing!

The Ferguson failures are an enormous eye-opener in the American psyche. This event has shed light on a process run amuck.  It should be clear there was no trial in the Ferguson case. We now know a rigged Grand Jury process has set officer Darren Wilson free and a whole bevy of New York's finest have just been set free as well.  Lest we forget, there was no cross-examining of witnesses in the Ferguson case. In the Ferguson case, there was no sharing of evidence and the bottom-line is that most legal scholars, both left and right, agree this was a  deliberately botched job by the prosecutor. These outcomes are bizarre and are major focal points of the growing tensions in America.  What should be human and justice issues have now become partisan politics, and that cannot continue.

The right-wing of the Republican Party tactics, with their racist dog-whistles, the Nixon southern strategy, a  healthy dose of Reganomics and what we have today is the worst of the Republicans. The party's 1% are pandering to the least common denominator of their base. See Article]  It's evident the Republican machine is stirring up the natives for 2016.

What Does The World Think Of These Events?

Human Rights in America are under attack!

The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said in a statement that they had "legitimate concerns" over two separate U.S. grand jury decisions not to indict the white officers involved in the deaths of unarmed, black men, Michael Brown and Eric Garner.[See Source]
"The Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases have added to our existing concerns over the longstanding prevalence of racial discrimination faced by African-Americans, particularly in relation to access to justice and discriminatory police practices," said Mireille Fanon-Mendes-France, the OHCHR’s chairperson of the Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent. 

Black Life Matters! 

Times are testy in America today, maybe worse than ever. We have seen for two straight years a regression in Civil Rights legislation. We are moving backward to what some have called  the "stone-age," to a time when women and minorities had zero rights. 

The Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases have become the poster children of police corruption from the streets to the courthouse. 

We are hearing the term " Police State," being bandied about in these times. Just what is a police state and what does it look like?

Part 2

Will Racism Be The End of America?

Taking care not to be hyperbolic, it's imperative America rights its course on human rights, civil rights, and common sense.  Most whites in this country believe in white supremacy and black inferiority even more than they believe in God. Racism is an issue that can no longer be avoided. For those who don't think it's an issue,  answer the question why do lobbyists spend billions to overturn civil rights legislation? There has been an overall simplifying, stereotyping, and distorted view about minorities propagated  in this country.

The House Of Public Discourse Calls for an open dialogue about Racism in America. 

A History.

Racism as we know it originated back in the 16th century when the Europeans were enslaving Africans and offering them to people of the New World for trade. Racism in the Western World is associated with slavery over which a significant Civil War was fought. From the earliest of times, non-Europeans  have been enslaved by Europeans. From day one, racism has been a factor in American culture. It started with the Indians, and we all know how that turned out. However, it was the Europeans having to deal with non-Europeans that facilitated the term "racism." The British Empire used slaves to expand their vast empire. Many of the attitudes about blacks from white people today trace back to the attitude of the British. The engine driving the slave trade was clearly economics.

The Color Of Money!

Africans were a commodity to the British Empire.  Some experts claim as many as 11 million slaves were chained and thrown into the hull of a ship with little food or water. Some estimate 2 million slaves died on the journey and were thrown overboard. Slaves were viewed as sub-human. The master had absolute power over them. The masters had the whips and chains and most of all the weapons to administer punishment for those who stepped out of line.  Because of early fear of a slave revolt slaves were watched  carefully by their masters. When they became too stubborn, they were hung or shot.   It is unknown how many millions of slaves were murdered. 

Christendom Approved of  Slavery.

Much of the torture and capturing of slaves by Spain was done in the name of God, backed by the Catholic church. There are many accounts of  the massacre of the inquisition. In fact, history tells a horrific story. As a writer, one of my primary narratives is that history does repeat itself. We know from our research that religious councils helped to determine even if these slaves were humans. Many were put to death in the name of God.

How Is this behavioral history relative Today? 

What is an underlying question of both the Ferguson and New York cases is how frequently are there occurrences of police involved deaths happening  in America? According to a national statistic that tracks police killings, hundreds of homicides by law enforcement were not included in records kept by the FBI. 

From 2007 To 2012

A Wall Street Journal analysis of the latest data from 105 of the country’s largest police agencies found more than 550 police killings during those years were missing from the national tally or, in a few dozen cases, not attributed to the agency involved. The result: It is nearly impossible to determine how many people are killed by the police each year. [See Source]

There Has Been A Long Standing " Lack of Information," About Killings By Police! 

Jeffery Fagan

 “When cops are killed, there is a very careful account and there’s a national database,” said Jeffrey Fagan, a law professor at Columbia University. “Why not the other side of the ledger?”

According to the Wall Street Journal  
To analyze the accuracy of the FBI data, the Journal requested internal records on killings by officers from the nation’s 110 largest police departments. One-hundred-five of them provided figures.
Those internal figures show at least 1,800 police killings in those 105 departments between 2007 and 2012, about 45% more than the FBI’s tally for justifiable homicides in those departments’ jurisdictions, which was 1,242, according to the Journal’s analysis. Nearly all police killings are deemed by the departments or other authorities to be justifiable.

The System Needs To Be Reformed.

The American Justice System seems to be falling apart. With the Michael Brown and Eric Garner decisions sparking nationwide multi-racial anger and frustration, we are witnessing protests against the legal process run amuck. Our nation is on pins and needles right now, right here, this second. The Trayvon Martin case is not so long ago not to still sting when pondered. It would be an understatement to say everyday American citizens are losing confidence in the Judicial System.  Our Judicial System is supposed to be a pillar of our democracy. The African-American community has been targeted by law enforcement since crime statistics have been kept. The relativity of evil tells us if you have more  white officers in black neighborhoods their arrest rates will be higher than in the white areas. There is a history of a battle between persons of color and law enforcement in America. These recent events are but the tip of the iceberg. 


In closing, we will be exploring and addressing the issues of Racism In America. These recent decisions to set murdering cops free is no big surprise for fair-minded people who have been following the overall regressive current our nation is on. Some will argue that the system works, that we just don't like the results. The House of Public Discourse holds a position the system is not broken but, in fact, works just fine for the powers that be, whose agenda is overall control of the population. We call for total and complete reform of how the police in this country are allowed to protect and serve us,  not control us.  

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