Black Community 4th report card

The definition of a report card. “An evaluation of performance” 

Over the 4th of July weekend, an estimated 150 people were shot and over 50 killed. Chicago alone had 79 shooting – 15 fatally. At least 5 of those killed were children under 15 and one elderly person 74. A six-year-old in Philly; a seven-year-old & 14-year-old in Chicago; an eight-year-old in Atlanta; and an eleven-year-old in DC.

What is going on in the black communities? We can’t blame police for these shootings. We also don’t need to try to figure out why this is happening now. Due to the Covid pandemic coupled with the recent protest because of police brutality, we in the black community should be making peace and trying to make sure our loved ones are protected from the virus. Instead, it’s business as usual – gun violence. Due to video footage, the world was able to see the brutal mistreatment by police officers of black men like George Floyd. Less than one month later, the same world sees black on black violence and can only shake their heads in total amazement. Shame on us. The same way, we can no longer sweep police brutality under the rug; we cannot pretend black on black violence is out of control.

If we are to demand accountability from police and police departments, we too must have accountability in some black communities. It was be disingenuous for us not to demand more from ourselves and our communities. We MUST protect ourselves – especially the elder & children.

Sidebar:

  1. Can you imagine your 7-year-old your son, daughter, grandchild, niece or nephew shot & killed playing outside of her/his grandmother’s house?  It happened to Natalia Wallace in Chicago.
  2. Can you imagine living through multiple wars and decades violence just to be shot and killed at 74 – weeks before your 75th birthday? It happened to Paulette Thorpe in Durham, NC while celebrating the 4th.
  3. We can no longer look outwardly for answers to the violence in black communities. We MUST look within.  This is solely on us.

In the black community, we can talk about all the things that are against us like the criminal justice system, the education system, unemployment/under-employment, and police mistreatment. But we must also talk about the things we are doing wrong in our own communities. We are the ones terrorizing our own communities. We can’t blame police on the burglaries; we can’t blame police on the robberies; nor can we blame police on the killing we see and hear about every day. If we going to expect and perhaps demand better police officers when policing our communities, then we must participate in our own construction or it will be our own destruction. We can no longer expect people to do things for us that we are not willing to do for ourselves.

Now Trutalk:

  • If America truly wants to decrease crime in the inner cities, then its time – perhaps overdue – in making drugs legal.
  • Locking up more & more minorities is clearly not the answer to reducing crime.
  • Police have no role in us killing us. (Black on black crime.)
  • If the black community wants to be seem differently, then we have to act differently.
  • Crime in our neighborhoods is on us not others. We need to make sure children, the elder, & innocent victims are not caught in the crossfire.
  • Since some black people are afraid of each other in some of their own communities, you should expect outside groups to be frightening too.
  • Unfortunately, black men are viewed the same inside & outside the inner cities. It is on America to try to distinguish the two as not all are equal.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jul/07/gun-violence-shootings-fourth-of-july-weekend-racism-segregation

https://abc11.com/paulette-thorpe-durham-woman-killed-by-celebratory-gunfire-burlington-ave-shooting-on-july-4/6298848/

Time for a Police Report Card

The definition of a report card. “An evaluation of performance” 

Why do most police departments frown upon some kind of accountability of their staff and the department as a whole?  What don’t they want us to know?

Well, as tax payers, always remember that police work for the government (local, county. or state). Therefore, they are responsible for protecting & serving all people while allowing  the public to see how well they are doing their jobs or not – as it were. Having said such, a report card for the police is overdue for all US states, cities, counties, or towns to clearly show their performance.

Think of the report card in another way. We have evaluations on hospitals, nursing homes, schools, but very little on police. Once a year, an addition to the normal data like arrest, burglaries, homicides – police departments should have to give data on things like how many wrongful arrests, how many wrongful search warrants, number complaints for department, number of complaints on each officers.

This information should be reviewed by a panel of individuals. This panel should consist of someone from police department, an elected official, and a community member or leader. With such a diverse group, the results are not easily skewed or glossed over. Armed with this information, communities can demand changes to their local officials. If these officials do not get the necessary change, the citizens can and should have them voted out.

We also need to have a panel of people to review body cameras from police. It should not be just reviewed by the police department. One way to show transparency is for someone other than the department to also review the footage captured. Without these kinds of changes or something similar, we cannot have real changed. We would have just thrown all the dirt from the front yard to the back.  

Sidebar:

  1. Does it make sense for the tax payers to fund police salary, health insurance, and pensions but not be able to clearly see how well the police departments are doing?
  2. Other than the police, who thought/thinks the police are entitled to police themselves?    

For well over 50 years, minorities’ communities (black & brown) have been complaining about police brutality.  Clearly, these complaints have never truly been addressed as most police department and the officials that hire them did nothing but appease. Well, due to cell phone recording, police can no longer just pretend someone unarmed was the problem. Clearly, some police departments, and by extension, some police officers have shown they are not capable of policing themselves without being bias. As a result, police have loss the right to police themselves.

Now Trutalk:

  • We need to have an honest dialogue about police work and their tactics.
  • No one is pretending that police do not sometimes have a difficult job because they do. However, they signed up for it and knew the risk.
  • When dealing with some minorities’ males, if a police officer feels that their life is in such danger that he/she needs to shoot first and ask questions later – perhaps they are in the wrong field or need to police another neighborhood where they feel comfortable.
  • When police are called, they do not have to approach all black inner city problems with a hammer. Sometimes a screwdriver will suffice.
  • We need police that will work with community leaders to find common ground.
  • Police have to show more compassion to the people & the neighborhoods in which they are policing.
  • The citizens too have to be more respectful to the police. This must be a two way street.
  • If things do not truly change, we should not easily dismiss the possibility of more black man dying at the hands of police officers.

Next Week: The Black Community’s report card