Painted on the sides of police cars in Chicago are the words “We Serve and Protect.” That motto is under siege with the availability of videotaped incidents of police brutality directed at African-Americans.
Outrage erupted once again with the release of videotape showing a white Chicago policeman gunning down black teenager Laquan Williams, who is seen walking away from police. Public anger grew to a fever pitch, in part because the tape, which shows McDonald falling to the ground as a white cop fired 16 shots into his body, was not made public for more than a year.
Under intense public pressure, Chicago officials charged the police officer with first degree murder, and soon after, fired the city’s chief of police.
The Real Problem With Police Video
Sarah Lustbader – The New York Times
…While protesters have criticized the delayed response to the shooting, no one seems to be asking a more fundamental question: Why were the police in control of the footage in the first place?
Warning: graphic video of shooting death of Laquan McDonald:
Over the past year, as we have seen video after video of police officers killing civilians, many people have argued that greater use of cameras — in particular, police-worn body cameras — could help curb police abuse and mend police-community relations….
But as currently implemented, body camera programs in the United States too often fail to serve those goals because the police own and control the footage. This is the fox guarding the henhouse…. We can do better. All body-camera footage, from the moment it is uploaded until it is deleted, should be managed by an impartial third party, either private or government-run.
I Refuse to Have ‘The Talk’ With My Black Son
Isaac J. Bailey – Politico
…Responding to the challenges of being an adult with a severe stutter has been more problematic—by miles—than those that have come with being a black man who grew up in the South. I haven’t been denied jobs and other opportunities because of my race….
I’ve been told not to share this version of my story because it will supposedly make it harder for black men who have felt the sting of profiling to be believed. I sympathize with that criticism….
But denying the diversity within the black experience often reinforces the harmful stereotypes we all are trying to eliminate…. It is because of my history—the pain I have suffered and also the pain that I have not—that I won’t be making any special effort to tell my son, or daughter, to be wary of white cops, or any cops. I don’t want them living their lives with preconceived notions about how dangerous the world will be for them. I don’t want them carrying unnecessary, misguided burdens the way I did…. I also don’t want them stereotyping white cops the way too many young black boys are stereotyped.
Watching Cops Can Be Harmful to Your Health
Muna Mire – The New Republic
What does it mean to watch relentless community trauma?
We saw Eric Garner strangled to death on a sidewalk, and we saw a homeless grandmother, Marlene Pinnock, beaten within an inch of her life on the side of the highway. Laquan McDonald, handcuffed, standing in the street with his back to police, was shot sixteen times, and we saw his body prone and jerking unnaturally on the ground as bullets riddled his lifeless frame. What does that do to your mental health? …
Dr. Roxane Silver is a professor of psychology, social behavior, and public health at the University of California Irvine, where she’s researched the impact of broadcasting tragedies since 9/11. Her latest study, commissioned by the National Science Foundation in 2013, investigated the Boston marathon bombing.
“I don’t use any social media; I don’t watch television,” she said. “It’s quite a conscious decision for me, to step away from pretty much all forms of media. I stay on top of the news by reading online sources, but I don’t click on any videos.” Silver tells me she practices what she preaches, for her own sake. “I think it’s extremely important for me to stay away from this content. I strongly encourage people to walk away from the computer or television.”
An Alternative to the ‘Black Lives Matter’ Narrative
Jason L. Riley – Wall Street Journal
“We have one message,” Brandon Scott tells me. “We must stop killing each other. We’re not focused on any other issue.”
Mr. Scott is a city councilman in Baltimore, where jury selection began Monday in the trial of the first of six police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray in April…. Mr. Scott says that “it is unhelpful to only talk about the police behavior. For the most part in Baltimore, the violence is citizen-on-citizen.”
To that end, Mr. Scott and Munir Bahar, a community activist, co-founded 300 Men March, a volunteer organization that trains young men to patrol tough neighborhoods, urges kids to reject gang culture, and calls attention to the far more common inner-city violence that doesn’t involve police….
This message of personal responsibility has to a large extent been drowned out by left-wing activists who want to make police officers the face of ghetto mayhem.