Thursday, July 30, 2015

"NOW Calls for Overhaul of Criminal Justice System in Light of Police Brutality Crisis," is the head of a press release I received by email today.
At last, NOW is doing something that I consider radical today and not some leftover from yesterday. With the police totally out of control all across the country, citizens must speak out against them.  And it's a help to have NOW, which up to now (no pun intended) has been the whitest, middle-classest organization of our time, urging change in this epidemic of police killings.
NOW also said,
 "What can be said about the state of our criminal justice system when, in the past two weeks alone, five women of color have been found dead inside correctional facilities?
Raynetta Turner, 43 years old. Arrested in Mt. Vernon, NY for shoplifting. Found dead in her cell within 48 hours after being arrested.
Kindra Chapman, 18 years old. Arrested in Homewood, AL for stealing a cell phone. Committed suicide within 24-48 hours after being locked up.
Joyce Curnell, 50 years old. Arrested in North Charleston, SC on a bench warrant for shoplifting. Found dead in her cell within 24-48 hours of being locked up.
Ralkina Jones, 44 years old. Arrested in Cleveland, OH for assaulting her ex-husband and his car with a tire iron. Found dead in her cell 2 days after her arrest.
Sandra Bland, 28 years old. Pulled over in Waller County, TX for making a lane change without signaling. Found dead in her cell 3 days later."

I don't think we even knew about most of these other women. I'd like to know why the man who stopped Sandra Bland is not in jail, though. But the worst of it is that even when these people are charged with murder, as they must be, they are never convicted. That has to change. There must be a nationwide re-education (what am I smoking?) about how the police are our servants; we pay their salaries; they follow our laws and they don't fucking step out of line.

As NOW says, "Our criminal justice system is in crisis. Police officers are seemingly trained as if they are a military occupying force and believe that Black and brown people are all presumptively dangerous insurgents. They are also, seemingly, trained to believe that their personal safety is threatened whenever a Black or brown person fails to be utterly compliant and utterly submissive to an officer’s every command, however whimsical (like instructing Sandra Bland to put out her cigarette on pain of being tasered)." 

I would add that they now seem quite emboldened with white people too, from what I've heard, although I don't live in that country anymore. THIS MUST CHANGE. 

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