The American Criminal Justice System Needs To Be Revamped Part 2
Today is my birthday. I woke up to hundreds of facebook messages, text messages, emails, and voice messages wishing me many more years of life and happiness. I was all smiles until I viewed the footage of Oscar Grant being brutally murdered at the hands of the "good guys." Never have I been so completely disgusted in my entire LIFE. This blog cannot contain the fury and rage that I feel right now. I just watched a black man murdered as he was completely debilitated and restrained by two officers while facing down on the concrete. He will not ever wake up to another Happy Birthday again.
In what universe is this acceptable behavior? I'm not sure if anything so cowardly and barbaric has ever been recorded. This makes the Rodney King beating look like a walk in the park. An officer of the law ended a man's life over what? What could Oscar Grant have possibly said that warranted a bullet to the back?
Last February I found myself and a close friend in a very similar situation. I was scheduled to speak at Indiana State University the next morning when my buddy decided to show me around Indianapolis. We stopped at a club downtown where we were promised VIP entrance by the venue's promoter. As we waited for entrance, a few overly aggressive police officers told us we were not allowed to wait for the promoter to grant us entrance and that we must exit the immediate vicinity. After trying to explain our situation one officer promptly cuffed my friend. When I objected to this, the other officer who was standing behind me sucker punched me in the back of the head. As I turned around to protect myself, I was forced to the ground, cuffed, and hit again by both officers repeatedly. They encouraged me to "keep talking" so they could gladly provide more severe punishment, as a third cop instigated the incident. After busting my ear lobe open, the officers leaned me against their police car in the freezing cold weather and left me there for about 30 minutes. Once I finally convinced them to let me go, they threatened more punishment if I did not immediately leave the premises without knowledge of their badge numbers and names. This all took place in front of a nightclub where hundreds of people stood in line awaiting entrance. Nobody moved or attempted to come to my aid.
The police are the gateway to the American Criminal Justice System. They seek the "criminals" that fill up our jails. Who do you turn to when the guardians of the law exceed commonly justifiable behavior? The law? Hmm... How can the law hold the guardians of the law accountable when they exceed the law? Look at the results of the Rodney King beating, the Sean Bell shooting, and Amadou Diallo incident. Justice was not served. Our current laws, law enforcement officials, and the American Criminal Justice System cannot bring justice in their current form.
I propose that President Obama develops a bill to restructure the criminal justice system as we know it. In this bill I encourage uniform police behavior standards across all 50 states. I also advocate the downfall of prison privitization, as this fuels the prison industrial complex. Laws need to be changed, beginning with those that affect non violent offenders. Change is needed. How many times will we allow what you just saw to happen from coast to coast before we lobby our government for CHANGE?
Still not seeing a trend here? When are we going to do something about this? How many times will we accept that it was just a police "mistake" when a young Black man is brutally assaulted by law officials?]]>