There is a aura of fear that the poor feel around cops. In the United States, anyway. And if you’re black, all the worse.
The other day, Darrius Kennedy was shot point blank just off Times Square in New York. Kennedy allegedly had a knife. There were ten uniformed and armed policemen. None had tasers. All had guns. And they shot Kennedy, point blank, twelve times. Considering that I could have probably disarmed Mr Kennedy, one does wonder why he has shot in the street like a rabid dog.
But I can find you more…
20 year old Deshone Travis
By: JOANN MERRIGAN | WSAV News 3
Published: June 27, 2012
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(Savannah, GA) Robert Travis doesn’t understand why his son is dead. His 20 year old son, Deshone Lamar Travis was shot and killed by Port Wentworth Police early on the morning of June 26. Port Wentworth Police Chief Matt Libby says his department had been asked to assist Pooler Police detectives on a robbery investigation they were conducting in Pooler at the Wendy’s on Highway 80.
Libby said the investigation led to a home in Port Wentworth in the Newport subdivision. He says while there, police encountered Deshone Travis. Robert Travis told us he received a call from his son around midnight. “He told me that police wanted to impound his car and it had something to do with a robbery. I told him I would be right there,” Travis told us. “I was only ten minutes away.
“Everything was calm, no one was irate or anything,” Mr. Travis told me. “So I thought I was just going there and to see what was going on with the car and talk to the officers and see what why they thought his vehicle was involved. But when I got to the scene that was not the case. I came to see all the glass busted out of my son’s car which in the street and I realize my son is in that car and I am asking what happened?”
Mr. Travis says he has no reason to believe his son was involved in the robbery in any way. “He had a good job (at the Dollar Tree Warehouse Distribution Center in Pooler) and was still hoping to go to college.”
Mr. Travis said his son had just turned 20 in May and had graduated from Groves High School where he played sports. “He was a good kid, and I mean he looked like a kid so I don’t know how these police officers could say they feared for them lives from him,” Mr. Travis said. “He went from being a kid that was not involved in a crime to being a robbery suspect, to being someone who was bad, and that’s wrong, it wasn’t true.
When you watch TV cop shows, what you see are police represented as men of integrity, with some occasional personal problems, and all of whom work hard in a flawed system, but a system there to protect citizens from “the bad guys”.
Reality is more like this:
19 year old Christian Freeman was wielding a knife (sic) and fatally shot by two policemen in an alley behind a FedEx, off Beale Street, in Memphis.
In Plumas County, California, officers shot and killed a hammer weilding Dennis Majewski, 36. Now Majewski was an addict, living in a trailer park, and was described by neighbors as “not nearly in his right mind”. Apparently Majewski had a serious leg operation, limped badly, and was taking morphine. His doctor had just cut off his prescription. Majewski told friends, “I cant afford no twenty two thousand dollar rehab”.
A limping lunatic in withdrawl, armed with a hammer. What the hell are all those kevlar vests and high tech equipment for again? I could have disarmed a sick, gimpy, guy living in his RV.
Or back in Memphis again:’
Hernandez L. Dowdy’s funeral is this weekend, 10 days after he was fatally shot by Memphis police pursuing the driver of what was reported to be a carjacked vehicle.
But there was no carjacking. The Southaven woman who made that claim has been charged with the felony of making a false offense report to Memphis police.
Police have not disclosed whether Dowdy, 36, was armed when an officer shot him June 27 near Chancellor and Renault in the Parkway Village area. After fleeing police first in a car and then on foot, Dowdy “reached toward his waistband and indicated that he had a gun,” police said in a statement issued June 28.
What is clear is that Dowdy was not driving a car that had been carjacked, as a Southaven woman originally reported June 23. The 21-year-old woman, Erica M. Moore, recanted her story about her silver 2008 Pontiac G6 being stolen by a gunman, according to a court affidavit filed by investigators the day after Dowdy’s death.
Armed? Police have not disclosed. Oh, OK.
Or Yucaipa, California. Theodore Wann, 23, allegedly attacked police with a shovel. They use “lethal force” to subdue him.
I could keep going on, Stephen Watts, 15, mentally ill, in Calumet City, Illinois, or Ray Allen 34, suspected, SUSPECTED of being under the influence of drugs, tasered to death in Galveston. Or Nehimiah Dillard, 29,
“Dillard, who lived in Spring Hill in Hernando County and was reportedly going through a divorce, was detained Sunday under the Baker Act after displaying strange behavior in a stranger’s yard on Southwest Sixth Terrace near Micanopy, Kelly said. He was apparently in the area to visit his mother.”
Or Justin Sipp —http://opnateye.com/?p=246
Shot to death for “acting suspicious” while driving with his brother, wearing their Burger King uniforms. The two cops have long histories of excessive force while with the New Orleans Police Department. Just a week later, the same police department, shot an unarmed teenager, Wendall Allen, fatally, in the suburb of Gentilly.
Or Dante Price, 25, shot by white police in Dayton, Ohio, because, they claimed, he tried to run them down. He was unarmed.
We got shovels, cars, hammers, knives and we got a lot of “acting strangely”. How you act is now cause for execution, essentially. Its never really defined what acting strangely means. It means one thing if you are black, or chicano, or just poor … and it matters where you “act strangely”. The police ‘interpret’ behavior….they decide what is strange, and they decide normal. And they kill people.
Lets look at Chicago:
March 21st Rekia Boyd, 22, black, unarmed, shot dead by an off-duty policeman. No arrest made. The Boyd killing, of a young woman, by an OFF DUTY white cop — who was only involving himself in what he thought was excessive noise being made by a group of young people. This story is almost a parody of police violence in this country. An unarmed young woman is DEAD. For what? Why?
Warm Chicago spring night….kids out having fun, and making too much noise. Dante Servin pulls up in his unmarked vehicle, and argues with the kids, and then takes out a weapon and shoots one…an unarmed young woman. He shoots her to death.
Or Anaheim, the now well publicized shooting and attack by police dogs in a crowd including mothers and children.
The police are there to protect property. Period. They always have been. Today, the perception is one in which the default setting is police authority. The endless, ENDLESS television and film formula for police shows, repeating of melodrama where dedicated sensitive policemen and women confront the threat of “the bad guys”….and never never never is the question of “bad guy” explored further. Social conditions? History? Slavery and the abuse and exploitation of farm laborers?…never. That is not part of the master discourse. White privilege and the accompanying perception is deeply embedded in the US, in liberals and reactionaries alike. The FEAR of the other, The FEAR of the poor…those marauding hordes akin to zombies, those millions of gang banging drive by shooters, those addicts and dealers and pimps and kids making too much noise.
Those that cant be put in jail, are increasingly just being gunned down in the street.
The U.S. prison population has quadrupled in the past 35 years.
Today, 1 in every 100 U.S. adults is imprisoned.
At 2.3 million individuals incarcerated, the U.S. imprisons people at a rate six times that of the next most punitive Western nation, the United Kingdom
Women have suffered proportionally the most, with a near eight-fold increase in U.S. the number of U.S. female prisoners in the past 35 years.
Not many policemen in prisons for murder.
The police now exist outside the law. They kill when they feel like it. Nobody will hear about the cops who gunned down Darrius Kennedy. Nobody will pay for Rekia Boyd’s murder or any of the countless more cases with less publicity.
Its mostly white on black. But its everything, really. Its an intensified war on the poor. The inner cities, the barrios, the rural impoverished countrysides of America are killing ground. If its not putting immigrants in jail, the the new for profit complexes built just to house immigrants, its the one third of black men in the US who spend at least some time in custody.
Detention Watch has this :
Highlights of Research: The Lobbying Practices of Private Prison Corporations
With the exponential increases in government expenditure on immigration enforcement since 2001, private industry accurately views immigration detention as a growth industry, and corporations have therefore devoted their resources to lobbying for those policies and programs that will increase their opportunities to do business with the federal government.
Between the five corporations with ICE contracts for which official federal lobbying records are currently available, the total expenditure on lobbying for 1999-2009 was $20,432,000.(1) In general, corporations lobbied both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Most companies also lobbied the Department of Homeland Security, the agency that oversees Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The larger corporations (CCA and GEO) lobbied a variety of entities related to immigration policy, including the Department of Justice, the Bureau of Prisons, and the Office of Management and Budget. Both CCA and GEO reported lobbying ICE directly.
Corrections Corporation of America by far spends the most on federal lobbying, totaling $18,002,000 from 1999 to 2009. The bulk of this was between 2003 and 2007, when CCA spent between $2,020,000 and $3,800,000 each year, averaging over $3 million per year. CCA also lobbies more agencies than any other private prison company, including the Department of Labor, Department of Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the Administration for Families and Children. Specific bills listed in CCA lobby reports include: the Private Prisons Information Act of 2009, Safe Prisons Communication Act and others around immigration and appropriations. This inventory of targeted agencies and legislation suggests that CCA is attempting to shape labor regulations, encourage privatization in the Bureau of Indian prisons, and expand family detention. More research is necessary in order to uncover the dimensions of CCA’s influence in these areas.
One interesting side bar issue accounting for prison population increases is the corporate lobbying (which was successful) for sentencing increases for retail theft. This was pushed extensively by, among others, Wal-Mart.
Demonize immigrants, demonize the poor, keep demonizing inner city black and chicano youth. Manufacture fear.
Perhaps the most symbolically resonant murder (not counting Trayvon Martin) is Chavis Carter. Executed while handcuffed in the back of a police patrol car.
While so restrained the left handed Carter is alleged, by police in Jonesboro Arkansas, to have shot himself in the right temple.
Work camps for the poor are just around the corner. Debters’ prison. The US is a nation of jails, punishment, violence, and now executions — this is kevlar Nazis, the high tech gangs of thugs in the US today are just better, more expensively equipped goon squads.
A town of 13,000 in Missouri has its own SWAT unit. They recently kicked in a man’s door and shot his dog twenty times. They were about to shoot the puppies until a screaming neighbor woman interceeded. The house owner’s crime? Two joints.
The cops are openly threatening. They know they have unlimited power. This trend figures to continue. It first became visible, in its new pepper spray/taser incarnation during the Occupy gatherings. Those in poor neighborhoods in black and brown America, have known it all along.
George Zimmerman is not unusual.
Neither is Trayvon Martin, or Chavis Carter or Rekia Boyd, or Darrius Kennedy.