OPINION: Cops or legalized street gangs?

By: John K. Williams
Feb 24, 2016
According to The Washington Post and Bowling Green University, "For every 1,000 people killed by police, only one officer is convicted of a crime." Of this 1,000 people, the majority are African-American men and women.
Cops have sworn to serve and to protect but the streets have become a war zone with taxpayers too often becoming police victims.
$1.8 billion is the estimated annual cost of police misconduct to taxpayers. Too many cops are not cops anymore.
The "gang activity" of cops is funded by the people and enforced by political leaders. It forces people to participate in criminal activity because the cops live by a code: It's either you or them.
The cases add up where African-American men and women are brutally beaten and gunned down trying to avoid a situation that unknowingly would carry the maximum penalty, death.
Parents fear allowing their children to leave the house in the latter hours of the night. They find it hard accepting that their children may want to attend an out-of-state college or university. Guns don't kill people, people do. Police have taken power given to them and run it into the dirt.
18-year-old Michael Brown was shot to death in cold blood in Ferguson, Missouri. Unarmed, Brown was accused of stealing a pack of cigarillos but, even if he did, did it require the punishment that came thereafter?
Officers tend to use the same excuse over and over until it has become cliché to the world. "There was a gun present at the scene." Another mother will have to bury a son.
The cop behind the gun, Officer Wilson was NOT indicted. The state of Missouri erupted into protest. Cops are indicted in less than 1 percent of killings, but the indictment rate for citizens is 90 percent.
Dennis Richmond, Claflin student and Blacktivist, was asked, "Do you feel that cops are not cops but legalized street gangs?"
He responded, "Growing up in Yonkers, New York, I have seen some very nice and polite police officers. I cannot speak for all police officers when I make statements. By definition, a street gang to my understanding, partakes in criminal activity, drug selling and sometimes attacking people, and I haven't seen police officers do these things. The media (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Television stations, newspapers, magazines, etc.) may portray certain things and there is no doubt in my mind that some people take advantage of power, but as far as saying that cops are not cops is not something I can agree on."
He is correct -- in part. But when all you see in your community is police brutality, you begin to feel that all cops are the same.
"For every 1,000 people killed by police, only one officer is convicted of a crime." How can 999 deaths go without punishment but the second that an officer is killed in the line of duty, there a rose gardens and statues made in their memory?
For every person killed by officers, the state should pay for their funerals. It makes no sense that the very person in the path of the bullet or the fist thrown is a taxpayer. Think about it. Would you shoot the person who was signing your checks or funding the money that your boss uses to pay you? No!
The Caucasian community fails to see the unspoken inequality. "The likelihood that a black person killed by police will be unarmed: Twice as likely as a white person killed by police," according to The Guardian.
Statistics show: "When officers are on the road during patrol, they are not looking for Caucasian error. 75 percent of patrols are in neighborhoods populated mostly by minorities."
If they are not looking for Caucasian error that means minorities are going to have a hard time until some change is brought into effect. Cops roam the street just as your neighborhood gang member would. They are in search of something else to mess up. That includes but is not limited to lives. Cops ruin the lives of many while trying to serve and protect. These are not video games, officers.
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