The Thin Blue Line Is Rightfully Showing Cracks, Officer Charged
The cruel irony of Minnesota reveals the state of police and African Americans is changing as police officers kill black citizens and are charged for the alleged crimes. Police have not seemed to have changed in their treatment of black suspects; however, when they kill there is the chance for them being held responsible for their crimes. It is a significant change forward and one significant step back. Police reform remains on the table. The recent murder of Daunte Wright, 20, has resulted in policewoman Kim Potter to resign along with her police chief who said in his opinion the shooting was accidental. Potter claims she was reaching for her taser but instead grabbed her service pistol and shot Wright, killing him. There was protest, some in a nearby town that resulted in looting of businesses. The local sheriff’s department used tear gas and fired rubber bullets into the crowd. Potter has since been charged with manslaughter and booked into jail. Perhaps justice isn’t evident, but change is in the air.
In a touch of cruel irony, the shooting is reminiscent of Tulsa shootings by law enforcement where reservist Robert Bates claims he mistook his taser for his gun before shooting Eric Harris and was sentenced to prison. Also like the ex-Tulsa cop Betty Shelby who shot Terence Crutcher in the back but was acquitted for her charges.
Ten miles away Derek Chauvin is on trial for the death of George Floyd. There was a day not so long ago that no policemen were ever charged for abusing or killing a civilian. Vague laws exist written when the public felt something had to be done about crime. It gave a veil of protection to police officers who, if they think their lives are in danger, have the right to kill to protect themselves. Just like rights Oklahoma drivers will have if Governor Kevin Stitt signs the law that gives motorists in our state free rein to mow down protestors without fear of punishment. Makes you wonder what Oklahoma lawmakers are thinking about. No police reform in Oklahoma. But in Oklahoma City, there seems to be an effort to hold law enforcement accountable.
Oklahoma City detention guards should consider themselves on notice as they are not above being punished for torture and physical assault. Last year a pair of guards were charged with misdemeanor offenses including cruelty to prisoners, corporal punishment to an inmate and conspiracy for allegedly making inmates listen non-stop to “Baby Shark.”
The Supervisor was also charged for allegedly not stopping the torture of four inmates with their hands cuffed behind their back and attached to a wall. Their charges are misdemeanors and there is no option for felonies for guards subjecting inmates to torture of this kind.
This week, four workers at the Oklahoma County Jail were charged with assault and battery for incidents involving inmates. These charges coming on the same day another inmate is found dead in jail. An inmate took a guard hostage last year telling in a live video feed of horrible inhumane conditions inside the jail including no working toilets and not being able to shower for weeks. The inmate was killed by guards rescuing the detention officer.
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has called for his state investigators to examine the recent traffic stop where a black soldier was stopped by police for a poorly viewable temporary license plate. The officer who pulled the soldier over ended up striking and spraying the soldier in the face for what appeared to be no provocation. The offending officer has since been fired and the soldier has filed a $1 million lawsuit against the city. The black soldier was not charged with a crime and was released.
A young black man was confronted for walking while black in his own neighborhood. A viral video captured the moment United States soldier Jonathan Pentland approached the unnamed young black man and started yelling at him about him being in the wrong neighborhood. Penland ended up pushing the young man. The physical attack was caught on camera and Penland ended up being charged with assault and battery. The day after the assault black protestors gathered in front of Penland’s home calling for him to come out. He did not come out.
In Georgia a fatal confrontation between Matthew Zoak Williams and police ended up with the young black man being shot and killed. The police say he lunged at them with a knife, and they have recovered a weapon and it is on video. The family says witnesses say Williams had no knife and was running for is life. The police say a body cam supports their claims. Request for the video were denied saying it’s not available.
Just released video disputes police claims that 13-year-old Adam Toledo had a gun and in fact held his hands in the air before he was shot dead by Chicago policemen. Protests are planned amid calls for calm in Chicago as a nation wrestles with police violence towards citizens.
The public and lawmakers have short memories, and the passion for reform has waned since George Floyd died under the knee of Derek Chauvin. The hundreds of other abuses at the hands of police have been met with mixed reactions. Police reform is sporadic throughout America and in Oklahoma it is non-existent. In the meantime, there is evidence that even in Oklahoma prosecutors will avail themselves of what laws there are to hold peacemakers accountable.
Bill To Allow Running Over Protestors Reaches Governor’s Desk
A bill designed to protect drivers who hit and even kill protestors who gather on state roads has reached the governor’s desk in what can only be described as one of the most disturbing and embarrassing proposed laws passed by Oklahoma lawmakers. And that is saying a lot.
Opposition is fierce to Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt signing the bill that on its face appears to be unconstitutional on free speech and rights to assemble arguments. With all the problems this state has, draconian and barbaric laws are passed with speed while laws protecting people of color from abuses are ignored. Hope Stitt vetoes this law. Stitt’s number is 405 521-2342.