By Guest Contributor Chad Goller-Sojourner In preparation for my one man show, Riding in Cars…
Tag: police brutality
By Guest Contributor MK, cross-posted from Prison Culture
On April 19, 1989, a young woman who was jogging through Central Park in New York City was found badly beaten. She had also been raped.
I have written briefly about the case before in comparing it to Scottsboro. However, I want to return to it today because I just saw the trailer for Ken Burns’ upcoming documentary about the case and it brings back terrible memories for me.
I was living in New York City at the time of this incident. I was 17 years old, a senior in high school. My school was across the street from Central Park and I was terrified. Just a few months before, I had been sexually assaulted (not in the park) and now I was certain that I would be targeted again.
Read the Post Super-Predators, ‘Wilding,’ And The Central Park Five
By Arturo R. García
Over the past month, this video, “It Did Not Start With Stonewall,” has been picking up steam online – we first saw it on Elixher – which is curious, given that it was originally uploaded in 2007. In the clip, a group of black women offers perspectives on life in the LGBT community in New York City in the era surrounding the seminal Stonewall Rebellion of 1969.
But it cuts off just after the three-minute mark, leaving people wondering where it came from – and whether there are more interviews like these out there. Racialicious contacted the person who uploaded the video Wednesday night, so we hope to have an update soon. In the meantime, the transcript to the video is under the cut.
by Latoya Peterson
Two days ago in Seattle, a police officer trying to arrest a woman for jay walking found himself in a sticky situation:
Seattle police say the punch came after the young woman became verbally and physically abusive after a jaywalking stop. Seattle police say it all started after an officer observed four women jaywalking across Martin Luther King Junior Way South. When the officer attempted to stop them, voices and tensions escalated. The officer was attempting to handcuff a 19-year-old woman when her 17-year-old friend tried to intervene.
In the video, you can see the 17-year-old push the officer. That’s when the officer pulls back his arm and punches the teenager in the face.
Seattle police say the officer believed the girl “was attempting to physically affect the first girl’s escape” and when she came at the officer, he “punched her.” As a crowd of people gathered around the officer and suspects, one of the witnesses videotaped the incident.
Eventually the officer managed to handcuff the first suspect as well as the girl he punched. The 19-year-old woman was booked into King County Jail for obstructing an officer. The 17-year-old girl, who was punched, was taken to the Youth Service Center for investigation of assault on an officer. Both females were cited for jaywalking.
The video has touched off a firestorm of controversy surrounding the officer’s conduct and if the officer was justified. Monica Potts, over at Tapped, argues yes. But I’m not convinced. Read the Post Punching People and the Perils of Increased Police Presence [Updated]
by Special Correspondent Andrea Plaid, originally published at Bitch Magazine
I’m taking a moment from my usual sexing-it-up posts because of the little girl pictured above.
For those who don’t know, her name is Aiyana Stanley Jones. And she’s dead. Her family just buried her this week.
She didn’t die from leukemia or in a drunk-driving accident or at the hands of an abusive or negligent parent or guardian.
She died for the sake of entertainment. Read the Post The Lady Is A Tramp: Aiyana Stanley-Jones at the Altar of the Media
by Special Correspondent Thea Lim
On Tuesday Samhita Mukhopadhyay posted the article Understanding the Dialogue Around Lovelle Mixon on Feministing, discussing the case and response to Lovelle Mixon. A 26 year-old black man and parolee in Oakland, last weekend Mixon died after shooting and killing four Oakland police officers.
Some excerpts from Mukhopadhyay’s article:
I do not deny that Mixon was armed, dangerous, a career criminal and potentially linked to the rape of a young woman. Lovelle Mixon’s actions are deplorable. But if we look at them within the context of police brutality, they sadly start make sense.
The power that resides in the laps of armed police officers is terrifying. Imagine living in these conditions, in the kind of world where you can be gunned down just for being young, black, male and walking down the street. This story is almost impossible to understand given dominant narratives around race, class, gender and black masculinity. It is considered OK to kill young black men, often violently. We may be outraged, but not nearly as outraged as when cops are killed.
Mukhopadhyay also drew from David Muhammad’s article at New American Media, which starts by saying (and I share this sentiment):
Four Oakland Police Department (OPD) officers killed, another shot, and a young assailant dead. This is tragic and unfortunate. Period.
While Mukhodpadhyay was as clear as Muhammad that Mixon’s actions are inexcusable and should not be seen as justice for Oscar Grant, within half an hour of her article going up, some Feministing commenters flipped. Choice reactions:
Turning a multiple cop killer and rapist into the poster child for a conversation about police brutality is apologism at its worst…If you were saying the same basic things to explain awat why he might have been led to rape the woman he’s excused of raping than no one on these boards would accept it. But I feel that since this happened in Oakland, after Oscar Grant, and since he’s black and these were white cops and because of the racial history it’s somewhat okay for you to seemingly excuse his actions.
This next very short comment misses the panoply of stats that Mukhopadhyay provided to illustrate that ex-convicts and poor folks in general sometimes cannot secure their basic needs by following the law:
Actually, that’s not true. Not committing further crimes is the surest way not to end up back in jail.
His actions were never fueled by police brutality, they appear to be fueled by possibility that he did not want to pay for additional crimes he knew he committed.
You’re conflating the brutal murder of Oscar Grant with a career criminal who knew he was caught and reacted like a wild animal cornered, doing anything and everything to escape being brought to justice.
I also take issue with the point that you make about cops killing young black men, statistically a much larger percentage of young black men are killed by other young black men.
And of course a few commenters who called Mukhopadhyay an apologist for Mixon were also quick to say “But you can’t say I’m racist! I was incensed by what happened to Rodney King!”
Listen: the difference between Rodney King (and Amadou Diallo and Sean Bell and Oscar Grant and Jeffrey Reodica and so many other young men of colour slain by the police) and Mixon is that the others were unarmed and innocent. The similarity is that they all lived under a policing system that devalued their lives and assumed them guilty solely because they were darker-skinned.
Now, Mixon actually was guilty. But Mixon’s guilt doesn’t neutralise the rottenness of the system. In other words, just because Mixon was actually a dangerous felon doesn’t mean that we are absolved from the duty to question how justice and innocence is defined and meted out in our culture. Read the Post Understanding the Backlash to the Dialogue Around Lovelle Mixon