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Iíve been a Police Officer for the past 25 years and believe me, Iím not afraid to call it like I see it.

The California Officers who slammed the teen on the hood of the vehicle were wrong and were

 definitely, without question, wrong for striking or punching the teen while he was handcuffed.

 

 

How Quick We Are To Judge

By D.C. Moore

 

I must admit, at first I was appalled at the sight of the black teenager being abused while he was in police custody, handcuffed, helpless, and whereas he couldnít defend himself from any attack of any sort. One would assume that todayís Police Officers across the country are not capable of committing such atrocities as remembered through the Rodney King era. You would think that their training and experience would hinder them from making such graphic mistakes, especially when someone has a video camera pointing in your direction and filming the entire incident. Oh thatís right, they didnít know they were being taped.

Iíve been a Police Officer for the past 25 years and believe me, Iím not afraid to call it like I see it. The California Officers who slammed the teen on the hood of the vehicle were wrong and were definitely, without question, wrong for striking or punching the teen while he was handcuffed. For these acts, these Officers will probably be fired and ridiculed, especially because of media involvement. But, as a Law Enforcement Officer, I also know that these Officers didnít wake up that morning and just plan to throw their careers away by assaulting a young black teenager. There had to be something that sparked that behavior. I believe the totality of circumstances have not been released to the general public or explained in full detail. Therefore, how can we possibly pass judgment on these Officers so quick without knowing all the facts?

I have only seen the short film two times on the news and the one thing that the general public cried out about is the Black and White issue. Ok, lets all admit this is newsworthy. The minute the News Agency got their hands on the tape, the dollars signs started ringing. Why not because controversy sells and we, the general public love it. The headlines around the country that day focused on Police Brutality at its worst. A White Police Officer beating, abusing and mistreating a Black Teenager who was handcuffed and defenseless. I know the general Black community was in an outrage. At the Barber Shop where I go to get my hair cut, I overheard the brothers talking about those rotten Police and how they should be controlled and how the lawsuit that follows is going to make that young kid rich for the rest of his life. Not once, did anyone single out that particular Officer - only those rotten Police. In their minds and tone, they felt that all Police Officers are rotten; and, that is certainly not true. I wonder what the White community felt. I certainly wouldnít know about how the White community felt because I am not White.

After watching the film, I understand how people and especially Black people felt. It was a sight to see and without question it was Police Brutality. But I am a Police Officer, so I saw it in a little more in depth. The one thing I first questioned was why the other Officers didnít stop the actions of the one. But as I watched carefully, a White Officer tried to stop the abuse by using his arm to block the striking Officer. The second question was why didnít the Black Officer stop the abuse. Then I realized how it feels when the adrenalin is rushing through your body and thinking sometimes becomes tunneled and unclear. Again, the questions cannot be answered without knowing all the facts the led up to the incident.

I remember as a young rookie Officer in East Baltimore earlier in my career around the year 1981, I was on patrol when a call came out for a family disturbance in the 1900 block Patterson Park Avenue at North Avenue I responded and found that a girlfriend and boyfriend fight has just occurred. After I was able to calm everyone down, I saw that the boyfriend was cut severely across the chest and arm. The cut was approximately 13" across his chest and approximately 4" down his left arm. The cut was very deep and you could see thick white meat and muscle as it bled profusely. He wasnít complaining but he needed medical attention immediately.

I summoned an ambulance and other Officers responded as well. I learned that the girlfriend had slashed the boyfriend with a box cutter razor after he had slapped her during their arguing. There was no bruises or marks on the girlfriend. The girlfriend admitted to cutting the boyfriend and said, " he shouldnít have slapped me ". She was even consoling him and trying to stop his bleeding with a wet towel while awaiting the arrival of the medic unit. I was young and didnít really know what to do. A senior Officer advised me to arrest the lady (girlfriend). He explained that the guy was not going to die or anything but the mere fact that he was severely cut in that manner dictated that the girlfriend had to be arrested regardless of the boyfriend insisting that he would handle everything and didnít want police involvement.

After the Ambulance arrived and started treating the boyfriend and everyone was calm, I explained to the girlfriend that she was being place under arrest for the assault by cutting of her boyfriend. She became very angry and insisted that she did nothing wrong. The boyfriend rose from out of the Ambulance for us to let his woman go. This was the craziest love I had ever seen or witnessed. We gently handcuffed her and she did not struggle of any sort, just continued to run her mouth about her disbelief that we were arresting her. A crowd of neighbors and signifiers had gathered, watching the medic personnel restrain the boyfriend in the ambulance and watching as we escorted the girlfriend to the Patty Wagon.

Now that I am able to look back, I could feel the tension of the crowd and the persons involved but I couldnít put a finger on it or understand why everyone was so upset. I was only doing my job. After all just think, what would happen if everyone were allowed to shoot or stab anyone for slapping him or her. It would be mayhem.

As we got the girlfriend to the rear of the wagon, the wagon man said " first felony arrest huh". I said, " Yes sir, I guess so ". The girlfriend look at me, roared back, and hulk spited directly in my face. Every drop of her nasty green and yellow spit hit me in my face without a drop hitting anyone else. I was the target and her aim was a dead on the bulls eye. I reacted so fast that I surprised the crowd, other officers and even myself. I canít say what I did because Iím not sure of the statue of limitations. Can you guess what I did or what would you have done. I will give you these choices:

A) Knocked her out with one punch to the face and called her a name of a derogatory nature;

B) Stepped back wipe the spit from your face and demand that the wagon Officer quickly put her inside the wagon and transport her to the booking facility;

C) Pull out your service weapon and execute her immediately or pull out your night stick and use whatever force is necessary to stop her from spitting;

D) Quickly run towards the medic unit and request first aid material to wash the nasty spit from your face and later charge the woman with Assault on Police; or

E) Explain to the woman that this act was not nice and she will have to answer for this act in a court of law, have her transported to a booking facility and charge her accordingly and then watch the crowdsí reaction and asked veteran Officers what should you do next.

Are all of these choices correct or incorrect to follow? B & D are the correct procedures to follow base on rules and regulations and common sense. The problem is that someone forgot to factor in human emotion. The Emotion of anger will play a strong role in the element of control. During a heightened situation, the rush of adrenaline is felt and tunneled vision occurs, and control is lost in humans creating their actions to be spontaneous. Sometimes their actions can be regretful especially if their actions are caught on videotape.

Other factors are in place when we, as the public, quickly judge the Police without knowing all the details that are involved. Factors, such as the race issue. Supposed that the teen had been white and all the Officers involved were White or the teen was white and all the Officers involved were Black. Would the media have jumped to televise the video as quick? You can play with the intermingling and changing of different persons involved to achieve a high or low reaction. Did I tell you the race of the woman in the above scenario? Would it have made a difference in the answer you selected? If so, then certainly you would believe that an opinion or an outcry of Police Brutality should be examined thoroughly before judgment is passed. What if, in the scenario describe, a person with a camera only caught your actions as to the response of being spited on.

Certainly these facts are food for thought and should be considered before judging our Law Enforcement Officers across the nation that are called to do a job that seemingly is not as popular as one would think. Nevertheless, after that video aired, Law Enforcement Officers still showed up for work the next day and were ridiculed from every angle and aspect. Well what did you expect? They are only human.

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AALBC.com's 25 Best Selling Books

For July 1st through August 31st 2011
 

Fiction

#1 - Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark
#2 - Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree
#3 - Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane
#4 - Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper
#5 - Stackin' Paper 2 Genesis' Payback by Joy King
#6 - Thug Lovin' (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark
#7 - When I Get Where I'm Going by Cheryl Robinson
#8 - Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby
#9 - The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 - Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

#11 - Diary Of A Street Diva  by Ashley and JaQuavis

#12 - Don't Ever Tell  by Brandon Massey

#13 - For colored girls who have considered suicide  by Ntozake Shange

#14 - For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree

#15 - Homemade Loves  by J. California Cooper

#16 - The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

#17 - Player Haters by Carl Weber

#18 - Purple Panties: An Eroticanoir.com Anthology by Sidney Molare

#19 - Stackin' Paper by Joy King

#20 - Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey

#21 - The Upper Room by Mary Monroe

#22 Ė Thug Matrimony  by Wahida Clark

#23 - Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

#24 - Married Men by Carl Weber

#25 - I Dreamt I Was in Heaven - The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter

Non-fiction

#1 - Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable
#2 - Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans
#3 - Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane
#4 - Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper
#5 - Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You're Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant
#6 - Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey
#7 - The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight
#8 - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing
#9 - The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 - John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 - Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 -The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 - The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 - The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 - Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can't Commit  by RM Johnson

#16 - Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins

#17 - Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 - A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 - John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 - Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 - Age Ain't Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 - 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
#23 - Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul by Tom Lagana
#24 - 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

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1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created

By Charles C. Mann

Iím a big fan of Charles Mannís previous book 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, in which he provides a sweeping and provocative examination of North and South America prior to the arrival of Christopher Columbus. Itís exhaustively researched but so wonderfully written that itís anything but exhausting to read. With his follow-up, 1493, Mann has taken it to a new, truly global level. Building on the groundbreaking work of Alfred Crosby (author of The Columbian Exchange and, Iím proud to say, a fellow Nantucketer), Mann has written nothing less than the story of our world: how a planet of what were once several autonomous continents is quickly becoming a single, ďglobalizedĒ entity.

Mann not only talked to countless scientists and researchers; he visited the places he writes about, and as a consequence, the book has a marvelously wide-ranging yet personal feel as we follow Mann from one far-flung corner of the world to the next. And always, the prose is masterful. In telling the improbable story of how Spanish and Chinese cultures collided in the Philippines in the sixteenth century, he takes us to the island of Mindoro whose ďsouthern coast consists of a number of small bays, one next to another like tooth marks in an apple.Ē We learn how the spread of malaria, the potato, tobacco, guano, rubber plants, and sugar cane have disrupted and convulsed the planet and will continue to do so until we are finally living on one integrated or at least close-to-integrated Earth. Whether or not the human instigators of all this remarkable change will survive the process they helped to initiate more than five hundred years ago remains, Mann suggests in this monumental and revelatory book, an open question.

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Ratification

The People Debate the Constitution, 1787-1788

By Pauline Maier

A notable historian of the early republic, Maier devoted a decade to studying the immense documentation of the ratification of the Constitution. Scholars might approach her bookís footnotes first, but history fans who delve into her narrative will meet delegates to the state conventions whom most history books, absorbed with the Founders, have relegated to obscurity. Yet, prominent in their local counties and towns, they influenced a conventionís decision to accept or reject the Constitution. Their biographies and democratic credentials emerge in Maierís accounts of their elections to a convention, the political attitudes they carried to the conclave, and their declamations from the floor. The latter expressed opponentsí objections to provisions of the Constitution, some of which seem anachronistic (election regulation raised hackles) and some of which are thoroughly contemporary (the power to tax individuals directly). Ripostes from proponents, the Federalists, animate the great detail Maier provides, as does her recounting how one state conventionís verdict affected anotherís. Displaying the grudging grassroots blessing the Constitution originally received, Maier eruditely yet accessibly revives a neglected but critical passage in American history.óBooklist

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Boisí Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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Negro Digest / Black World

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Enjoy!

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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updated 27 March 2008 

 

 

 

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Related files: White Officer Suspended After Tape Shows Handcuffed Black Youth Was Punched