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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

"I Want Them to be Afraid Every Time They See the Police"

It's rare that you see that sort of statement from a police chief quoted in a newspaper. Not so much because it's rare for police to feel that way, but more so because most of them know enough not to be that honest about how they feel. But not Homer, La. Police Chief Russell Mills, who believes that the key to lowering crime in a community lies in harassing and beating up every black person in that community, even if they didn't do anything and especially if they are young and have friends:
"If I see three or four young black men walking down the street, I have to stop them and check their names," said Mills, who is white. "I want them to be afraid every time they see the police that they might get arrested."

Which is why it isn't that surprising when two of his officers end up under investigation for shooting an unarmed black man and then planting a weapon next to him to justify the shooting. All of which was preceded by them chasing after that man's son, who equally unsurprisingly, was in no hurry to be questioned by them, in spite of the fact he wasn't wanted for anything at the time.
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Kelly W. Patterson said...

It's actually rather surprising how often they get caught these days. With the advent of cell phone cameras, it's not quite so easy to beat and/or kill someone and then claim that they were ones posing a threat to society. It's still not exactly hard for them, but it's much less easy than it used to be.

Monkey Wrench said...

Agreed. Score one for technology and the proletariat!


David Claiborne said...

The thing that bothers me is when I do see video of police brutality in the States, while it does often end up with the cops getting fired, you never see people fighting off the cops when they're out of line. Americans are terrified of standing up to authority.

Not so in Europe.

LeftyHenry said...

I disagree with the idea that cops arent honest about their brutality. They cloak it as "cracking down on crime" and then proceed to abuse every civil liberty they can before people start protesting. Sometimes at this point they'll do something like indicted one cop to cool the situation, but often like wit Rodney King Riots, Watts, and Bell's killings the people's outcry can be too much for them. In NYC, cops can search our bags randomly and stop and frisk you without question since 9/11 despite what people have said about mayor bloomberg being somehow "more restrained" with his ideas on police then Guiliani. From times I've been stopped on the street and search cops have blatantly told me that they're trying to keep people scared

Kelly W. Patterson said...

David, I do very much wish that people in America were a little less willing to accept the police story. Usually the rationale is something to the effect of "giving the cops the benefit of the doubt" vs. a criminal's accusation. The problem is that many times the inconsistencies go well beyond doubt and often the victims of police brutality aren't actually criminals (until they are charged with assaulting a police baton with their head, of course).

Lefty, I guess it's just a matter of how you define honesty. Claiming that monitoring the Quakers is necessary to protect us from terrorists is a nice smokescreen, but it's not exactly honest. It's still rare though when someone comes right out and says something that racist and more often a factor of being caught in the act.

Garth said...

I grew up in apartheid South Africa and as such I am always afraid when I see the police.

Kelly W. Patterson said...

Can't say that I blame you for that, Pisces.

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