“Here’s what police misconduct cases are costing taxpayers in big cities across the nation:”
Boston $36 million between 2005 and 2015.
Chicago $521 million between 2004 and 2014.
Los Angeles $101 million between 2002 and 2011
New York City $348 million between 2006 and 2011.
So far 560 people have been killed by police in 2016, and just in case you didn’t know why their has always been violence and suspicion associated with cops it’s because “many southern police departments began as slave patrols. In 1704, the colony of Carolina developed the nation’s first slave patrol. Slave patrols helped to maintain the economic order and to assist the wealthy landowners in recovering and punishing slaves who essentially were considered property” (Kappeler, Victor, E). There is obviously a strong correlation of the perceived value and mistreatment of a black person in the 1700’s and today’s police.
After attempting to wrap my head around the tragic murders of Delrawn Small, Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and those similar to it, I’ve come to three powerful realizations. First, the Fraternal Order of Police is an extremely powerful entity in every city and state. Secondly, as a country, America would much rather pay off the victims of crimes committed by cops than actually hold them accountable and retrain their officers. And lastly, while I love what the “First Family” represents and all the strides Black celebrities have made, they mean very little in times like these if they will not use their influence to help this cause.
While well founded, I hate my cynical attitude towards justice and racism in America. I was born in 1983, half my childhood in the suburbs, and was raised to love everyone. But, this isn’t the world my parents thought my brothers and I would end up living in. And, this is a harsh reality for those that thought moving to a decent neighborhood would protect their children. We are all aware that it doesn’t matter where you live, what you have, and even who you know because the entire country has gone mad and everyone is watching.
I’ve seen so much killing done by police officers, with no repercussions, that I no longer believe justice prevails if it involves law enforcement. What I have seen and what I am forced to accept is that money silences victims, and the legal system will continue to protect the real criminals. As a result, cities have to pay for lawsuits filed by families who know things won’t work out in their favor in the court room. This method of only paying off the victim’s families, instead of also addressing the issues the community will have to face due to the trauma inflicted is horrible for morale, the economy, and any signs of possible patriotism.
No President, Presidential nominee, or black millionaire has seriously tackled police brutality and the effects of it on our country. Is it because of fear of retaliation? We can recall when the Mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio dared to speak out about the unfair practices of some police, and they openly showed their disrespect for him with no fear of retribution? Or is it plain indifference, ignorance, and fear of actually being known as someone that cares about black issues, not just black votes and dollars.
When will we see that this dysfunctional systematic way of living in America only ends up depleting this country of the people that helped to build it, and deplete city’s of the resources that would have provided better schools, recreation centers, play grounds, after school care, sanitation departments, and neighborhood watch programs? Maybe that’s the plan.
Rachel Bryant Lundy