Criminal Justice Reform
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Three police Officers in Wilmington North Carolina were caught on tape giving their real opinions on African Americans. Officer Michael “Kevin” Piner said “We’re just going to go out and start slaughtering them fucking niggers. Wipe them off the fucking map. That’ll put them back about four or five generations.” The other two officers involved in this disgusting racist hate filled conversation were Jesse E Moore II and Officer James “Brian” Gilmore. The three men fantasized about the best methods they’d use to kill the most black people and Piner revealed that he began stockpiling assault rifles to prepare for a new civil war. The officers always refereed to black people using various racial slurs and saved their most virulent words for Black Lives Matter protestors.
Officer Moore began to describe a recent arrest involving a black woman. He told Piner and Gilmore that she “needed a bullet in the head right then and there then move the body out of the way and keep going.”
After the Police Chief listened to the recording he fired all three officers right away, and began an investigation into their conduct. All 3 officers have been on the job for 20+ years. Knowing how much they hate black people can you imagine what they’ve been doing to black people in Wilmington all that time? There’s no way you can have that much hate in your heart and still treat everyone equally. I wonder how many black lives have they ruined.
To dispel the myth of “blue solidarity” officer Moore and Gilmore also complained about black officers they worked with calling one a “piece of shit” and said “let’s see how his boys take care of him when shit gets rough, see if they don’t put a bullet in his head”.
The murder of George Floyd has exposed an open wound that white America has tried to cover up and ignore since reconstruction. As African Americans we know exactly what most police officers think of us. We have experienced police brutality and murder by police since slavery ended. The way we’ve been terrorized by law enforcement isn’t new but what is new is more white Americans are finally acknowledging the problem but change is a lot harder than most think.
It’s kind of ironic that these 3 police officers are from Wilmington North Carolina. Wilmington has a horrible history that they kept hidden for almost a century. In 1898 Wilmington’s black community was thriving and gaining power. They even won elected offices against white candidates. Whites in the town were jealous of the black community’s success so they planned and executed a massacre on the black community that left 60 black residents dead and black owned businesses burned to the ground. Before the massacre black residents in Wilmington had created a successful affluent life for themselves. They owned businesses, they had doctors, lawyers, a local newspaper, opened a school, built the towns first library and educated themselves about politics. In one night everything the black community worked so hard to build was gone. Those who survived the massacre packed up what was left and moved north. Please watch the short documentary below for the full story.
When I read this quote from one of the fired officers (Officer Kevin Piner) “we’re just going to go out and start slaughtering them fucking niggers. Wipe them off the fucking map. That’ll put them back about four or five generations.” It sounds like the exact mindset the white mob had back in 1898. Here we are in 2020 and the same kind of evil is visible once again. Those three officers decided their ancestors led a successful slaughter that killed a lot of black people and destroyed their political power and wealth for generations so why not try it again.
Until we confront the ugly history of white supremacy, police brutality, and systemic racism in this country we will never be able to move forward. We can’t keep trying to sweep everything under the rug. Attending a few marches, bringing down a few statues, getting rid of a few officers and promising to do better will not work this time. We need to dismantle the entire criminal justice system and rebuild it with racial equality in mind. We want radical change and until we get that this country will never see peace.
North Carolina’s Governor Pat McCrory and the state’s republican led legislature had a very different way to address the police shootings of unarmed African-American men happening in our state and around the country. The most recent shooting took place in Charlotte just a few days ago. There are conflicting accounts of what happened but here are the basics. Keith Lamont Scott was sitting in his car waiting for his son to get out of school. A Charlotte police officer arrived on the scene to serve a warrant to another man who had no connection to Keith Scott at all. At some point Keith exits his car and a few seconds later the officer shot and killed Keith as his family and neighbors looked on in horror. There are a lot of questions that need to be answered but our governor Pat McCrory and the republican led legislature passed a bill last month that will further inflame the already tense relationship between African Americans and police. And the really sad part about the bill is there was no need for it at all. McCrory is up for reelection and his race became a lot tighter than he expected. To help turn out the republican base he crafted a number of bills just to get his supporters to turn out and vote for him in November.
A month ago they announced, passed, and signed into law a bill that prohibits the release of police body cam and dash cam video to the public. In order to see any of the video from police dash or body cams it has to first be approved by the governor or adjudicated by a judge. The bill was written to give the governor total discretion over this and there’s no way for a citizen or a journalist to demand a viewing or release of this footage. So Governor McCrory is perfectly fine with police brutality against African-Americans and police killing unarmed African-Americans, he just wants to keep it private. That’s his answer to this problem. That bill is a huge middle finger to the entire African American community and the governor along with his fellow republicans in the state legislature couldn’t care less.
To me it seems as if these guys pine for the days of Jim Crow and have passed a lot of legislation that gives credence to this theory. They want African Americans to suffer in silence while our rights are being trampled over daily. This new law also allows white people to ignore these horrible situations of police brutality, unjust murder, and misconduct perpetrated against African Americans. All they see is the angry protest and violence that follows. Without proper context and video evidence of the incident they may look at the community’s reaction and see it as unreasonable. Of course that was the intention McCrory and NC republican legislators had in mind when they drafted the bill. We’re supposed to ignore the violence and dehumanization when it’s coming from police, but everyone gets to pay attention to the protest that follows not even acknowledging that it was a response to an unjust shooting and one more life of an African American needlessly taken. Governor McCrory has shown us his character (or lack thereof) throughout his term as governor. He has shown the African American community what he really thinks of us through the bills he signs, the actions he takes, and the constituents he chooses to listen to. He let the extreme right-wing of the state’s legislature turn him into a callous unsympathetic alt-right cliche. I’m not sure why they even bother wasting money on body cams in my state when the public can’t even view the footage. The body cams weren’t going to end these wrongful deaths but they were supposed to bring a sense of accountability so the community could start to build trust with law enforcement.
So I ask myself What is our governor doing with these videos? Maybe McCrory and his fellow republican lawmakers collect these videos to show them when they have movie night at the governor’s mansion… eating popcorn and laughing at African Americans getting stopped by police for no reason, getting stripped searched on the side of a highway as cars slow down to witness the indignity, watching a man get chocked to death by police on a sidewalk while pleading for his life telling them over and over that he can not breath. Watching an 8 year old African American child playing alone in a park get shot by police before he could even see what was coming. Watching an unarmed African American teenager walking away from police then getting shot in the back. Then that same officer walks over to the teen’s lifeless body and decides to unload the rest of his clip into the already dead teen as the young man’s body heaved and convulsed after each shot hit him. Or maybe they are watching the one of the 13 year old African American girl who got thrown to the ground and manhandled like a rag doll before the officer puts his knee and his full weight into her back while pushing her face into the dirt while she screamed and begged for her mother, all for the crime of attending a pool party in an all white neighborhood thrown by a classmate. I bet Governor McCrory and those far right extremist he tries so hard to impress would get a huge laugh at all of that kind of stuff. Putting those new body cameras to good use.