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50 years of precedents paved way for blatant police brutality

November 30, 2006
BY MARY MITCHELL Sun-Times Columnist

We don't have a black and white problem as much as we have a black and blue problem. While the race of police officers who have been involved in questionable, high-profile shootings have been black, white and Hispanic, the race of the citizens who have been shot by police have been the same: black.

In most instances, those citizens have also been males.

Whether we're talking about police shootings in L.A., Cleveland, Chicago, Atlanta or New York, the common denominator has been race.

On Tuesday, New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg called the 50 shots that killed Sean Bell, 23, on his wedding day, and critically injured two of his friends "inexplicable" and "unacceptable."

But that's PR talk meant to appease black leaders.

Firing 50 shots at unarmed men should be called what it is: extreme brutality.

Worse yet, the only reason six undercover New York Police Department officers -- who by the way, were black, Hispanic and white -- could even think they would get away with such a barbaric act is because of what happened in the shooting case of Amadou Diallo.

In 1999, the unarmed African immigrant was shot 41 times by NYPD street crime officers because they "thought" he had a gun. All Diallo had on him was keys to his apartment.

Despite the brutal nature of the shooting, the four officers involved were found not guilty of committing a crime.

That jury verdict may very well have made matters considerably worse for America's blacks.

In fact, police brutality against black people is just more evidence of how some things don't seem to change.

An infamous precedent -- 150 years ago
Last week, Conrad Worrill, founder of the National Back United Front and one of the early supporters of reparations, asked me to take another look at the infamous Dred Scott decision of 1857.

Dred Scott was a Missouri slave whose master had taken him to live in Illinois and in the northern part of the Louisiana Territory.

Scott sued for his freedom, on the grounds that living on free soil had liberated him. But the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Scott "was not a citizen and therefore could not bring suit in the courts."

Indeed, language by the court was clear: the "negro" had "no rights which the white man was bound to respect."

As noted by historian John Hope Franklin, that ruling -- from the nation's highest court -- not only further divided the North and the South, it ensured that only a "social revolution" could bring about an end to slavery.

The Diallo case created a similar precedent.

If police officers can be cleared of wrongdoing in one of the most egregious cases of cop brutality, then there's little chance that officers in other brutality cases will be held criminally accountable.

Although police departments are allowed to fire trigger-happy cops, it is not enough.

By not prosecuting these cops as criminals, we are reinforcing the notion that black people deserve this brutality.

Brutality cases settled, while cops go free
And it is outrageous that taxpayers -- black people included -- must finance police brutality. Local governments routinely pay defendants millions of dollars to settle brutality cases without ever acknowledging that the officers did anything wrong.

I understand that police officers who patrol high-crime areas are putting their lives at risk. But there are decent, law-abiding citizens in those communities, and they are at the mercy of cops who just don't give a damn.

For example: How could police shoot an 88-year-old woman to death?

Last week, Kathryn Johnston of Atlanta was killed by officers who came to her apartment looking for a man who had allegedly sold an informant crack from Johnston's home.

According to the New York Times, Johnston met the officers at the door and began firing. The officers had entered her apartment by cutting the burglar bars, and forcing open the doors before announcing themselves.

Now think about that for a minute.

If you're an elderly woman stuck in a crime-ridden neighborhood and you own a gun, and bunch of men cut the burglar doors off your door, would you wait around to see if they were really police officers?

Instead of retreating, the officers gunned down the old woman in a hail of bullets -- to allegedly retrieve two bags of crack and three bags of marijuana as evidence in a drug sting.

It is highly unlikely that those cops would have exchanged gunfire with an elderly white woman over that small amount of drugs.

Yet, this is the blatant brutality that goes on in black communities.

I'm afraid that just as the Dred Scott decision affirmed slavery, the Diallo ruling justified cop brutality.

Until reckless cops are prosecuted as criminals, black people won't have any rights that cops are bound to respect.

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86 Comments

The reason cops might, and I stress the word might, be more trigger happy while dealing with black males is because a black male fits the profile of a cop killer. As for the anger that seems to be coming from you when I read this article. Now you know how I and other whites feel when we have to read about another black on white crime. The latest being a white women raped in Lakeview two days ago, with the discription of the rapist being a black male in his 20's with braided hair. So if you're looking for sympathy because three black guys in New York, who have 17 arrests on their records between them, were shot, keep looking.

MITCHELL COMMENT:

Now Jerry, why would any black person expect sympathy from you.

To answer your question, years of entitlement programs would make blacks expect sympathy from me or anyone else.

Jerry-Once again I will defer to the words of Tim Wise. He gets to the point much better than I. Another excerpt.

"Personal Experiences and the Problem of Selective Memory"

First, those who rationalize their racism on the basis of their personal experiences with members of the group they dislike, are being highly selective when it comes to the experiences from which they think we should draw conclusions. After all, if their negative experiences with blacks "prove" that blacks are bad people, then by definition, anyone who had had good experiences with black people would be able to say that all blacks are good people: an argument every bit as silly, but just as logical, given the original line of reasoning.

Second, to draw conclusions about large groups (in the case of black folks, some 36 million people, and for Latinos, another 37 million or so in the U.S.), based on one's experiences with a handful of people from those groups is the very definition of statistical illiteracy. Even if you had encountered dozens of folks from a particular group who, for whatever reason, had rubbed you the wrong way, this would be such a small and obviously unrepresentative sample, that to reach any conclusions about that group as a whole would be absurd. This is among the reasons that it's nonsensical to harbor generalized dislike or suspicion of Muslims, as Muslims, or Arabs as Arabs, in the wake of 9/11. After all, nineteen such persons, out of 1.5 billion Muslims on planet Earth and hundreds of millions of Arabs is the walking, talking definition of an unrepresentative sample. Not to mention, we never reach generalized conclusions about whites when they engage in acts of terrorism, and indeed, did not in the wake of Oklahoma City, or the crimes of the Unabomber, or the Olympic Park Bomber, or any of the dozens of abortion clinic bombings over the past two decades, all of which were committed by whites, so far as we can tell. ...
And no, data doesn't strengthen the argument either.

It is typically at this point that the unapologetic racist shifts gears, noting that their beliefs are not solely the result of personal experiences, but rather, are also rooted in an appreciation of crime statistics, indicating that black folks commit a disproportionate share of violent crime, relative to their percentage of the population. While this is true (because of the high correlation between concentrated poverty and crowded urban conditions on the one hand, and crime on the other), it still doesn't mean that fearing black people as a group makes sense (1). After all, with 30.1 million African Americans over the age of twelve in the U.S. (2) (and thus, eligible for consideration in crime data), if blacks commit a million violent crimes a year (the rough total for the most recent year on record) (3), this means that even if we assumed each crime had a unique perpetrator (in other words, if there were no multiple offenders--obviously not the case), the maximum percentage of blacks who were violent criminals, as a share of all blacks, would be 3.3 percent. Meaning that at least 96.7 percent will not commit a violent crime this year, let alone against a white person, let alone against a white stranger, let alone against us (4).

So, if the three percent of blacks who will commit a violent crime in a given year, somehow prove that blacks are dangerous and to be avoided, then why don't the 97 percent who won't commit such a crime, equally prove that blacks are non-violent and perfectly safe to be around? After all, why should the acts of a maximum of a million people, be seen as a better indicator of what the group is like, than the non-acts of the other 29 million or so?

And of course, if we are to take statistics such as these to indicate a group's dangerousness, then whites should have intense bias against other whites. After all, we are five times more likely to be victimized violently by another white person than by a black person (5), and each year, far more people are killed by occupational diseases and injuries--resulting from inadequate safety and health standards in white owned corporations--than are killed in street-level homicides, let alone those committed by blacks (6). Yet rarely do whites seek to avoid other whites because of our documented predisposition to corporate fraud and misconduct (think Enron, think the S&L swindle, think Bhopal, India).

I think the majority of cops are racist. I drive on Route 22 in Lincolnshire every day - probably 400 times when you count both ways. I would guess I see people pulled over 20 times or so each year - 95% of the time, the person in the car is black. If you've ever been in Lincolnshire, I would guess the town is 99% white.

Allow me to say that i enjoy reading your blog. I may not always agree with you,but that is not the point of reading it.

space doesn't allow me to refute your article point by point. dred scott,diallo,
reparations each would require a seperate post.

if you wish to cite police brutality, you should use the case of the person who was sodomized with the plunger.That was (unlike this case) a clearcut case of police brutality. I don't understand the logic of bringing in dred scott or diallo neither of which have anything to do with this shooting. it would be interesting if for a change
people would look at the behavior(s) of not the police,but of the "victim".

if you go to a high crime area,you could run into trouble. if you make like you are reaching for a gun,after a cop tells you to stop your vehicle,you could get shot. if you hit said cop with your vehicle after being told to stop, you could and probably should get shot. people need to remember that you and you alone are responsible for your actions and whatever consequences they bring.

As for the elderly woman in Atlanta, who let us remember was alledgely dealing crack from her house,it's simple,if you shoot at the police,you can reasonably expect them to shoot back at you.

the police weren't exchanging gunfire over a small amount of drugs. they were exchanging gunfire,because someone was shooting at them,while they were attempting to do their job.

Why in the world would or should the police "retreat"
when being fired on? do they need to see who is shooting to see if it's ok to shoot back??

one last point,these men were not unarmed. a vehicle is a weapon just as is a handgun. one should also not focus on 50 shots. while that sounds like a lot of bullets. not really. the shooting would have been over in seconds. remember you have several police officers firing at the same time.


Mary,

I beg you, please put on a bullet proof vest and come do at least a week long ride-a-long with the CPD in a Black crime ridden district. Don't go to to a nice quiet area either, choose the west or south side please. Walk in our shoes for awhile first, then see if you will bash the Police so easily (of course you still will though, you get paid to be a race baiter and stir up controversy).
As far as the Atlanta shooting goes, you forgot to mention that the Police had a search warrant which was approved by a State's Attorney and signed by a judge. Oh yeah, you also forgot that 3 Police officers got shot as well. You state that they would not have shot a white woman over a SMALL amount of drugs...did I miss something or are drugs still illegal in this country.
How do you sleep at night knowing how much you twist and turn such stories around?
God help you.

Has it ever happened that cops have raided a mafia hotspot? Or bust down a suburban party looking for drugs? I do not think so. In the haste to put a end to the so called war on drugs we (the public) have allowed this police state to take place. Now do not me wrong I have zero tolerance for thugs, the culture, gangs and illegal activity. I just would like to see fairness. There are drug users in the suburbs, there is illegal activity on the north side. When I have gone out with friends you see white men and women getting rip roaring drunk, spitting on cops, hitting them, do the police pull out their weapons and unload? Of course not. When the Cubs almost made the World Series in 2003, the scene outside Wrigley made any "riot" when the Bulls won look like pre-teens on a field trip. The police just laughed and had fun as well. Fairness is what is needed.

Read the story of Indiana State trooper Scott Patrick who was murdered a few years back by a young black thug with a rap sheet as long as your arm. Trooper Patrick had stopped to assist this human garbage. Had it been the thug killed, trooper Patrick could have looked forward to the media crucifixion that the NYC police are now enjoying. By all accounts, Scott Patrick was simply a great guy and now he's gone and we're stuck supporting this bum who can work out, watch TV, and receive visitors in jail. Yet, this seems to be the way you media types want the scenario to play out. Dead police, pampered black criminal. Ms. Mitchell....these criminals in New York WERE armed....it's called an automobile, and the DID attempt to use it as a weapon.

Not all questionable shootings have been to males. Latanya Haggarty was not a male. Its true her slaying wasn't as publicized nationally like Diallo or Bell's. The reason the so-called high profile Black Leaders and media did not become as outraged over her slaying and Robert Russ's slaying is because ALL Chicago Police officiers involved in the shootings were African-American.

Mitchell Comment:

I wrote several articles about the Haggerty shooting calling for the polcie officers to be held accountable.

I agree, Mary. While it's common to hear of cops "accidentally" shooting Black folks, it's extremely rare to hear of police inadvertently killing a White.

Your articles are case studies in institutional racism 101

I totally agree with your story Mary and I am not a black person. The one thing that Jerry forgot to mention on his story is that the cops will get away with their crimes and the 'black guys' will not once they are caught and prosecuted. Why the cops are beyond the laws are are completely unfair and wrong in this or any other cases.

Mary, Have you ever interviewed a police officer invloved in a shooting? It's easy for you to sit behind your keyboard and spew garbage and point a racist finger toward those you know nothing about. I wonder if you'd feel differently if a family of yours had fired those shots in New York City?

It is "HARD" to read two phrases of the column without relaxing and calming the things that we have to calm!
(for our own spirit!)*

I read up until the point "unacceptable" from the NY mayor.

White , Red, Yellow, and Blue Black...How many peoples have to die before you stand up for "YOURSELVES" and one "ANOTHER"? A coward people "WE" are not.....I hate you!

To Jerry.
You are an embarrassment to mankind.

I really don't understand people like you Jerry. All over the internet, white racists are quoting statistics about black men raping white women.

According to the Sexual Assault Statistics on About.com, two thirds (66%) of rapes are commited by someone the victim knows. Almost half of all rapes (47%) are commited by a close friend or acquaintance of the victim. Why would a white woman fear rape from a black man when she's not even safe around her closes friends and family?

It seems to me that if white men were really interested in protecting white women, they'd be warning their women about the REAL perpetrators.

If it is true that these three guys had 17 arrests between them, their shooting may be just the result of another bad decision by the alleged victims. It is not reasonable to suppose that Black, White and Hispanic officers sat around and planned to execute some innocent black youth for no reason. That thought train leads to paranoia and madness. Also remember when you cite the errors of the law as in Dred Scott, that the law also corrected those errors. You can't have it both ways and bringing up that case serves no apparent purpose here other than race baiting. I am bothered because that is not a productive purpose and you should know better. Yes there are some issues and if you have solutions; bring them on. Any one can squawk, find a fix. As for me, I'll just note that the homicide rate, including those killed by police is much larger in parts of Africa where both the citizenry and the police are majority black so racism would appear to be less of an issue than paranoid clashes between the powerful and the powerless.

We as a community cannot continue to say that the police do not do enough to prevent crime in our comunities and then when something happens, immediately rush to judge the police. It's as if we do not believe that a man is dead unless he gets shot by someone in authority or of another race. Nor am I buying into the "all cops are brutal" garbage. If Al Sharpton got robbed, he'd call the police, NOT Mary Mitchell. I think that we should hold off on the race baiting and see what the facts really were. It does appear from their actions that this was no group of choir boys. Trying to run over a police officer would be expected to leave someone dead or hurt; I'm glad it was the perpetrator and not the police.

Let's count the murders in New York and then compare those against the number of incidents such as this to see where our indignation may be most needed. We needn't start with New York or even a whole city, lets try Englewood in Chicago or Maywood to the west. When you want to be righteously indignant, it is first important to be right.

Mitchell Comment:

I find it interesting that we know the number of times the young black men were arrested, but still don't know what laws they allegedly broke that night that would have caused six undercover police officers to follow them to their car. Also, why should history--events that actually occurred in the past and appear to parallel events occurring today be considered race baiting? Are black people suppose to forget the wrongs of the past and ignore the wrongs of the present, too?

This message is more so for Jerry than it is for you Ms. Mitchell. Jerry, what do you mean a black male fits the profile of a cop killer? Haven't your mommy or daddy taught you better than to racially profile? The answer to this question is evident. Jerry, the problem with racial profiling is simple and takes using a miniscule quantity of common sense. Not all of the people who you racially profile are crime prone. Michael Jordan, Denzel Washington, Samuel L. Jackson, Colin Powell, Tiger Woods, Sen. Barack Obama, etc. are not seeking to murder or maim law enforcement officers! They have better things to do like counting all the money that you do not have access to Jerry! By the way, the above list is composed of Black males. Jerry, you are just a scary white man. You probably are a police officer voicing your racial bias through this semi-secure electronic medium. Your kind cannot fool me at all. I actually see the invisible Jerry. Do you hear me? Now moving right along, what about the white woman raped in Lakeview a few days ago? She was raped by an adult criminal who happened to be Black. So what! What about the white Catholic priests who molest and rape so many black and white kids? You seem to be silent on that issue Jerry. You only want to talk about what you feel comfortable talking about. And that is the black male. Well find something else to talk about. I have not mentioned the dozens and dozens of white male serial killers and white males who get angry when they get the boot from the post office and go get a gun and kill everyone who is within walking distance! Ms. Mitchell is not looking for sympathy from you Mr. Jerry because you are not a sympathetic individual. Your mom told me this. What Ms. Mitchell is saying is that no matter what color the officer is who does the shooting the common denominator in the shooting is always a black male. What doses that tell you Jerry? Whites do not respect the rights of blacks! The 3 guys could have had 1 million arrests between them, does that relate to what happened or what is alleged to have happened outside that strip club Jerry? Listen, before you decide to come on this kind lady's blog again running your large mouth, please get your notes together so that we might possibly be able to engage in a scholarly discussion! Right now you have not taken any notes, you are talking jibberish! On an end note, if I go to hell when I die I will beg the devil to drag your butt right along with me you racist toad!

You madame have crossed some imaginary lines that allow for no comment sense.
Regarding the incident in Atlanta. Officers serving a "NO KNOCK" warrant usually DO NOT KNOCK prior to entering. If you are a Police Officer working in a crime ridden area and serving a search warrant at any address and you are not only met with a subject not just firing a weapon at you, but shooting you and your partners.........under what liberal stretch of the imagination do you think any person, anywhere is going to take the time to determine the age of the person who has just shot you????? Just like you believe this woman shouldn't have waited to see if they were the real police before opening fire, why and where is it stated, mandated that the police should wait until they are shot at or shot before they reurn fire. Police Officers are payed to do alot of things, but being target pratices is not one of them. Furthermore what ever substance that might have been recovered from this location was not done so until after this tragic event. It was not that the Police Officers were shooting their way into this house to recover two bags of crack and three bags of marijuana, the recovering of these items was after the fact. Unlike how you portray it in your column. I challenge you and anyone else to prove if circumstances were exactly alike and the female was White and took the same actions, that police would not have shot back.. The blatant brutality that happens in Black Communities are created by the same people who do drive bys on an almost daily basic, the same people that wander aimlessly up and down the streets selling dope, the same people that cause Black senior citizens to scurry for safety come sundown, the same people that little children have to try and navigate through coming and going to school, the same people that you look for when you park your car at night and want to enter into you house with some relative safety. No one is saying that the death of this lady was a good thing, it became absolutely necessary after the first shot was fired

Mary, I am convinced that Jerry can’t possibly exist because he has no compassion for black people, and hides behind his keyboard to say mindless and insensitive things that even the most Neanderthal would never espouse. The latest incident in Queens was just a bad case of policing and now there is an effort to create some fictitious fourth person who was going to get a gun. Please note, going to get a gun. Last I check this does not mean an immediate threat, and would not have put an officer in jeopardy. Let alone a group being shot at 50 times and among the victims, no gun has been recovered. And we need to question that, if the cops say 50 then was probably more.

At least one and maybe two of the cops involved in the shooting may have been under the influence. There were cops at the strip club doing undercover work. The question of the kind of work they specifically were conducting and how it fits into police business has never been explained in the media or examined. Were the cops required to submit urine samples, or blood test to determine whether they were intoxicated? These are questions that should be asked.

At the wee hours of the morning and the set winding down, nobody in the media has asked any of those questions yet. Instead now they want to go the standard BS line about some said ‘yo go and get my gun?. Guys are at strip clubs late either drinking/and still under the delusion that they might get lucky with one of the ladies. You mix booze and testosterone together late at night and you get boys behaving badly and in this case it’s boys behaving deadly. Much to the NYC’s credit it has aggressively clean-up areas (and continues to do so) where late night vices were an issue.

No gun has ever been recovered and now the news stories are creating the some phantom person who they think had a gun, but disappeared from the scene. One things for sure, the phantom person was not in the car that was riddled with bullets. This person miraculously just vanished. Let me try that excuse one day and see if anybody will believe me when I place the blame on some phantom. It is so ridiculous, and yet it is being used as something plausible to explain just bad police work. There is such reluctance for people to call a spade a spade and acknowledge that this is what happens because of racial profiling.

Miss Mitchell

It never ceases to amaze me the way you brush the Police Department with one broad stroke, yet when someone brushes the black community with one broad stroke you are up in arms! Police Officers have an extremely difficult job dealing with criminals while being judged by politicians. See the real world and the political world you write in rarely cross paths. As you did in your article you present only one side of the story and a skewed version at that. Where is the information reported that one of the subjects stated he was going to get a gun? Or the information that the man shot to death drove a 2000 pound vehicle at the officer attempting to run him down! This information is actually supported by the traffic accident at the scene. Additionally the reports have information the subject drove his vehicle at the officers on two occasions. This information just isn't convenient for your race baiting article to have the most bang for the buck. There will be many inquiries into this shooting and in the end the officers will most likely be exonerated. Not because they are the police and because it is acceptable to abuse and kill black people, but because they are community servants who took the necessary actions to save their lives when confronted by a man who was trying to take them from their families. The totality of the cirumstances are what we judge a law enforcement discision Miss Mitchell not by the color of the officers skin or that of the offenders!!

Thanks for never disappointing me with your divisive and self serving articles.

Randy

While I completely agree with your assessment, an realize that the response by "Jerry" indicates that he is a idiot. There is one thing we can take from his comment which might be useful in fighting against brutality. Its preception. The view by him, an many others (blacks and police included), is that many black males are criminals and lawless. In fact, some glorify it in music and film. It is accepted in some of our communities as the norm (which isn't true). Yes, we have to fight brutality by police, with a perception change being one important weapon. Perception can be more powerful that fact.

I don't know why black people all over the country are not marching in the streets to protest police brutality. There appears to be so much appathy concerning this issue. It does not matter if you are a young black man or an elderly black woman approaching 90 years old, you can be killed by the police. It is shameful. Please also note the words used by Mayor Bloomberg. If the police involved in that particular shooting are fired, their union representative will probably use Mayor Bloomberg comments to get them rehired (presumption of guilt, i.e., excessive force). Remember, these comments were made before an official investigation was completed.

Caucasians will never have sympathy for a black mudered by cops,because this is the status quo. Jails and prisons are built in caucasians community to create jobs for them. The last few years of this political administration has brought on an aura of hatred,and disrespect for blacks. A nation that claims to be a christian nation,is farther from God than they realize. matter of a fact,bigotry has found it way into the church.

It's going to be hard to hire cops who will serve and protect the black community. It is an unwritten law that blacks must fill the jails. There are millions of dollars of contraband(guns,drugs,alcohol,ect) flowing into the black community monthly,which spell big money. Greed and bigotry goes hand in hand.

It's going to be hard to hire cops who will serve and protect the black community. It is an unwritten law that blacks must fill the jails. There are millions of dollars of contraband(guns,drugs,alcohol,ect) flowing into the black community monthly,which spell big money. Greed and bigotry goes hand in hand.

An elderly woman,living in a high crime area fires her gun at someone who announces themselves as the police,is met by return fire by the police officers who may or may not be expecting someone else to be there.In the time it took to cut through the burglar bars and get into her apartment,she should have had time to either look out a window and see all the police cars or call for help.Those police officers were in as much danger/fear for their lives as Ms.Johnston was of hers and reacted probably with the same instinct as you or I would've had we been in a similar situation.What if she had actually shot and killed one of the police officers and she were still alive?Would we be as quick to call for her prosecution for her blatant brutality and reckless behavior?I don't think so,I believe we would be calling it something on the order of an unfortunate and tragic accident.
Ms.Mitchell,I usually read your columns and appreciate the way you usually speak about being responsible for your actions.It is a lesson we all can take notice of,regardless of race.I do think,however ,that this time you may have missed the mark.You seem to be making the statement that all police are brutal and/or racist when we both know this is not the case.
You cannot throw out the race card when it benefits you and then ignore racism when it is committed by people of your race.It is that type of inconsistent thinking that fosters the distrust and animosity between us.

Mitchell Comment:

As i've stated in the past, bad cops, corrupt cops and brutal cops are giving good cops a bad name. I do not believe that all cops are racist, but there's enough evidence to conclude that too many brutal cops are on the streets abusing citizens. This is not a race card.

Jerry, you must be intelligent to know that Police Officers are sworn to an Oath. That Oath does not stipulate that they Represent the White Race and white Race grievances against another race. If that was the case, many Black Police officers would have free reign to shoot to kill, white people, because of the 3 white men in Texas who tied a black middle aged man to the back of their truck and drove until his body parts separated from his body and he died; or, the many other crimes of white on black including Rape. Our society however doesn't work like that. A black boy of 11 was beat almost into brain dead just because he happen to ride his bike into Bridgeport about 15 years ago. He was beat by white youth. Should Black cops then have the right to beat up white people? A white detective several years ago, who happen to have a black girlfriend( he was cheating on his white wife) murdered a black man who wanted to clean his windows; he promptly went into his trunk, got his service revolver and shot the man in the head. He did 6 years for this. Should black cops retaliate and kill white folks. Jerry your argument doesn't make sense.

When police officers break the law they should be prosecuted. And in the many cases where these white officers have shot black suspects, it smells of racial hatred that compelled them to overreact. When a police officers shoot 3 unarmed men 50 times that's hate man.

Your article shows that racism is not a one-way street. Your statement that an elderly white woman shooting at police would not be shot shows your racism. A cop who is being shot at would return fire regardless of the race of the shooter. It is a simple case of self defense.

It seems that in all most of the cases where black leaders like Sharpton and Jackson run around trying to create hate, the "victims" have long criminal records or are directly associated with people these people. When is the (loudest) leaders of the black community going to start listening to people like Bill Cosby and start cleaning up there community instead of blamin g everyone for there difficulties? Stop blaming ancient history and start teaching kids responsibility. As the saying goes, "If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem."

Mitchell Comment:

Police brutality affects kids who have been taught responsibility just as it affects kids how haven't. This is not about Cosby or bad parenting. The problem here is that too many people are like you and blame the victim because you believe black people deserve this ill treatment.

I hope you would understand, I went on the whosarat.com website and names are there that are the "bad" guys. I think the "good" guys used this site to their advantage. What I am saying is you can't be sure who is the informant and who the is criminal?

That comment is so showing the ignorance that's out there among some white males not all but definitely some who so intimidated that they refused to think beyond racial stereotypes. Now last I checked there is another suspect on the loose in that area which clearly on tape shows a different race beyond african american. Crime happens and criminals are defintely bad white.hispanic black, egyptian regardless. Hopefully Jerry is some young teenage kid who girl likes rap music but unfortunately he is proabably is an adult. Social revolution please come upon us for all our sakes

Mary, Mary, Mary. You make money for this? Blaming the police is the oldest trick in the book. Were you there in New York? Did you see the incident? Where you almost runned down by a 3ooo pound car? Oh no but you sure can monday morning racistback pretty good. Its people like you that make the divide more divided everyday you spew a hate agenda ignoring so much of what is to blame.Even when the police are African american (a term I find racist in itself. I mean just cause someone is dark skinned I assume they are from Africa? A continent?)you still blame some evil club/the police. What do you think? The police want conflict? Gunfights? And your wrath? No but someone has to police the streets. Maybe you could woo the bad guys with your charm.

Jerry - if you study crime patterns around the world, the people at the bottom - the poor and the black / or colored people - are the ones who commit the most crime because they don't have stuff. They don't have jobs, don't have money, don't have food, & education. All over the world, Canada, England - you name it, it's the Caucasians at the top and the colored people at the bottom. The people at the bottom are more apt to commit crime because of that. Give a man fish to eat and a pole to fish with and I guarantee you he won't commit crime. Deprive the man and his family an education, money and food, he will commit crime.
But Mary is right, it's not a white cop-black male/Hispanic male problem, it's a blue uniform problem. More than likely that blue uniform will be worn by whites vs. blacks when it comes to shootings. Look at the situation in NYC, the latest being 50 rounds pumped into three young men. Almost 20 shots each young man. Absolutely insane. It's like a military shooting. Cops are trigger happy when it comes to black / Hispanic males. But when it comes to white males, they will "negotiate". When was the last time you read about a cop (of any ethnic persuasion) killing a white male criminal? They don't even kill white pedophiles. They hunt them down and take them in.

Mary,

While I agree to an extent about isolated problems with police officers, I disagree with your assumption that this is comparable to rapant incidents of the past. I am also quite insulted that you bring up a 150 year old Supreme Court decision which merely enforced the law of the land at the time, as wrong as the law was.

But picking on the police and lumping them all together, good and bad, is really getting to be an old, tired, all too comfortable fall back position for those who must always find blame with the system. In both of the incidents you cite in Atlanta and New York, you fail to mention many key elements, including nearly prior 20 arrests involving the men in the wedding party, several of which were drug and weapons related.

While it does not condone the police firing as many rounds as they did, they were not exactly dealing with UNICEF or Salvation Army collectors either. In Atlanta, there is proof of high level criminal activity being conducted in the house the 92 year old woman was shot in. In fact, it seems quite obvious she fired on them after they identified who they were. They had no idea who she was. You should really be more outraged that the felons they were after left this woman to be in this type of predicament.

What you should be more concerned with is the incidents of black on black and black on white crimes that not only far exceed the issue you raise, but are definitely a larger problem that you and other black leaders totally ignore. Jesse Jackson and James Meeks, to name a few, have a habit of jumping in and making themselves heard for the issue you raise. But they have said and done NOTHING in regards to the issues I raised, which are hundreds if not thousands of times more prevailing and evistating in not only Chicago, but the nation as well.

So quite frankly, you should be more demanding on your supposed leaders who live high off of the collection plates than trying to open old wounds that really have no relevance to the point you are trying to make.

I could sit here and cry foul over how my Polish ancestors were exploited in the 1800's-1900's too, but it solves nothing.

I and many of the poicewomen and policemen I know acknowledge there are many cops that don't belong on the street, but we also acknowlwdge that the problems on the street outnumber these incidents by the thousands.

Since you are in a position that you can influence people's opinion, why don't you instead offer solutions?

Mitchell Comment:

I have offered solutions. First and foremost, brutal cops should be prosecuted as criminals.

How dare Jerry say such a thing! a white male fits the profile of a serial killer and rapist but I don't see them getting gunned down in the streets. America is truly a dangerous place for the African-American Male.

hello mary,i have only one thing to say,"we as black men don't stand a chance out here".the cpd motto is to serve and protect,we're not being protected we're only being served"on the streets and in the courtrooms".

Cops are cops are cops. Whatever race, nationality they are, they are first of all cops and it's in their interest to get blacks, especially males, into the system as quickly as possible. In my suburb, the cops will 'assign' you to a street gang, even if you're guilty of nothing more than a little male hell raising and trying to get it off your record is next to impossible.
I do not like cops, do not trust cops, and I am white. Having been married to a black man and having lived in an African-American community for 28 years, the scales have been lifted from my eyes and there is damn little justice.

I'm with Ms. Mitchell, Jerry if you did have any sympathy for acts that are IN FACT egregious and patterned and historical from the day Africans set foot on this continent against their will, your sympathy wouldn't be worth two dead flies smashed. And we are lucky that you are in no position of power (I can tell because you sound uneducated and because if you were you'd be out abusing it instead of spending so destructive much time on this blog). Any how I know first hand that police presence in Black neighborhoods is there for the purpose of criminalizing people and they're in places like Lake Forest to protect property like a private security agency.

It is not a secret that most american institutions hate black males, it does not matter the race of the representative in those interactions. It is sad because we believed that by integrating those institutions we would find citizenship to be on par with that of other citizens of this nation, but as of yet that does not happen with any consistancy at all.

Maybe it is because we are reiterated as criminals with none of the romance of criminals of past, like Al Capone or John Dillinger,w e are more of the monster type of criminal (or at least that is how it is translted int he media).

In the book 'blink' Malcolm Gladwell gives a recount of the Amadou Diallo tragedy and helps us to understand why we will face quite a few more of them.

One more added ingrediant in the mix of this failure known as 'black on black' crime, is that if we do not repsect other black people at least as much as we respect white people, how could we ever expect other people (be they shop owners, teachers, policemen, bus drivers, sales clerks, etc...) to respect black people either?

When did the clothes you wear or the hairstyle you choose, determine how police treat you? I have a 16 year old black male son. I often chastize him about his braids, not because he looks thug like, but because the police have picked him up once before because "he fit the description". The person that the police actually were looking for was an adult male, dark skinned ( my son is light skinned) between 25 - 35 years old.
When my teenage daughters are out and about, I have to remind them don't be in the company of anyone who is "hip hop" dressed, who may be affliated with a gang, who looks like a suspect. why? Because we have come to understand that the police do NOT question first. They throw you in the car, take you the station, intimidate you, slap you around.
This type of activity has increased in the last few years and I don't see it stopping anytime soon.

Well Jerry,

You seem to have missed a main point. Why should tax payers, black or white, have to subsidize police brutality and murder, in the form of settled law suits?

As for the three blacks with 17 arrest records, well, if blacks don't have any rights that the white man is bound to respect, and since innocent blacks can be gunned down and murdered, with impunity, by the police, then don't you think that they are also rounded up and arrested for ridiculous things that whites are not arrested for or even questioned about.

There is a double standard in the judicial system and it doesn't stop in the courts, but extends to the streets and determines how the police treat citizens. The standard is based on race. So, just because you haven't been arrested for anything, doesn't mean that blacks who have been arrested are guilty!

But, Black, even in the dictionary, is synonymous with bad and guilty. So, maybe we should ban the black word, in addition to the n word, as a description of people.

As far as the white woman being raped by a black male. Everyone is always appalled by anyone being raped. But, the color of the rapist should always be a non issue.

Most crime, is intraraccial. Whites women are much more likely to be raped by a white male, whether or not it's reported, than they are to be raped by a black male!

And if I had a daughter, I would be no angrier about her being raped by a white male than I would if she were raped by a black male. That's just stupid!

see the front page today of the sun times? that particular Criminal, Mr. Ealy, should have been put down like the rabid animal he is when he killed that family years ago.

Rich white people from Wilmette didn't cause this one, eh Mary?

Mitchell Comment:

Yes, and in the same issue there's a giant picture of Heather Corman, a white woman:

"In 1998, police say, Heather Corman wrapped her newborn baby boy in a Mickey Mouse towel, then stuffed a blue sock in his mouth, put a plastic bag filled with garbage over his head, wrapped a necktie twice tightly around his neck, stuffed his tiny body into a garbage bag and then threw him into a pond to die."

So what does that prove?

All races have their share of criminals.

Hello Mary, I was a cop for seven years, during which I saw my share and even took part in acts of police brutality against minorities. Let me tell you that brutality is more rampant that you realize. Working in the Narcotics Section, one of the most elite units in the CPD, I worked everyday in the ghetto and when a team mate smacked or beat a suspect or arrestee, everyone else turned a blind eye, even the supervisors. We can speculate that the intense job or that the cops are working in dangerous neighborhoods are plausible reasons for their errant behavior but that's crap. When the day is done, the cop has to be held accoutable, arrested , and prosecuted, and until that day comes, cops will continue with brutality. In truth, it's a shame. A recent report stated that a mere 5% of the 13,600 officers in Chicago are responsible for brutality. It's a fact: cops don't rat on cops whether the subjects are black, white, or brown. Furthermore, OPS, the disciplinary arm of the CPD, hasn't shown that they can reign in brutal police officers. Therein is the problem. Since we can't depend on the CPD to police themselves, the public has to do it with pressure on the politicians. The system needs to be fixed. The prosecution of cops as criminals will set the tone that brutality will NOT be accepted behavior. Let's start with Jon Burge, just to set an example that cops aren't exempt from the justice system.

Marry I notice you wont post my comment. My comment was clear and profesional. However it did point out the poor reporting and personal agenda in your writtings. You have a pattern of only posting those who have similar views to you or those who make rediculous counter arguments. This is just another of your tactics to spread your propaganda.

Randy

regarding your quote from Tim Wise, and his logic: Sure, we cant generalize, as he says. That is why the excuse of socioeconomics will never supersede the intent of a criminal. He needs to be consistent in his reasoning.

For example, there are more poor people who DO NOT commit violent crimes than those who do; therefore, the excuse of being poor and desparate, and not having opportunity, is the cause of the young black men being in prison, is flat out wrong.

otherwise, how do you account for all those identically socioeconomcically-situated folks who do not choose to become criminals?

someone who commits a crime has the intent to do it, and they shall reap the consequences. their background and lack of oppotunity has nothing to do with it.

face it black leaders, you have a dire cultural problem on your hands, and you'd be wise to tell "your flock" to get a work ethic.

there is no excuse for your failures in the schools, and your family than your own choices. IT has nothing to do with white people, poverty, bad neighborhoods, or police.

Only the people involved were there, therefore we will never know the entire truth! A lot of the incidents that go on are brought on by stupidity. There are good and bad everywhere...Priests/Ministers, Teachers, Doctors, Lawyers, Executives, Politicians, Morticians, News Reporters and yes Police Personnel. Everybody is out for the almight dollar. There are decent African Americans, Caucasians, Hispanics, Chinese and etc. and there are cruel of the very same. We were all created by "God". But then there are people like this "Jerry" who seems to think the world was just created for the whites. Get over it because it wasn't! Jerry, someday it might just be that a "Black" saves your sorry excuse for a life. Unless you go around wearing a bracelt that says " if it is a black person helping me, don't do it". I don't care what color you are, if I were a cop and I had to save my life or others, I am going to shoot to save my life and that of others. The sad part of this is all we see are colors not facts! This person lost their life, Parents lost a son, Siblings lost a brother and children lost their father.

Kendra, a few years ago I e-mailed back and forth with that GWL Tim Wise. He is such an apologist and he also twists facts to fit his own agenda. And that agenda is to make money because he told me as much when he said he was writing a book on race. As for his point that it is erroneous for whites to fear blacks because only 3% of them commit violent crimes. Then it is also erroneous for blacks to lump whites alongside Michael Richards because Richards is just one guy. Yet, I hear blacks doing this. The latest bulletin from our area. Michael Ealy, a black man, recently got arrested for killing a white female Burger King manager. As for interracial crime stats, I don't think blacks want to go there because if you google that subject you will see overwhelmingly that black on white crime is much more common than the other way around. But to stop this problem of the innocent black choir boy getting killed by racist white cops. The cops should stop policing black areas since cops are such a threat to the black man. Or at least segregate the police department and pull all of the white cops out of black areas and put only black cops in black areas. I would think most blacks would support this because the "dangerous white cop" would be out of the neighborhood.

To Mary and all the rest of you police haters,

I'd be willing to bet that not one of you have ever talked with a police officer involved in a shooting the media has deemed questionable?

Based on those responses to your article, it would be safe to assume that all of the officers (black, white & hispanic)involved in the New York incident woke up that morning, went to work not knowing what was going to happen but had the agenda in mind to shoot and or kill someone the moment it presented itself. (Hey, perhaps there's a conspiracy theory you and all of your haters can entertain). According to you and the haters, I guess it would have been more appropriate for the the officers to look the other way the moment they heard someone mention retreiving a wepon from a car....Hmmm How about that? Let's say that one of those men did retreive a weapon and shot and or killed one or more civilians at the strip club. Later we learn that those same police officers knew it was going to happen and looked the other way. How would your article read then?

You and all the haters have no business questioning the split second decisions made by police officers. New York and incidents just like it are NOT about race. Before becoming judge and jury, learn ALL of the facts. The split second you're confronted with a situation, like hearing the word "gun", what are you going to do Mary?

I agree with your rebuttal using Heather Corman, that it does prove that All races have their share of criminals.

However, Corman wont enjoy the standard nonsensical defense of the Race Card.

Major difference here. She cant say that she lived ina "racially charged neighborhood" like the criminals who stomped that little defenseless kid in the park for his cell phone or whatever it was - and whom you insisted that it wasnt "attempted murder..."

The race card seems to be a legitimate defense now in the law books. However, we all know better: other poor people dont commit crimes, and rich people do as well, so the socioeconomic factor is out.

Keep working at it. However, we are pretty much at the end of the arguments for "bad nurturing" or "lack of opportunity" being a cause for violent street crime.

What is left standing? Culture, and nature as the cause of the propensity.

These young men join gangs and pull triggers because they choose to do so, and they know better. Better schools with more and newer text books wont stop them.

Slavery was sure terrible and has a long standing ripple effect...I agree, blacks should never have been brought here.

No one is denying being a cop is a tough job, low pay for what they have to deal with, etc. But would someone tell me of when a white person was shot down or beat up in a similiar situation? Again, if you attend any Cubs game, watch what happens when the game is over and the drunks take over Wrigleyville. What is the difference? The people are almost always white and they get a free pass to do whatever they wish.

Hi Mary, We never really appriciate the police until we personnaly need them to rescue us from being a victim or to get justice. However, there is racist police that make up a precentage of the police force and I don't want to speculate what precent. I believe that a lot of these officers have a very limited education and that contributes to their behavior. Look at the recent arrest of officers in Chicago. How stupid were they? There should be a better system to screen these indivuals before thier put on the street. Stop hiring people soley because of patronage and favortism and not looking deeper. Predominantly black communities should be policed predominantly by blacks who are qualified. This is the only way to avoid incidents of brutality. Cassius M. Williams

Ms. Mitchell...
Ultimately, we are all products of our personal experiences. What happens to us influences the way we think. When young, Black and especially URBAN, males have unpleasant and, most of all, unwarranted contact with the police, a rational mind will make certain extensions. It is an extension of the "fight or flight" instinct common to every human being. It is only because most white people do not have these police encounters that they extend their experience to those of others. The lack of empathy creates a lack of sympathy.
Walk a mile in someone else's shoes...and then blame your feet for hurting??
Willie Edward Lee
w.edward.lee@sbcglobal.net

Why do you need to empty your clip twice to defend yourself from being hit by a vehicle? Why did'nt one of the officers fire his weapon at all? Why would a person who is getting married in the morning and had committed no crimes want to run over a police officer? How many times does this type of incident need to take place before citizens who have only had positive police experiences realized that there day may come as well where there is misscarriage of justice that effects their family? Black or White but mostly Black. Cassius M. Williams

This Jerry guy is clearly of limited intelligence. Racist is so entrenched in their belief that it is an exercise in futility to waste time and explain it to them ...primarily because its over their heads...and out of their reach. As for long explanations to a die hard racist and cop brutality supporter - its unfortunate that we have to share the same air.

Juan, are you the same police officer who was once assigned to the Narcotics section, and also flunked his drug test? ......hummmmmmm

to Lonnie: You are wrong. You say a caucasian could never have sympathy for a black man killed by the cops. You are so wrong. Remember Robert Russ, the unarmed black man killed by Chicago Police (all black officers may I add)? That was a young man from my neighborhood. A young man I use to watch play football since he had been 15 years old. A decent, gentlemanly, and very intelligent young man who had just graduated from Northwestern University. You don't know what you are talking about. You don't know how much everybody in the neighborhood was screaming about this tragedy. Why don't you do some finger-pointing and shoot your mouth off and ask the so-called well-known black leaders (you know who they are) why they weren't as outraged (and suspiciously quiet) as some of us were? Well, ask? Or does the victim have to be killed by NYPD (Chicago doesn't count)?

Brendan, Yeah, I did, so what. What does that have to do with the topic of police brutality? This topic, police brutality, costs the citizens of Chicago millions of dollars every year in settlements and creates a deep and divisive chasm betweeen them and the citizens who they protect. The question is, as Mary put forth, why do police find it incimbent upon themselves to shoot an unarmed black man 40 or so times, sodomize a black man with nightsticks, shoot another black man laying on the ground 30 times and, one she didn't mention, torture black men to force confessions to crimes they didn't commit? Hmmmmmm. Can you give me a good answer? I beg you to placate me with one or two.

Brendan, Yeah, I did, so what. What does that have to do with the topic of police brutality? This topic, police brutality, costs the citizens of Chicago millions of dollars every year in settlements and creates a deep and divisive chasm betweeen them and the citizens who they protect. The question is, as Mary put forth, why do police find it incimbent upon themselves to shoot an unarmed black man 50 or so times, sodomize a black man with nightsticks, shoot another black man laying on the ground 41 times and, one she didn't mention, torture black men to force confessions to crimes they didn't commit? Hmmmmmm. Can you give me a good answer? I beg you to placate me with one or two.

Dear Ms. Mitchell,

I recently moved to The WB, my wife's shorthand for West Bloomfield, Michigan.

After spending the first 16 years of my life growing up in Jackson, Mississippi, my family moved to Atlanta.

After graduating from the University of Georgia in Athens, I lived in Atlanta a dozen more years before finding my way up to Chicago.

I called Chicago home for more than a decade, lived in the heart of downtown, and absolutely loved it.

However, I must add, that sadly, and beyond a shadow of a doubt, Chicago is the most racist community in which I have ever lived.

The last letter I wrote the Sun-Times was to convey my feelings at the conclusion of the so-called "investigation" of torture, alleged to have been committed by Chicago Police officers, during the administration of Commander Jon Burge.

What an enormous waste of time, not to mention millions of taxpayer dollars, only to learn that the allegations were, in fact, TRUE... but, because of the "statute of limitations" ~ nothing could be done to hold to account those responsible for the brutality.

I begged the question: How could these two gentlemen, said to be among our most esteemed legal scholars, not have known about the statute prior to spending three years and all that money?

And, if they didn't know, shouldn't they have?

It seemed to me, that in a case that dated back some twenty years or more, even a first-year law student would think to ask what remedy, if any, the law would provide to achieve justice for the victims and their families.

When I posed the question to my wife, her response was, "Maybe they didn't ask the question because they didn't need to... they already knew the answer."

Pathetic, infuriating and entirely unjust.

But almost certainly, true.

Reese Thompson

This is in response to "Anonymous" Nov.30

What of the two White women that slapped the Police officers that were trying to detain them? They were sisters and Governers daughters.

They were not abused,nor did they have to suffer some "Blue Code" of street justice(and the law) as they carried on.

Is it because they were the Governers Daughters
(I forget the state)that they.. Being Drunk and Violent outside of some Downtown Nightclub(Lime Light I think)that obviously didn't know their status, that they didn't get anything but a slap on the wrist?

The only thing the Cops saw was skin color!
(Go,Go Chicago)

Racism profit those that choose to deny it and condemns those that are too affraid to fight it.

Lets open the books on our civil servants..(Police)

Let the Police Speak.

Let them explain the arrest they make(to the people).
and let those that they accuse have a more open forum to speak.

The "Blue Code" is a "Gang"
and a crime against humanity,that we have to totally bring to non existence.

Open the forum for the accused to be able to be judged by his peers instead of being a victim of anonymity.
(Internet Access would do away with sh** defence lawyers working with the prosecuton)

Police officers work for us, they are paid by us, and they should be held accountable to the point they uphold the law even amongst themselves.....and we applaud it!

READ THE POLICEMAN SPEAK!

Read the story of Indiana State trooper Scott Patrick who was murdered a few years back by a young black thug with a rap sheet as long as your arm. Trooper Patrick had stopped to assist this human garbage. Had it been the thug killed, trooper Patrick could have looked forward to the media crucifixion that the NYC police are now enjoying. By all accounts, Scott Patrick was simply a great guy and now he's gone and we're stuck supporting this bum who can work out, watch TV, and receive visitors in jail. Yet, this seems to be the way you media types want the scenario to play out. Dead police, pampered black criminal. Ms. Mitchell....these criminals in New York WERE armed....it's called an automobile, and the DID attempt to use it as a weapon.

Posted by: Shecky Fuller | November 30, 2006 08:28 PM

.....To Shecky Fuller,
"Human Garbage" You are a Cop?! Nothing more than a Postman,a Teacher or a City Garbage man!!

You are paid "NOT" to give judgment....and by the way Ferman, Innocent PEOPLE DIE ON THE STREET and you asked to be "PAID" to put your life on the line for others!!

You are not a f****** Hero!
You are the problem.
Retire and shut the f***
up!

Lovie Smith is doing a terrible job at Quarterback!...*smile*
-Hang Him-

Chicago's police are terrible and the cause of a many crimes....."Give em a break"

Our name is not on Lovies check......But the Cops are on ALL OF OUR PAYROLL!!!!!!

A man once asked me for some change.....he stated that "I know that I don't pay taxes, but I would like to get a wine"

I told him as I gave him a bit...."When you go to buy your wine,are you excluded from paying tax?"

Cops are on the payroll of ALL the people.

Juan is a real mad fired and seperated dope head. I think that is why he has so much insight in the police. "Elite" you are garbage you are the 5 percent that get in trouble. Get a life

I have been telling Jerry for years his comments about race are so inaccurate and stereotypical but he wont listen so dont waste your time (he is a reichwinger with seious "adequecy" problems most likely)84%of serial killers are white nd the majority of pedophiles on the internet are white.Kendra was accurate in her discription of crimes(Enron.halliburtion etc.)that whites get away with until they have stolen billions of dollars then the law steps in to mete out"justice.(justice delayed is justice denied)of course most whites(not all) will agree with police brutality against blacks they feel along as they are killing and torturing innocent blacks ,its okay ,as long as they dont kill whites .The racist behaviour that blacks go through everyday shows how the "apple doesnt fall far from the tree."Blacks dont hate police indiscriminately they just want them to do their jobs ,not use them as target practice,fodder for illegal arrests. Police should be glad that there are people who respect them (despite what racists say and a few bad apples)police want to come home to their loves ones at night ,so do "innocent" citizens.(black or white)Its strange how Jerry and other racist clowns never mention the truth, only racist rhetoric the KKK have been using for 100yrs.Did you forget about the colombine murderers and the mass(serial)killers (white)we see on tv everyday?Get some new material and remember you lost the sica controversy too by your outdated way of thinking.Ask the police to go undercover and see how black men are actually treated by some police instead of asking "you" to ride with them ,now they just found out crime was bad ?the citizens have been saying that for years while the police pat themselves on their back and claim(lie)that crime is "going down"what planet are they living on?the black community needs police to do their job not torture and kill and rob innocent people ,how is that any different then what the criminals and gangbangers do?be they black or white.....DOC

hate to say it folks but i wanna quit hearing this ethic bs. sorry but 100 plus years of this crap suxs. i am white and will be until i turn blue, i don't dis anyone and neither do my friends that are white. quit using skin color as as excuse to try and get symphaty, ahead, or anything else......jeez your so lame.

to Emelia: yes,I'll agree with you that the police probably do view young blacks on a corner different then they would young whites. For the most part. And society is more dangerous for a young black male...However, here is where you, the other commenters, and Mary, all are in DENIAL. You all have tunnel-vision. You feel the policeman is the most dangerous person for a young black man. Statistics will prove that OTHER young black men are the most dangerous person for a young black man. You all live in past worrying and bringing up Jim Crow/KKK.This is 2006. Guess what, MORE young black males have been murdered by OTHER young black males in the cities of America in any one year after 1980 then Jim Crow murdered in an entire century....When is this fact going to be addressed? Again, you can't do anything about the past, whether it be 1750, 1870, or 1930. But you can do something about 2006.

Jerry,Keep on telling it like it is,esp with examples.Kudos to you in the face of Caucasian bashing,which occues regularly on this blog. Take a look inside any prison. oh,I know,it's the poliman's fault

Babysfriend, thank you for the words of encouragement. To John, great post on Dec. 9th. I like how you mention how others constantly bring up the KKK and Jim Crow. Like any blacks today under the age of 50 have ever had any contact with the KKK or Jim Crow laws. But to cry about racism in an attempt to get sympathy, all they can go back to is the far away past. BTW, on Friday Dec. 8th, Joe Jackson, a black male enters a West Loop law firm and kills three white people and injures another white person. The carnage continues!

Many white people believe what the media says is the truth!!! Well, it's not. As far as the 50 bullets, those young men did not hit those policemen before they were being shot at. They were trying to get away from being shot by some unknown person(s) that didn't identify themselves. Remember two of the mens are still alive and have given their statements. Even though the Atlanta cops had a warrant is was under FALSE pretenses. What you don't know is that the informant lied about buying drugs from her house. I tired of cops killing Black without impunity, it has to stop. I believe if these cops doesn't pay for killing Mr. Bell it should start a revolutionary war right here in america.

C'mon guys, I can't believe what I am reading. How anyone can support policemen shooting an unarmed man 50 times bewilders me (white or black). Unfortunately, it seems as if this only happens to people of color. I understand that policemen have a stressfull job and I appreciate the sacrifices that most make. But just like there are good and bad politicians, lawyers, doctors, CEO's etc. There are also good and bad cops. I can only wonder what the response would be if an unarmed young white father and husband was killed by the police in the same manner. I wonder.....

I feel that this issue is larger than just race. The biggest issue is, that society has pegged the male population as the guilty party. Every day a male is arrested, for whatever the crime might be. The male receives a much harsher punishment than a female does, even if convicted of the same crime. Our legal system itself is an atrocity! Society and our legal system need to re-evaluate its approach. Investigate to find the root cause, and then do what is necessary to correct or bring justice for the crime. Police officers are given guns and a feeling that they are king, as there are no organizations (not linked to government) that police the police. We need an organization in every city to regularly evaluate every police officer. To weed out the officers that are most likely to commit these atrocities. Independent policing of the police, may be the best way for these atrocities to be reduced and hopefully someday eliminated. Race is an issue with police do target black men first, then any other race of male. The last thing any police officer should do is let their personal feelings influence their actions. Nor should they be allowed to badger and insult a person they are dealing with to provoke a response that may lead to more charges on an individual.

I highly encourage folks to check this book out, it's called "What Cops Know," and is a compilation of interviews the author made from about 125 Chicago cops.

It's shocking in every way, and will certainly at least give you a better understanding of what is going through their minds as they do their job.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw/103-7423053-8170239?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=what+cops+know&Go.x=0&Go.y=0&Go=Go

I hate to burst your bubble but they would have gunned down that little 88 year old DRUG DEALER in my WHITE neighborhood too. Even for that insubstantial amount of illegal drugs (although I don't feel that any amount of crack can be considered insubstantial by anyone).

As a parent, I have attempted to teach my children that they are responsible for their actions. I've never let them use ANYTHING as an excuse for bad behavior. They have been taught that any bad decisions they make will affect the rest of their life. I will not let them use race, financial differences, peers, or coming from a single parent household as an excuse for doing wrong. I really believe that if a COMMUNITY (either black or white or red) holds it's members responsible for their actions, equality will someday take hold. I believe that the black commmunity creates excuses for everything. I am a CPD officer and can fill the page with how many times parents (or grandparents) are unaware of their teenagers whereabouts. They don't know who their kids are with, do not know friend's names or addresses and put no expectations on their kids. When their kids are offenders, they blame the police and will not cooperate. When their kids become victim's they blame the police and expect miracles. Then they can't understand why we have a hard time solving the case. Maybe because the offender's family isn't cooperating!!!! Until the community puts expectations on it's own members, and scrutinizes their own children (family) blacks will continue to be oppressed.

Interesting that no one here wants to face the rational fact that if a person-no matter what color they are- engages in behavior that elicits the attention and response of the police- they place THEMSELVES at risk when the fail to follow the instructions of the officers- they place not only themselves at risk but the officers as well- don't want to be shot? That's up to you- the only racist here is the author of this article- who wants blacks treated differently that anyone else who is worthy of police contact- don't want to make it a race issue? then don't continually point out the race of the perp and the cops involved- it is just as offensive to whites to have caucasian officers continually accused of firing their guns at someone's skin color- who am I? a BLACK FEMALE police officer on the largest force in the country- I gave you my race and gender because I know how very important that information is to your decision making process.

Melanie's comment:

"Unfortunately, it seems as if this only happens to people of color."

Now Melanie- that couldn't possibly be because the good media- of which Ms Mitchell is an employee- continual focuses on shootings involving African- Americans? Do you honestly believe the media shows you how many cops are killed every year? Do you honestly believe that cops of color are any less threatened by officer involved shootings because a perp was black while the cop was white? Cops are trained to respond to threats to their safety and YOURS- we don't wait till someone puts a gun to someone's heads to do our job- If we are to believe statements like yours- a disintegration of society is at hand- everyone pick up the weapon of choice because no cop will be responding to protect you or anyone else-not with the knowledge that they be vilified by people like you and Ms. Mitchell

TLC
Police officers are trained to shoot until the threat is stopped. If there were five officers on the scene and each shot ten times from a semi-auto weapon, that is comletely feasible. If you have never been in a position where you felt your life might be threatened, don't arm-chair. Think of yourself in a position where you think someone may be trying to kill you for doing your job. But don't fight back, the liberals will critisize. Be thankful you are in a job that will never threaten your life or your family. Merry X-Mas!

Just to set the record straight regarding Blacks being profiled or perceived as cop killers.
From UCR databases Police officer killed in the line of duty from database 1996-2005 shows that Whites were responsible for the death of 365 Officers being feloniously killed, whereas Blacks were responsible for 261 officers for the same time period a differences of 104 murders.....the trend also reflects that in the last 5 years that Whites murdering police officers have increased, while Blacks show a decline. Maybe the Police are profiling the wrong people, but then its a tainted society that determines who appears to be the guilty parties, I think it has something to do with the braids. This report excludes those officers killed on 911

"Juan, are you the same police officer who was once assigned to the Narcotics section, and also flunked his drug test? "

I was thinking the same thing. In my opinion, most of his post is fabricated and smacks of sour grapes.

Ms. Mitchell: You do a disservice to your community with your column. Rogue, abusive cops are far less than 1% of ALL dept. personnel. You definitely make it sound like over half of ALL cops are abusive.

I agree with Southside CPD....go ride along for a week or so. Especially on a hot summer night when tempers tend to flair. Until YOU, personally, have been in the trenches, you cannot possibly know what you are talking about.

I was a cop for many years. I not only have the physical scars to prove I was in the trenches I have the memories as well.

What would you do Ms. Mitchell if you were faced with 3 unarmed black males threatening to "get her"? As a cop would you pull your duty weapon and threaten to shoot them? If they persisted WOULD you shoot them? Bear in mind, there is 3 males against 1 female. And, no noticeable weapons. Your life or theirs?

If you were faced with 2 teenage boys 14 and 15 respectively, 1 white, 1 Mexican...one had a knife and 1 had a 2x4. What would you do in that situation?

I shot in BOTH situations. The only difference between the 3 men and the 2 teenage boys? I hesitated with the 2 teenagers and I have the scars from the stab wounds inflicted by the 14 yr old BECAUSE of that hesitation.

I can only imagine what you would have written about that. Police brutality? HARDLY lady.

DO NOT ask cops to put THEIR lives on the line every time they hit the streets and then scream when they get the job done. To quote Baretta: "if you can't do the time, don't do the crime".

The media needs to quit bashing police officers. It fuels dissention among the various communities and only serves to foster more hatred of those who DO serve and protect YOU.

Mitchell Comment:

I agree--and the cops need to stop shooting unarmed citizens.

LAPD officer kills driver after a televised pursuit:
12/29/06

Thank God the "bad guy" was a 41 year old "white" male. Just think, had he stopped for the officers, had he not placed his hands in his pockets, had he not made "shooting" type moves toward the officers, maybe, just maybe he would be an "alive" white male.

they are at the mercy of cops who just don't give a damn..............

sorry mary that you think in these terms. believe or not, cops do take their jobs very seriously and do care about the people. i really do not think that cops put on their guns in hopes of shooting blacks. after reading all the facts in the shootings one gets a different outlook on what really happened. you seem to be missing some of the most important facts of the case.

Mitchell Comment:

O.K. Then please explain to me why the majority of shootings involving unarmed citizens have been black?

"O.K. Then please explain to me why the majority of shootings involving unarmed citizens have been black?"

Mainly because when a black person gets shot, the media is all over it. A white person gets shot and you don't hear about it. So it appears to be more blacks are shot.

Why don't they leave if they got it so bad?

I just read your November 30, 2006 article about how 150 years of precedent paved the way for police brutality and I am outraged. I am a police office of 8 years and I have worked in the city of New Orleans and a small town in Mississippi where I grew up both with large black population and never once had a complaint for brutality or racism. I simply don't care what race you are if you break the law and get caught I will take you to jail and help prosecute you to the best of my ability. Everybody is quick to defend the so called victim no one ever defends the police so I am going to be that someone today.
I always hear how police are to rough or how we beat people and how we are racists. What most people don't realize is 85% of the people we deal with on a daily basis are young black males. I have heard it all "y'all are only messing with me cause I'm black" then we find drugs or sometimes guns on the person. It always seems that people want to blame the police when really people should be looking at there own family's. If parents would raise kids instead of letting grandma raise the because they want to go to the club or they are strung out on drugs maybe the kids wouldn't grow up and live a life style that is on the police radar. When I was growing up my parents made me take responsibility for my actions and I am a better person for it, when is the black community going to force the small number of criminals that make up the majority of the people in jail take responsibility for their actions and stop blaming everyone else. I actually had rather arrest white people because then there can be no question as to my intentions and the race card never can be played.
As for the shootings there are two sides to every story and the truth is usually somewhere in the middle. I won't comment on the ones you have listed because I don't have enough facts but I will tell you about how police were shot at patrol cars hit in the days following Katrina because I was there. We were shot at several times and never returned fire because we didn't know where the shots were coming from and we didn't want to jump the gun so to speak. Are we suppose to let someone fire on us before we defend ourselves and others? Police can be cussed at, hit, disrespected,and any other action that most people wouldn't take but we are suppose to. I have been told I can't do anything because I am the police this after I as spit on and cussed out because I gave someone a ticket.
Everyone expects us to be perfect when no one else will be. If every police officer walked off the job tomorrow and people realized there were no one there to police their actions how long do you think it would take this country to implode. Y'all may not like us but like it or not y'all need us.


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This page contains a single entry by Mary Mitchell published on November 30, 2006 1:28 PM.

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