Update and Retraction: Baltimore Burning.

Baltimore burning was a post I wrote back in April. I’ve since changed my views about the police since I wrote this piece and I’d like to make a clarification, especially in relation to:

To the all the police forces of this country, this is not a time to demonize the police. 99% of police do excellent work at protecting the community they serve, they do so at the peril of their own safety, they respond and go to places many do not dare to venture, many go above and beyond their calls of duty and save countless lives, but when the same story happens over and over again where a white police officer has shot, killed, or grievously injured an unarmed black man during the commission of misdemeanors or arrests, it is a time for reckoning for everyone.

I no longer believe 99% of police officers do good work and really just want to protect the citizens under their purview. Most police are a bunch of racist and misogynist thugs who use the power of their badge to bully people instead of protecting people. There may be a few cops who do good work, but being involved with a corrupt organization, the ‘good’ only goes so far.

So much has happened since April of this year and still continue to happen with police abuse I cannot hold this view any longer. This view of most police officers are good people is just my point of view, a white-presenting biracial woman, someone who is not in the crosshairs of police brutality.

With what’s just happened in Chicago, where a corrupt police force protected a corrupt officer for over one year when he should have been fired on the spot for shooting a child. The mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel fired the Chicago police superintendent in a bid to save his career. I cannot hold the view that most police officers do good work. I also will not ‘Stand with the Police’ anywhere.

In something closer to home, a black woman, called Fay Wells, who lives in Santa Monica, California a newly ‘gentrified’ area of town, she forgot her keys and locked herself out of her home, she called a locksmith, resolved the situation and was safely tucked on her couch. Her neighbor, a white attorney who claims he’s never seen her in his life before called the cops about a possible residential burglary and 19 of the Santa Monica’s finest showed up at her apartment, guns drawn, with a dog, cuffed her and had a gun pointed in her face, for breaking into her home. When the whole fiasco was over and she escaped unharmed, she demanded the names and badge numbers of the 19 police officers, they stalled and stonewalled her. SMPD later released names of 17 officers but there were 19 there and the names were not consistent with what’s on the log. The matter is pending investigation and Internal Affairs is involved. No apology has been issued.

When she confronted the neighbor who called the cops, this was his response:

I introduced myself to the reporting neighbor and asked if he was aware of the gravity of his actions — the ocean of armed officers, my life in danger. He stuttered about never having seen me, before snippily asking if I knew my next-door neighbor. After confirming that I did and questioning him further, he angrily responded, “I’m an attorney, so you can go f— yourself,” and walked away.

And the response from the SMPD’s finest:

Editor’s note: The Santa Monica Police Department told The Washington Post that 16 officers were on the scene but later provided a list of 17 names. That list does not match the list of 17 names that was eventually provided to the writer; the total number of names provided by the SMPD is 19. The department also said that it was protocol for this type of call to warrant “a very substantial police response,” and that any failure of officers to provide their names and badge numbers “would be inconsistent with the Department’s protocols and expectations.” There is an open internal affairs inquiry into the writer’s allegations of racially motivated misconduct. After this essay ran online, Police Chief Jacqueline A. Seabrooks released an additional statement. “The 9-1-1 caller was not wrong for reporting what he believed was an in-progress residential burglary,” she wrote. Ms. Wells is not wrong to feel as she does.”

 

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