Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Afternoon Edition - 4/29/08

Black or White; What About the Blue?
The Sean Bell case highlighted arguments regarding race, policing and the value of life. Questions surrounding whether individuals who have felony convictions for drug distribution; are patronizing venues that are less than reputable; and have previous weapon possession charges are entitled to the same treatment by law enforcement officers. I’ll be the first to recognize that our men in blue risk their lives everyday for a paltry sum of money, but it is a profession they chose to undertake. For the same pay they can shuffle paper as an administrative assistant or work as a customer service representative. All said, police officers are sworn to uphold the law, while serving and protecting the public. Unfortunately, the blue has been long known to be a group with many more prejudices and above-the-law tactics than any black or white constituent. So, suffice to say that whether an officer is White, Black, Hispanic, etc. he is taught and cultured to be BLUE first. This means there is a loyalty to your kind – the blue – fellow officers. Whether alleged assailants are black or white is less relevant than the fact that the men in blue are still in a culture all their own. Ultimately, I’d like to think that the Bell case has less to do with race and more to do with the responsibility of police officers to uphold the law – even when those laws contradict your human feelings toward those that may be perceived as drug-dealing gutter trash. In the Bell case no weapon was ever recovered and all the alleged assailants at the scene were unarmed. To complicate matters further, all shots fired were from the police officers themselves – all 50. The argument that the excessive shots may have been fired when officers heard each other’s blasts and believed they were being shot at by the assailants is silly. The three officers were trained professionals, taught to remain fairly calm in situations like these. Can it be said that officers who may have joined the gun battle should have pulled their weapons and begun shooting too, since they heard shots being fired? This isn’t the wild-wild west. We have reached a time in our society when not everything is as it appears. Police officers must understand that to have the respect and loyalty of the communities they serve they must admit when glaring mistakes have been made. Judges routinely instruct juries to disregard anything mentioned that may unfairly affect a jury trial – be it previous offenses, previous charges, moral choices, etc. – and unless a defendant takes the stand, their priors are kept out of the case at hand. Do I personally believe Bell and his pals were rebel-rousing thugs who may have had too much that fateful night and gone too far? Maybe. Do I feel in my heart that it is ethical to shoot an unarmed man 50 times in the name of justice? No. Maybe we’ve rid ourselves of a drug dealer in NYC, but by saying it’s okay for the blue to serve as the reigning culture in NYC to make determinations on who lives and who dies we’re creating a two-fold problem: First, a disconnect and mistrust between constituencies and the men/women paid to protect and serve them AND second, a sense that if you want to be above the law, it’s not a matter of black or white – it’s a matter of blue.

On Blast
There are over 304,000,000 folks in the US and 800,000 of them are sworn law enforcement officers. With rulings like that of the Sean Bell case, are we saying that less than 1% of the population –the blue – is the controlling culture? Would you be as comfortable giving any race/culture the same privileges if they comprised 1% of the population – be they white or black – and permitted them to live above the law?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

15 comments:

E said...

That incident is disturbing on so many levels. No man, no matter what his past is, deserves to be shot at 50 times. Unfortunately the boys in blue nine times out of ten seem to be above the law. Only rich young white girl celebrities like Paris and Lindsay have more liberties.

Anonymous said...

last I checked, those rich young white girls - douchebags and lowlives they may be - were never arrested for selling crack cocaine to their neighbors or packing firearms...hence the race issue is once again dragged into a scenario where Saints were not involved on EITHER side...furthermore, Bell attempted to run over a police officer who was also BLACK.

I am all for marching and protesting and writing and doing whatever it takes to ensure the rights of any people are not trampled on...but I am not going to jump on Al Sharptons bandwagon and support his call for violence and disruptive protests when the "victims", in this instance, were perpetrators themselves. Dudes who had no regard for the law. Dudes who were part of the problem and not part of the solution. And like I said before, if my partner were in danger and someone was using their car as a deadly weapon against him or her I am going to fire until the car STOPS. PERIOD.

This is not a worthy cause in my opinion. If you prefer to live in a society where people do not have a healthy respect for authority (i.e. the boys in BLUE, GREY or whatever) perhaps you might want to move to Iraq where you can be killed, maimed, beheaded, stoned or trampled to death for being a thief, an adulterer, a woman who refuses to cover or an admitted homosexual. Any takers?

The message is being lost here...
STAY HOME WITH YOUR FAMILY. STRIP CLUBS HAVE NOHING TO OFFER BUT DRUGS, STD's, AND A WHOLE LOT OF TROUBLE. DONT DO, SELL, BUY or SURROUND YOURSELF WITH PEOPLE WHO DO SELL OR BUY DRUGS. There's a reason why drugs are illegal...they cause problems, all different kinds.
Cas608

Anonymous said...

I knew you had an issue with drugs, because you just keep bringing it up, drugs aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, there's always going to be crack heads and yeah it does affect our families, maybe not all of ours but most of us do have a few crack heads in our own families. If you don’t then your family has been blessed. But none the less we still love them and we just hide our pocketbooks when they come over. Lighten up, life is too short.

Cocoa Rican said...

All...
Actually neither of my Bell-related post referred to black/white or drugs...quite honestly, I don't give a rats ass what Sharpton thinks and a call to violence is quite the opposite of what I support - which is level heads and a sense that we respect life. The short and skinny here is that WE ALL need trained professionals to police our streets who, while threatened on a daily basis, can assert some type of control in adrenaline-rich, high-stress situations. A car used as a deadly weapon is more than enough reason to use deadly force - stopping to reload, and continue shooting before we realize that no one is shooting back is plain ridiculous. 50 shots may seem justifiable when we're dealing with the Bell-ilk, but I suspect that if this was one of our own children, we'd be horrified. To stand back and begin giving law enforcement a free pass to shoot - EXCESSIVELY - and walk away with their jobs is saying, "Hey, you felt in danger so use every bullet you have and we'll look the other way."
Let's take a deep breath here...I believe we may all be on the same side and arguing different points.

Anonymous said...

Coca your right your post didn’t pertain to race nor drugs, however Sean and his friends being drug dealers kept being brought up, so I must comment. Ok they sold drugs Yeah and so what.

Anonymous said...

Yeah and so what is the attitude that will keep bringing our streets further and further down to the level of the thugs who are selling drugs and wreaking havoc. ***Suggested reading for all who care: Come on People: On the Path from Victims to Victors written by Bill Cosby and Alvin Poussaint***.
If you read the facts of this incident, the police were AIMING at Big Jo Jo "tell me where you live at, dun, this needs to happen to someone in your family" Guzman. Sean was hit with two shots, Guzman was hit with upwards of 15 shots...and the monster still lived to tell about it. How one sustains upwards of 15 shots and lives to tell about it, while his friend died because he threated to "get his gat" is beyond me.

I am lighter than light in more ways than one so I dont need to lighten up, but if a question is asked or an opinion is requested, I will state mine without hesitation or reservation.

I refuse to support any cause that martyrs a drug dealer.

Cas608

Anonymous said...

CLARIFICATION:
They fired upon the car for two reasons:
1) Bell used the car as a weapon
2) Guzman appeared to reach for a weapon after proclaiming he was goin to get his gat

The witnesses (Guzman/Benefield)failed to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt for the prosecution by giving the Court conflicting testimony. If you are going to be mad, be mad at the two idiots who repeatedly failed their friend in life and in death.

Cas608

Joey Bahamas said...

The answer to the on blast question is an obvious no. The American just system is building a military state that will soon supersede it's own authority. Besides that though, the verdict was just heartbreaking...but maybe something will come of it in a civil case....

One Man’s Opinion said...

I don't agree with you on this, my Cocoa brother. I need to come back later to say more.

Kensilo said...

I believe that no one or group should ever be above the law or abuse the law for that matter. The Sean Bell case is a upsetting one. No weapon has been found and there was no reason to the cops to use that much excessive force. What is the purpose of the laws if groups will not abide by them.

Ailed LittleKnight said...

I don't quite know what to say here. But i can side with Joey Bahamas. sidebar, nice pics of the blogger reunion! Can you guess which is me?

Have Fun!!!!

Anonymous said...

yes, it is rather tragic for society to lose three crack dealers who had the potential to destroy the families of so many addicts. So sad. So sad. I am all choked up. Not enough Kleenex in the world would stop the flow of tears.
YOU LIVE BY THE SWORD AND SURELY YOU WILL DIE BY IT. SURELY YOU WILL.
At least now his babies Mama will get real child support from the tax payers of NYC.
Ferrrr sheeerrrrnnnnntttt.

yet another black guy said...

as a black man who has been harassed by the cops more times than i can remember, it's hard for me to side with them on ANYTHING. at the same time, WE need to take more responsibility for ourselves (and our communities) so that we can minimize these incidents.

drug dealers get no sympathy from me, but 50 shots? hmmm...

Anonymous said...

its unfortunate that it has come down to this:
angry protesters are now wearing shirts declaring " I am Sean Bell " . Really? So...you're a crack cocaine dealer who went to a strip club know for teenage prostitution on the supposed eve of a wedding to your babies Mama to get head and have your friends serviced, only to be shot after you used a car as a weapon against a police officer after your friend ordered someone to get his gat and then postured towards the police in a manner that indicated he had a gun? You're THAT Sean Bell? Wow!

My sons are young African/Irish American men and I would hope that if an incident like this were ever to occur in the future, I hope they have enough SELF RESPECT to not jump on the ignorant jackass bandwagon by wearing t-shirts declaring themselves comparable to a crack dealing piece of human garbage who participated in the destruction of communities by selling drugs to addicts. The illegal/immoral actions of Bell/Guzman/Benefield would have had Karmic repercussions eventually. Since all three were arrested at some point in time for possession of illegal firearms, I believe it would be safe to assume the illegal firearms were used to intimidate/menace/harass people for the love of crack and money.

On Wednesday Al Sharpton has called for acts of Civil Disobedience which will back up traffic/disrupt subways/cause angry confrontations .... all in the name of a drug dealer who wanted to get his d--k sucked, but was shot up instead.

This is part of the problem in my opinion...so much time is spent on these "causes" that are the furthest thing from righteous, that it is no wonder that the progress and evolution of so called oppressed people is often stagnated or at times halted all together. Is Al Sharpton the best we have in order to have concerns heard or issues addressed? Is this clown the best choice ... is this the leader the people actually want? Some may argue that no one else is available, but I pose this example: Obama would have been able to make it to the White House - and perhaps there is a way he still can - but with someone like Jeremiah Wright now attempting to destroy what chance Obama has with his venomous sermons and hatred (which is not a representation of Jesus Christ so I refuse to refer to him as a Rev. or a Pastor), one does not have to wonder WHY more suitable leaders dont step up when there is always someone waiting in the wings - and sometimes that someone is of color - ready willing and able to tear down what you worked so hard to build up. Al Sharpton and his three ring circus are not the answer to what is wrong in our communities. It all starts at home with personal and familial responsibility. Stay home with your family, strip clubs can get you killed in more ways than one.
And if you do choose to participate in detrimental activities, dont be surprised when something horrible happens - and dont blame police for enforcing order in an otherwise chaotic environment.

50 shots may be excessive, but I would bet my entire life savings that Bell sold crack to more than 50 people...
time surely will reveal...

Cas608

Anonymous said...

wait wait wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I know how to cause even more of a ruckus on Wednesday!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am going to go out and have a t-shirt made that says "I AM TAWANA BRAWLEY"
and on the back it will say...
I am a teenager of color who would rather lie about being raped and beaten by a group of white men and just to make my story more believable I am going to smear myself with dog shit and point out random white men as the perps just so I dont have to face the wrath of my Mama who would otherwise beat me with an extension cord dipped in hot grease if I came home late or stayed out all night partying. I would rather destroy the lives of innocent men and smear myself with dog shit than tell the truth. YUP. I AM TAWANA BRAWLEY.

I wonder how Al would react if I wore that as an act of Sharpton disobedience?

God have mercy on all of us.