Thursday, July 30, 2009

Connections Can't Protect A Black Man from Police Color-Aroused Profiling


Readers may notice that in the right hand margin there is a part that says,

With all these connections, (see also above) Prof. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. was still arrested for entering his own home.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Police Electrically Shock and Pepper Spray Deaf, Mentally Disabled Man for Not Complying With Orders

Here's more evidence that many police officers are too obtuse and wantonly brutal to benefit from additional training and guidelines when it comes to the use of portable electrocution devices.

taser gun bart officer-218-85 "MOBILE, Ala. — Police in Mobile, Ala., used pepper spray and a Taser on a deaf, mentally disabled who they said wouldn’t leave a store’s bathroom." Undercover 4 Liberty

"When Antonio Love failed to heed orders to come out of a bathroom at a Dollar General store, Mobile police used pepper spray and a Taser on him — ultimately arresting him for resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and failure to obey a police officer. The problem is that Love, 37, is deaf and mentally disabled.

Store employees called officers complaining that Love had been in the bathroom for more than an hour with the door locked. When Love did not respond to their knocks, police used a tire iron to pry open the door — which Love tried to keep closed. They then used pepper spray and once inside shot him with a taser." JONATHAN TURLEY

The victim's name is Antonio Love. Was he Black or Latino and what role may that have played in the treatment he received from police?

"After forcibly removing Antonio Love from the bathroom of the Azalea Road store, officers attempted to book the 37-year-old, on charges of resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and failure to obey a police officer, but the magistrate on duty at the jail refused to accept any of those charges." Goat Hill News
There are some devices that are simply to inherently dangerous and subject to abuse for police to be allowed to carry them. Most people recover from pepper spray. But many "suspects" never make it to court after being electrocuted. Electrocution devices are too inherently dangerous to be entrusted to police.If the rear seat of police cars were turned into electric chairs, is there any doubt that some police officers would execute arrestees and then try to justify the actions afterward?

Friday, July 24, 2009

Obama Personally Dragged into Police Brutality and Profiling Issue


Since the election of President Barack Obama, there have been hundreds or thousands of cases of police abuse of brown-skinned Americans -- cases that the Obama Administration has not chosen to raise to the level of national cause celêbres. Many Blacks and even a white woman have been administered 50,000 volt shocks, some dying after being Electrocuted While Black.

The victims were nameless Black and Latino unknowns, the abuse of whom is normal in America. Obama has commented on them for the most part. Politically, he has to visibly focus on the issues that affect the majority of (white) Americans if he is to maintain his approval ratings, pass his domestic programs through the US Congress and be re-elected in 2012. Focusing on police abuse of Blacks is a double negative for Obama who angers many white voters while failing to win their favor by focusing on meeting their needs.

However, the arrest of Harvard University's Professor and scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. touches Obama almost as if a member of his family were needlessly arrested as retaliation for requesting a police officer's badge number and name. Obama graduated from Harvard University's law school. One of his mentors, Charles Ogletree, a nationally known lawyer on Harvard University Law School's faculty, is the lawyer for professor Gates, and was forced into the unfamiliar role of retrieving one of his friends and colleagues from the Cambridge, MA police department.

The above graphic comes from a report about Professor Gates' role in starting The Root online magazine for the Washingon Post, whose writers have been reliable friends of the Obama's aspirations during the presidential campaign and continues to support him now.

So, like it or not, President Obama has been compelled by these circumstances to wade into the same national problem that led to the founding of the Panther Party, which is police brutality and the police's utter contempt for and persistent harrassment of Black people, in the belief that Blacks have no rights that police officers, regardless of their skin color, are bound to respect. In all areas of de jure law, the US Supreme Court's pre-Civil War Dred Scott v. Sanford decision has been overturned, but Dred Scott survives heartily in the ethos of police departments nationwide, regardless of the skin color of the officers involved, when it comes to the treatment of Black people. Blacks have no rights that police feel compelled to respect.

In 1998, toward the end of the second term of the Bill Clinton's presidency, Clinton announced his desire for a "national conversation about race". For all intents and purposes, the discussion never occurred for the same reason that courts do not decide issues unless their is a specific "case or controversy" before them, and the parties are there to litigate the matter. Without a specific case to discuss, conversations have no focus and there can be no debate about how our values apply to a specific set of facts, a "case or controversy" about which facts andn statistics can be gathered and decisions made.

Skin color issues, like law, are not usefully resolved in the abstract. Concepts, beliefs and opinions have to be applied to specific facts for such conversations to have any focus and value. Often the specific circumstances that provide such opportunities for concrete analysis are not chosen by presidents but forced upon them by happenstance.

Because one of America's most important and substantial Black professors has been abused as Blacks generally are daily, President Barack Obama has been confronted with a very specific "case or controversy" about color arousal issues. The question is, if the most influential Blacks in the country can be treated with utter disregard for their humanity, than what chance do average Blacks have of living unmolested by police color-aroused brutality and injustice?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

President Obama Calls Arrest of Renowned Black Harvard Professor "Stupid"

Although President Barack Obama has not made police profiling a key part of his public program, the arrest of Harvard Black Studies Department Director Louis Gates drew President Obama out on the issue. He called the Cambridge Polcie's arrest Professor Louis Gates stupid, because the professor was entering his own home at the time and showed documents proving as much. Gates was arrested anyway, because he demanded to know the name and badge number of a policeman who came into his home, which is information that Gates had a right to request and receive. Instead, Cambridge police arrested Gates in retaliation for insisting on receiving that information.

President Obama called the arrest "stupid" and said the United States has a long history of targeting Blacks for investigation, arrest and prosecution.

Black Professor Violated the Unwritten Rule that Blacks May not and Must Not Ask Police Officers for Their Names and Badge Number, even laws and regulations require police to provide this information.

(Effectively, Blacks have no rights that a police officer is bound to respect, or the vindication of which may be pursued effectively through a formal complaint to a police department.)

Black Americans, including President Obama, and many whites, are furious and disgusted that Black scholar Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr. was arrested on the porch of his own home in Massachusetts, after a neighbor called and told police that two Black men were trying to enter a home. In fact, Dr. Gates was trying to enter his own home, where the lock was giving him difficulty when the police arrived.

Harvard Professor Gates showed his Harvard and personal identification to prove that he was in his own home. Then Professor Gates did something that no Black person in America has a right to do without being arrested. He insisted on knowing the officer's name and badge number.

Of course, by regulation or law, police are supposed to wear badges that identify them by last name and badge number, but police regularly ignore this requirement, engage in behavior that may well violate the rights of the public, and then refuse to identify themselves, which frustrates any attempt at police accountability.

This is precisely what happened at the home of Black Harvard University scholar Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr. And when the professor insisted on receiving information which police are obliged to provide, the officer instead responded with a retaliatory arrest and held Professor Gates for four hours, obliging his friends to come and rescue him from the police department, and then pressing no charges because, in reality and as police have acknowledged, the professor did nothing for which anyone should have been arrested.

From the African American Political Pundit blog, here is the statement from Professor Gates' attorney, Charles Ogletree, who is an internationally known professsor in his own right and has taught and provided guidance to President Obama:

Statement on Behalf of Henry Louis Gates, Jr. -- by Charles Ogletree

This brief statement is being submitted on behalf of my client, friend, and colleague, Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. This is a statement concerning the arrest of Professor Gates. On July 16, 2009, Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., 58, the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor of Harvard University, was headed from Logan airport to his home [in] Cambridge after spending a week in China, where he was filming his new PBS documentary entitled “Faces of America.” Professor Gates was driven to his home by a driver for a local car company. Professor Gates attempted to enter his front door, but the door was damaged. Professor Gates then entered his rear door with his key, turned off his alarm, and again attempted to open the front door. With the help of his driver they were able to force the front door open, and then the driver carried Professor Gates’ luggage into his home.

Professor Gates immediately called the Harvard Real Estate office to report the damage to his door and requested that it be repaired immediately. As he was talking to the Harvard Real Estate office on his portable phone in his house, he observed a uniformed officer on his front porch. When Professor Gates opened the door, the officer immediately asked him to step outside. Professor Gates remained inside his home and asked the officer why he was there. The officer indicated that he was responding to a 911 call about a breaking and entering in progress at this address. Professor Gates informed the officer that he lived there and was a faculty member at Harvard University. The officer then asked Professor Gates whether he could prove that he lived there and taught at Harvard. Professor Gates said that he could, and turned to walk into his kitchen, where he had left his wallet. The officer followed him. Professor Gates handed both his Harvard University identification and his valid Massachusetts driver’s license to the officer. Both include Professor Gates’ photograph, and the license includes his address.

Professor Gates then asked the police officer if he would give him his name and his badge number. He made this request several times. The officer did not produce any identification nor did he respond to Professor Gates’ request for this information. After an additional request by Professor Gates for the officer’s name and badge number, the officer then turned and left the kitchen of Professor Gates’ home without ever acknowledging who he was or if there were charges against Professor Gates. As Professor Gates followed the officer to his own front door, he was astonished to see several police officers gathered on his front porch. Professor Gates asked the officer’s colleagues for his name and badge number. As Professor Gates stepped onto his front porch, the officer who had been inside and who had examined his identification, said to him, “Thank you for accommodating my earlier request,” and then placed Professor Gates under arrest. He was handcuffed on his own front porch.

Professor Gates was taken to the Cambridge Police Station where he remained for approximately 4 hours before being released that evening. Professor Gates’ counsel has been cooperating with the Middlesex District Attorneys Office, and the City of Cambridge, and is hopeful that this matter will be resolved promptly. Professor Gates will not be making any other statements concerning this matter at this time.

African American Political Pundit further says,

Read the police report here.

Check out the blog African American Political Pundit for more information.

AAPP: I'm surprised he was not Tasered While Black
Dr. Gates he asked for the officer's name and badge number, which is something that, as a practical matter, Black people are not allowed to do in the United States of America. If they do, they may be beaten, arrested, and charged with "assaulting an officer." Their lives will be turned upside down for a day, a week a year or even for arrest and conviction letters that follow them throughout their lives, preventing them from gaining employment and branding them as criminals.

Like African American Political Pundit, I, too am surprised that Dr. Gates was not shocked with the 50,000 volt mechanisms that police carry, and which often result in electrocution.

There's an old adage that says,
Question: What do you call an 'N-word' with a million dollars?
Answer: An 'N-word'.
Police officers, regardless of their skin color, are trained to perceive people with brown skin not as citizens, but as "N-words". It's a terrible reality about the United States, but even being a well-known acquaintance of the President of the United States and being director of a department at Harvard University did not prevent Professor Gates from being treated like a "N-word" (a person with brown or black skin who has no rights which the police are bound to respect).

The unfortunate truth is that if President Obama himself jogged through any mall in America, he might be tackled by mall security before his Secret Service detail could intervene.