Nuggets of Wisdom

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Police Abuse Isn’t Just A Race Issue


An ex-Philly police officer has testified to stealing drug money and planting evidence. Many of his targets were selected by race and appearance. He and his fellow cops have been known to steal up to “$110,000 at a time during violent, no-warrant raids.”

This sounds like it should be national news, right next to the corruption surrounding the Ferguson Police Department. But it’s not. Why? Because the cop was black:
A disgraced ex-police officer testifying against his drug squad colleagues acknowledged Tuesday that he stole drug money, planted evidence and lied on police paperwork too many times to count.

Jeffrey Walker told jurors that the Philadelphia Police Department drug squad targeted white "college-boy ... khaki-pants types" who were "easy to intimidate."

That matches the description of some of the drug dealers who have testified at the six-week police corruption trial that the squad stole as much as $110,000 at a time during violent, no-warrant raids.

Lead defendant Thomas Liciardello always got a cut of the stolen money, while the others split "jobs" that they worked, Walker said. The city's police brass often celebrated the squad's work with splashy news conferences to announce large seizures.

"They liked that, as far as the bosses and supervisors were concerned. It made them look good. It was nothing but a dog and pony show," Walker testified.

More than 160 drug convictions have been overturned since Walker pleaded guilty and the others were named in a 26-count indictment. Scores of civil-rights lawsuits are pending over the arrests. Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey has voiced his disgust with the squad's alleged crimes while continuing his effort to clean out and reform the 7,000-member department.
Too often, discussion about police corruption and abuse are framed around "white cops versus black men." This really shouldn’t be so. There’s no doubt that racial discrimination serves as a major aspect of systematic corruption, but it isn’t the only aspect, nor should it be the sole focus.

Christopher Cantwell said as much in his blog post last week:
Seems like a great time to talk about the violence inherent in the State apparatus. Seems like we should be discussing the fact that the penalty for disobeying the edicts of politicians is always death. Maybe we should look at the economic consequences of services being imposed upon unwilling customers by governments. Perhaps we should be warning white people who think this is a black problem, if there are any, that they aren’t safe from the menace that police present to a society. I think it’s long overdue that we stop turning police into heavily armed babysitters with the war on drugs.

Perhaps we should address that police are paid through taxation, and since taxation is theft, there is no such thing as a good cop. I’d certainly appreciate if society would consider that people who lash out violently against law enforcement, are acting in a perfectly rational manner. I think it would be really productive to begin discussing what the penalty should be for a police officer’s dedication to a career in oppressing others. Maybe we could talk about how well communities do when police stop “doing their jobs”.

It’s been reported that Walter Scott wasn’t the most upstanding of characters. He’s been arrested about ten times. He was behind on his child support, and it is suspected that he might have run from Slager because he feared being jailed once again for failure to pay. Seems like a great time to address the obvious fact that suspended drivers licenses and prison sentences are terribly ineffective methods of collecting debts. Maybe we should address the power disparity that exists between men and women on subjects of abortion and child support.

Imagine how much better off we would be as a society, as a species even, if these were the topics that came up when the most powerful government in the history of mankind, constitutionally designed to be the smallest and most limited, shot a man in the back on video after pulling him over for a broken tail light.

If you wanted to sabotage that progress from taking place, how would you go about doing that? I would probably make the discussion about race. That always seems to prevent anything productive from happening. If we make this a white vs. black issue, then we can totally avoid discussing any of those topics, and while we’re at it, we can set race relations back to the civil war.
Indeed. We should be focusing on the obscene amount of leniency the states grant police officers to “do their jobs”, especially when it comes to using lethal force against citizens—armed or unarmed. Instead, the conversation is always divided by black and white, and the only people who benefit from that conversation are the race baiters who instigate it.

Though if it’s of any consolation, as far as the Walter Scott case goes, his family forbade known race hustler Al Sharpton from attending his funeral—which he would have mostly likely have hijacked for political points. Good on them.