In the words of Charles Dutton in 1993’s Menace II Society: “The hunt is on and you’re the prey.” In just a couple of months, we’ve seen several high-profile cases involving overaggressive police who are abusing their tax-payer given jobs. Unarmed men like Eric Garner, Mike Brown and – earlier this week – Ezell Ford were killed at the hands or guns–of police. The police are out here and it feels like its open season on us. What’s scarier is that we are (seemingly) powerless to do anything. The truth couldn’t be further from reality.
Here what you CAN do.
1. Educate your kids, friends, family – and yourself**.**
Black men/boys and Black women/girls need education on how to conduct themselves with police. It is not a matter of right and wrong. It is a matter of life and death. Remember: both males and females are being victimized by the crooked cops. Click here to read a MommyNoire story from a Black cop (by way of his daughter) on how to deal with cops. We don’t have to agree, but its important to know the state of mind of a regular police officer.
Know your rights. When I was a young man, the police used to pull me over constantly. I wasn’t doing anything, so I ignorantly would let them search my car. There were times when they would seemingly be looking to make some kind of case. The same thing happened with my brother. They apprehended him and tried to force somebody at a hospital to say he robbed them. Its not all brutality, but it sure is terrorism.
You have the right to remain silent. If you wish to exercise that right, say so out loud.
You have the right to refuse to consent to a search of yourself, your car or your home.
If you are not under arrest, you have the right to calmly leave. - You have the right to a lawyer if you are arrested. Ask for one immediately.
Regardless of your immigration or citizenship status, you have constitutional rights.
Do stay calm and be polite.
Do not interfere with or obstruct the police.
Do not lie or give false documents.
Do prepare yourself and your family in case you are arrested.
Do remember the details of the encounter.
Do file a written complaint or call your local ACLU if you feel
2. Protests Protest! PROTEST!
Protesting and marching has been criticized as ineffective, but the protest remains one of the best ways to get the attention and respect of police, media and the general population. (It shows we still care)
3. Create demands
There are a number of agenda’s floating around and many of them include the families of police brutality’s victims. Still, there is a need for a universal, overarching document that is bent on solutions and results.
4. Record and watch the police
Cop Watch has had the right idea since 1990. They have been documenting and monitoring the illicit activities of rogue cops like no other organization. See also: http://copwatchnyc.org and http://www.copblock.org. You don’t need to be in an organization to catch misconduct as it happens. With the rise of the smart phone and other devices, everybody is set to document potential madness.
5. Let the cops know…we are recording
I don’t know that this will help, because some of them seem to be hell-bent on draconian, racist and oppressive behavior. However, I have never been one to just watch somebody die. Unfortunately, jumping in could yield more disastrous results. Scream at them, yell and let them know, they are being tape and monitored.
6. Take legal action against crooked cops
Far too many cops know the law is on their side. And too many people feel they don’t stand a chance in the legal system. Sue, sue SUE! It may not be easy, but it can get results. Hit them in the wallet. If you are illegally stopped don’t just think that is how it is. Report it so that it can be documented. Report it to the ACLU, Center for Constitutional Rights or a similar organization. The only way people were able to sue New York City for Stop & Frisk was because someone reported it.
7. Read and watch the news
The television still serves a purpose here and there. It helps you see laws that are forming and other crimes that may relate to Eric Garner, John Crawford, Michael Brown, and Ezell Ford. All of these presently alleged crimes have happened within a months time. Reading alternative media will help us see there are other cases that don’t make mainstream headlines. There’s a movement to get police equipped with cameras to further monitor their conduct. We need to know these things so we can support acts that support us.
8. Raise hell in the media
The mainstream news may not care about the death of an unarmed Black man or woman, but most people do. They need to see it. If you or a loved one is the victim of police brutality, you better raise hell until they pay attention. Until “they” do, harness nontraditional media, social media and even flyers and stickers – whatever it takes.
9. Create a dialogue with the police
This may or may not work, to be real. It seems like these brutal police officers have no desire to be social with those that want to reform their way of work. Still, there are groups like 100 Blacks In Law Enforcement that can facilitate a meaningful, productive dialogue. As the body count grows, every means must be utilized.
10. Vote against those that support police brutality
Either you are are for police brutality or you aren’t. There’s no middle ground. Vote against those politicians that are silent on the matter or overly supportive of police when brutality occurs.
11. Take pictures and keep a diary!
All victims of police brutality don’t die. Many are beaten, harassed or endure other forms of excessive force. Document everything. Take pictures. Write details down. Get support from those that witnessed the act.
12. Stay cool
Again, when you are dealing with a potentially brutal or murderous cop, the best way to deal with them is to see a rabid, wild, unpredictable dog before you. If you regard them in this way, the approach is a bit different and you can remove any “reasons” to attack. You may not convert him, but you may save your life.
13. Report them anyway
I personally haven’t done this, so I don’t know how it works at the day’s end. If there is an officer that reeks of brutality or that gives off a threatening vibe, get their badge number (if you can) and report them after you have stayed cool. According to a recent study in New Jersey, a whopping 99 percent of all reported cases of brutality against police go uninvestigated. We have to improve that statistic. Stay resolute.
14. Sign a petition!
Tweet! Share stories! Engage in dialogue! Do something! There are a number of ways to act without marching or protesting and yet these seemingly menial acts do help. One person can educate hundreds just by posting a comment or article on Facebook. That post could ignite the next mind, which eventually sparks the next revolution!
Here’s a petition to sign: www.change.org/petitions/national-action-against-police-brutality
Join a Facebook group (Or reap the information, understanding you will probably added to some database of insurgents): https://www.facebook.com/policebrutality
15. Seriously – revolution is here
Get down or lay down. People of all races, colors, creeds, countries are ready to WILD THE F**K OUT AND RIOT IN THE NAME OF JUSTICE! Pardon me. People of all races, colors, creeds, countries need to stand unified against the devilish scourge of police brutality that has plagued this country in some form since its inception. The time has come for it to die, even as government moves to militarize those that are supposedly meant to “serve and protect.” Malcolm X said, “America is the first country… that can actually have a bloodless revolution.” I hope he was right.