10 Nov Black Police Daughter
I have never personally been mistreated, harassed or demeaned by a Police officer. My interactions with Police have been related to traffic situations (speeding tickets), and the officers have been professional. In general, I think that the Police are good. They have a needed role in our society to protect and defend. In fact, the Police should be community heroes and sheroes. I like the Police.
So, why did I launch Black Police Daughter on Social Media? I cannot comfortably sit back and watch the battles between the Police and the African American community. According to MappingPoliceViolence.org:
- Police killed at least 102 unarmed black people in 2015, nearly twice each week. (See which police departments were responsible for these deaths)
- Nearly 1 in 3 black people killed by police in 2015 were identified as unarmed, though the actual number is likely higher due to under-reporting
- 37% of unarmed people killed by police were black in 2015 despite black people being only 13% of the U.S. population
- Unarmed black people were killed at 5x the rate of unarmed whites in 2015
- Only 10 of the 102 cases in 2015 where an unarmed black person was killed by police resulted in officer(s) being charged with a crime, and only 2 of these deaths (Matthew Ajibade and Eric Harris) resulted in convictions of officers involved. Only 1 of 2 officers convicted for their involvement in Matthew Ajibade’s death received jail time. He was sentenced to 1 year in jail and allowed to serve this time exclusively on weekends. Deputy Bates, who killed Eric Harris, will be sentenced May 31, 2017.
I decided to concern myself with reports of Police brutality that involve people I do not know. I am inserting myself into the issue of Police reform. My reasons are simple and clear; as a supporter of the Police I believe that they must drastically change their aggressive, sometimes lethal practices. I am not against crime fighting, but I know that people should not be killed at traffic stops or for selling individual cigarettes.
Allow me to be transparent. I like the Police because I am the daughter of a retired and now deceased Charlotte, NC, Policeman. My dad was one of the first African Americans to integrate into the Police force in the 1950s. He patrolled a beat on what was one of Charlotte’s most notorious streets – McDowell Street. Some of the residents were troublemakers. Some were kind and courteous. My dad knew them all, and they knew him. This was Community Policing at its best. When crimes occurred, there was trust and familiarity on both sides.
My dad, though retired from the Police force for years, kept a keen interest in Policing. He was increasingly dismayed at the number of African American men being killed. In Charlotte, it started with the 2013 fatal Police shooting of ex-Florida AM University player Jonathan Ferrell. My dad was troubled that the young man was killed as he looked for help after an auto accident. He was dismayed when the officer who fired multiple rounds into Ferrell was not indicted.
From there, there was a list of other unarmed African American men that grew so long that he lost count. His reactions were the same each time: “There is a way to stop a person without killing them.” My dad passed away in August of this year, and I feel it in my spirit to press on with his desire to promote the value in community policing and end the numbers of unarmed African Americans killed by excessive use of force.
These are the reasons that I launched Black Police Daughter on Facebook and Twitter. I feel the Black and the Blue perspectives: rage, confusion, betrayal and despair. I created a platform to educate and inspire others to join me. I want Police reform and Community Policing in as many neighborhoods as possible.
When it comes to Police reform, here are some of the changes that would result:
- Civilian control and oversight of the police
- Residency requirements
- Community based training for all police officers
- Cash rewards for the exposure, arrest and conviction of corrupt cops
- Congressional public hearings
- Mandatory drug testing for all police officers
- ”Zero tolerance” for substance abuse by police officers
- Integrity tests
- Annual psychological evaluations
I want Community Policing to become the norm in every low income neighborhood. When the people know the cop and the cop knows the people, trust and communication occur. More than this, I advocate for the embedding of Police in neighborhoods. This way the officers are truly a part of the community.
I invite you to follow me, join my page, watch my Facebook Live events and attend upcoming seminars that are planned. If each one of us does something to make our world better, it will happen.