Police Brutality: An Issue of Human and Civil Rights
Baltimore police are apparently trying to prepare people that almost 3 weeks after the murder of Freddie Gary, they won’t be able to explain on Friday how he was severely injured resulting in his death, who did that to him and why he was arrested in the first place. Their spokesman hinted yesterday that they’re not able to conduct their investigation due to people throwing rocks at them! Since the start of the protests, all they have said is that he made an eye contact with officers and ran and to make it look like his murder was unintentional and due to simple oversight, they have implied that his death happened because he wasn’t buckled in when put in police van. But, people of Baltimore know better. Baltimore Sun reported on September 28, 2014: “The city has paid about $5.7 million since 2011 over lawsuits claiming that police officers brazenly beat up alleged suspects”. This trend could not have continued as it did without impunity and lack of accountability. Nor is this limited to Baltimore or Ferguson or New York. This is systemic and nationwide. While the authorities keep complaining of outsiders coming to Baltimore to join the protests, they bring in the National Guard, police from other cities and states and even troops in full military gear and armed with automatic machine guns. There was a scene where a young man stepped in front of a military tank to stop its movement, similar to a similar incident in Tienemen Square in China in 1989, and several soldiers got out with their weapons drawn and pointing at the young man.
So, will the Baltimore police file charges against any officer in relation to the killing? I for one am not holding my breath. It begs the question though: how come they can identify and arrest, without delay, those who damaged property or threw rocks at the police – 235 people just on Monday – but can’t identify and arrest their own for murder? The key phrase is “their own”. And they have the audacity to criticize other countries, like Russia, China, Iran and Cuba for human rights violations. Even the United Nations that’s loath to criticize the veto power holding empire has repeatedly raised concern over human rights violations by US police departments in inner cities.
What’s also troubling is that the awareness of and indignation over police brutality, which mostly is directed against African Americans, Hispanics and the homeless, is glaringly along racial lines! Just as was the case before the Civil Rights movement of the 50’s and 60’s, once again, whites are asking: “what police brutality?” Former mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani even suggested recently that the Ferguson officer who killed Michael Brown should be commended for what he did! The hosts of the “Morning Joe” show on MSNBC, which should be called “the White Show”, were most concerned about the fact that the baseball game was moved and “Baltimore is now a city without a baseball game”! God Forbid if the city also loses some of its golf courses!
Police brutality is an issue of human and civil rights. What’s needed is a protracted and nationwide campaign of nonstop and militant protests, including acts of civil disobedience and resisting police, similar to the Civil Rights movement of the 50’s and 60’s. The movement must also address the fundamental issues of unemployment, poverty and mass incarceration and unite the white poor with the disenfranchised minorities and face the real enemy which is the corporate elite – the shareholders and CEO’s – behind the military industrial complex that are committing crimes against humanity overseas and human rights violations in cities throughout the U.S.