Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Monday, March 29, 2010
Sunday, March 21, 2010
The LA Times reports that LAPD Gang Enforcement officers Allan Corrales and George Diego fatally shot a Black man, 27-year-old Steven Eugene Washington, shortly after midnight on Saturday, March 20. According to his family, the report says, he had learning disabilities and was generally afraid of strangers. Word on the street is he was autistic. The report went on that officers feared for their lives because he didn't respond to their commands and - wait for it - he appeared to be reaching for his waistband.
When I read this story this morning, I couldn't help but think of something that my fitness coach, Erich Nall (aka Coach E) often says when any of us miss his sessions, for what we think are good reasons or whatever. He is hilarious, but a serious and qualified coach and nutritionist whose point hits home everytime.
Here's me: "Coach, sorry I didn't make workout. I had the flu.' Coach: "The old I had the flu trick. Give me 2 loops (miles), a stop sign, another loop, and kiss the baby (meaning you can go home).”
It is 2010. Can't law enforcement come up with anything else besides the old he was reaching for his waistband trick? ANYTHING? Somebody give them a hand. What other excuse can they use?
Related story at FinalCall.com News
The high cost of police brutality
Millions paid out in judgments for abusive officers as cities cut services, furlough workers
LOS ANGELES (FinalCall.com) - Abusive cops are costing already cash-strapped cities across the U.S. millions of dollars in settlements but civil rights activists and attorneys warn that the payouts will continue unless the criminal justice system begins to prosecute its out-of-control officers. http://www.finalcall.com/artman/publish/article_5669.shtml
Friday, March 19, 2010
I just received this statement from Dorrana Stewart, aide to Councilman Michael Johnson of Phoenix, Arizona. Final Call sources and reports indicate that he was taken down and handcuffed by a police officer just for trying to check on a neighbor whose house was burning. You might remember Councilman Johnson from a recent article the Final Call ran on his joint community forum with the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan on Haiti relief efforts. I'll dig into this and get back with the full story in the Final Call, Inshallah.
March 19, 2010
Statement From Councilman Michael Johnson
Early this morning, I woke up to the sound of fire sirens. I ran outside of my house and a paramedic truck was in my driveway and fire trucks lined my street. My neighbor’s house, just two doors down, was engulfed in flames.
I was immediately concerned about the welfare of my neighbor whose house was on fire. He’s disabled and I wanted to ensure he was out of the house safely. I talked to the Fire battalion chief and asked permission to talk to my neighbor. Then I was stopped by a young .
The officer didn’t know that I was a Phoenix City Councilman or that I retired from the Police Department after twenty years of service. Regardless, that shouldn’t have mattered.
I was not confrontational or disrespectful. I simply was concerned about my neighbor’s safety. After repeated requests to talk to the officer’s supervisor, I was told they don’t have a supervisor on scene and “we don’t do it like that out here.” Instead I was thrown to the ground and handcuffed. Face down. In the middle of my street.
The officer’s partner asked the officer to calm down, but the officer continued his aggressive behavior. The officer instructed me to get up and I asked for assistance. I informed the officer I recently had surgery and was unable to stand up without help. I’m very thankful for the firefighters who helped me and prevented me from being dragged across the street to the curb, which the officer said he would do to me.
I am humiliated and in complete disbelief of what just transpired.
This is especially disappointing after I supported a two percent sales tax on food to help keep police on the streets ofPhoenix. This is not the service our residents should be paying for – it’s just wrong. NOT IN OUR CITY.
For years now, I have received calls from residents complaining about I retired from the Phoenix Police Department and couldn’t believe it. How could our harass the very people they promised to protect and serve?, abuse of power – and in some cases, brutality.
If this was any other resident, they would be in jail right now. And for what? Trying to be a good Samaritan and doing absolutely nothing wrong.
Well, things are going to change. I plan to sit down with our chief and discuss the treatment of residents by our police. I’m sure this doesn’t happen all the time, but it happens enough. And it happens to people who can’t say something or who don’t know who they can turn to.
I, Councilman Mike Johnson and Police Department veteran, am going to be the voice for the voiceless and I’m going to be heard.
Before I left Chicago, basking in the glow of Saviours' Day 2010, especially the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan's divine message, "The Time and What Must Be Done," I was interviewed by Sandip Roy of New America Media Now, the radio arm of New America Media. We delved into just why the banking institutions have benefitted most from the stimulus dollars, and not equity rich, but cash poor Black and Latino households that were primarily targeted in the banking/housing scheme that rocked the U.S. economy.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
On Saturday, March 20, Tavis Smiley, national social and political media commentator, will convene a stellar panel of Black leaders to discuss why he feels President Barack Obama needs to drive a Black agenda. (Our own beloved Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan will be a part of the discussion too, Allah willing.)