August 13, 2014
By Mike Caccioppoli
“Get the fuck on the sidewalk.” That is how it all started. Not, “Please move onto the sidewalk” or “How about you kids walk on the sidewalk” but “Get the fuck on the sidewalk.” And they want respect. The police that is. Would you respect that?
So another person, another black man was killed by a police officer. This time it was because he was walking on the street and not on the sidewalk. The last time a police officer yelled at someone for walking on the street it was probably 1950. But in 1950 a police officer wouldn’t be caught cursing at someone. What happened? They used to go out of their way to be polite even if the person they were dealing with wasn’t. They would use phrases such as “please, thank you sir, thank you ma’am.” They would do what they could to de-escalate a situation if one were to arise.
Not anymore. Now they curse at two black guys because they dare to walk on the street with few or no cars on it, instead of the sidewalk. When they tell this officer that they aren’t but a minute from grandma’s house, he flings open his door and proceeds to escalate the situation. The way a criminal might if someone doesn’t want to hand over their property.
This officer (I can’t call him by his name because the Ferguson police department won’t tell us who the killer is). Oh you can bet your sweet ass that if one of those guys had killed the officer the entire universe would have known their name instantly. Anyway, the officer then, by every account other than his own of course, tries to pull 18 year old Michael Brown into the police car. Then his gun comes out and his shoots at Brown. This wasn’t enough of a penalty for walking on the street though. No, he then gets out of the car and shoot Brown again, in the back. Still not enough punishment for walking on the street. When Brown puts his hands up and is several feet away from the officer, the cop shoots several more times, leaving Brown in a pool of his own blood.
This is the description, if you believe everyone other than the nameless officer, of an execution. A cold blooded killing. Brown’s friend who was walking with him, Dorian Johnson, told this story as did several other witnesses.
But even though we all get into the details, we shouldn’t get too caught up in them. I mean a mostly white jury will probably believe the word of the white officer who did the killing rather than any black witnesses anyway. Just as Ferguson, Missouri is 75 percent black with a police force that is 94 percent white. So the details are tangential from the real story here, which is another police officer killing an unarmed person. Remember this officer like all officers also has a tazer gun as well. That is supposed to be used..well…for unarmed suspects who are physically threatening to the officer. Still even in that instance the threat has to be real and provable.
Michael Brown was walking on the street. Eric Garner who was choked to death on Staten Island, was selling loose cigarettes. Neither had any type of weapon on them. There are many other cases, as we are now learning even out of Ferguson, where officers shot someone countless times or tazed them countless times, leading to the person’s death.
We are seeing police in military gear now in Ferguson. They are in camouflage…camouflage! Tell me what vast desert or jungle they are working in that they need camouflage. What war are they fighting that they need this gear along with the tanks that are designed and meant for places like Iraq and Afghanistan?
Is this what we are paying for? To live in this kind of world? This paranoid, us vs. them mentality that these police forces have. Are we to be occupied by them? People have been protesting in Ferguson. They have been attempting to exercise their constitutional rights and yet there are the police, telling them they have no right. They have been tear gassing people who are on their own property chanting slogans at the police. This is what we are all paying for.
Enough is enough. The “investigation” into this execution by cop must be taken out of the hands of some of the same people who are at least partially responsible for what happened to Michael Brown. The conflict of interest is too great. Those same police cannot be allowed to tear gas people who are protesting. It’s time for the Feds to be sent in, to take over in every aspect. Justice must be served.
What we are seeing has taken us back to before the civil rights act. The United States is going backwards. Yes, none of us are immune to this current police brutality, but lets face it, I’d rather be white than black right now. These are no longer “isolated” incidents, it’s an epidemic. If we keep on fooling ourselves into believing it’s anything other than this, we are doomed as a society.
I am white and the police have lost my respect. I see a police car now, even here in San Francisco and my heart drops. Could this be the time I’m involved in an “altercation”? Maybe because I’m crossing in the middle of the street? Or maybe this is when I’m a witness to some horrible case of police brutality. This is why all good cops needs to be as outraged as I am. They are not the enemy but they are being seen as the enemy because of what their fellow officers are doing. And in many cases they are backed up by other cops simply because of that “thin blue line” bullshit.
Dorian Johnson said the officer looked shocked after the first shot, as though he was surprised by what he had done. Then he took a little time before walking over to Brown and shooting him dead. Seems as though the officer felt he should finish the job so Brown couldn’t tell everyone what happened. That last line are my words not Johnson’s.
What happened in Ferguson was an execution. A murder in cold blood. Make no mistake if we are silent, if things don’t change and justice isn’t served, one of us is next.