How many Humvees and Tasers does an average police department need? How much pepper spray and teargas? If you have a reputation for killing persons of color, it seems you can never have too many army cast-offs or spend too much of your city's budget on obtaining weapons of war to use against your civilian population, in groups or individually.
How much is a child's life worth? If you're twelve-year-old Tamir Rice or thirteen-year-old Adam Toledo, not much. It's not even worth very much if you're sixteen or seventeen or twenty, especially if there's some money to be made in it for private prisons or immigrant detention centers.
Let's not deny the facts any longer. In a capitalist society neither children nor adults of color nor the poor and homeless of any color or gender identity are seen as having much worth in the eyes of those in power. Those of lesser worth are seen as disposable commodities to the wealthy elites, things to be used and abused and then thrown in a landfill (grave) or cage (prison) at will.
Since testimony began in the Derek Chauvin trial on March 29, at least 64 people have died at the
hands of police nationwide. Black and Brown people
represent more than half of those killed. With the re-opening of public spaces as the world is declared "post-Covid," we should only expect more deaths by cops.
According to Marjorie Cohn:
On April 27, the International Commission of Inquiry on Systemic Racist Police Violence Against People of African Descent in the United States, for which I am serving as a rapporteur, will release its report with findings of fact and recommendations addressed to national and international policy makers. The commission is examining whether police violence against Black people in the U.S. constitutes a gross violation of international human rights and fundamental freedoms. Testimony was presented to the commission by family members and attorneys about police killings of 43 Black people and the paralyzing of another, all of whom were unarmed or were not threatening the officers or others. --The Supreme Court Is Also To Blame For Daunte Wright's Death
So, it's not just Chauvin and his ilk who are at fault. We can't just lay the blame on "a couple of bad apples." Our human rights are being deliberately abridged. The corrupt system that runs our country is to blame for perpetuating this overtly military-style response against its own people.
You aren't seeing things. US policing budgets in total are greater than budgets for the Indian and Russian Armies. Take that Russiagaters! Why should anyone obsess over one poor country like Russia so much when it can't even afford to spend for its actual army as much as we do on just our police?
Could conspiracies like Russiagate be just another way to deflect attention away from things that really matter? A method of keeping the public from dwelling on the number of deaths caused by the police and the fact that kids are still being held in cages along our border with Mexico?
So, why is the US police force the third wealthiest "army" on the
entire planet? (We already have the world's largest conventional army by far.) The answer is clear: we're at war with our own citizens. People of color are
being used for target practice, and all citizens are being forced to pay ever more taxes to cover up police malpractice, that is, police brutality.
When we say "demilitarize the police" it means it's time to take away their military-grade weaponry that is being used against civilians who are exercising their freedom of speech and right to assemble. When we say "defund the police" it's backed up by the above memes which demonstrate just how much money our government pumps into what is one of the best customers of the Military-Industrial Complex, your local police department.
"Demonetize the children" should be self-explanatory. Any cop killing anyone's child--including an adult child--should be charged with murder. Private prisons and detention centers should be closed because no one should be making billions of dollars off the suffering of others, particularly struggling drug addicts and refugees fleeing violence. Compassion not cages should always be our goal.
Until we see money taken away from police departments, away from the Military-Industrial Complex, and away from the pockets of the for-profit prison/detention center industry, we will only see more innocents shot by the police, more protests, and more arrests to fill the prisons.
There's really only one answer to this genocidal mess. Replace cops with social workers to answer calls dealing with people in mental/emotional crises. Take the guns off those who walk a beat much like the British bobbies who don't carry weapons. More empathy, more training, more psychological testing of police recruits. Zero hiring of white supremacists, zero military equipment, zero lethal force allowed.
Abolish the police and replace them with what we need, not what the gun manufacturers want. And stop putting a price tag on human life.
Found on Facebook:
My name is Kyle Bibby and I served in the Marine Corps as an Infantry Officer for over six years. As a Black man who earned the uniform and served this country, I, along with many other Black veterans, am growing concerned with the military equipment being utilized by police departments across the country.
Increasingly, the training, equipment, and ultimately philosophy of policing in the United States are being modeled to approach American civilians as threats. Police departments receive militarized vests, armored vehicles, weaponry, and training that they end up deploying against civilians in the streets — especially Black and brown civilians.
Over the past year, we’ve witnessed a consistent and utterly unacceptable deployment of force by uniformed police, and a culture of violence that seeks to dominate communities rather than serve and heal them. If we’ve learned anything, it’s that we can’t continue this war in our streets.
Yet, the trend of the military giving police combat gear is getting worse, not better — the police are on track to get more military hardware in 2021 than they did in 2020. Congress needs to act.
We must all come together as veterans and civilian supporters to condemn the use of war force in our streets. Sign this petition today to DEMAND that Congress pressure the Biden Administration and the Department of Defense to stop giving police combat gear.
I became a Marine in 2007, but I'll be Black my entire life, treated differently in and out of my uniform.
I know that any interaction with police could all too easily lead to detention, injury, or death. The police don’t care that I’ve gone to war to protect this country — I could be the next George Floyd, or Daunte Wright, solely due to the color of my skin.
While many are saying that our system is broken, I have to disagree. Our system is working the way it was designed — to oppress and disenfranchise the Black community while disguising it as “law and order”. The rot is to the core and to the roots.
Simple reform isn’t enough: We must dismantle the system brick by brick and push for transformative change together by standing strong and not allowing our justice system to stay the same any longer.
Unleashing the military on the people is not the solution and will not stop protests, it will only create more pain and death in our streets. Join us today by signing this petition to DEMAND that Congress and the Biden Administration end the flow of military weapons and training to our police.
We have the momentum to make real, lasting change — now we need your help to mobilize and organize passionate people ready to make a difference.
U.S. Marine Corps veteran, Afghanistan
JUSTICE FOR DAUNTE WRIGHT MEANS DEFUNDING AND ABOLISHING THE POLICE
The Movement for Black Lives and our supporters support the family and community of Daunte Wright who had his life ripped from him by former police officer Kim Potter. Daunte was a beloved son, brother and father to a two-year-old. We’re grieving alongside his family and community, and will continue fighting to defund the police in the pursuit of justice and Black liberation.
A police officer murdered Daunte just miles from where another officer murdered George Floyd last year. As Black people in Minnesota and across the country have been forced to relive George Floyd’s murder during the ongoing trial of his murderer, Derek Chauvin, the murder of Daunte Wright is a harsh reminder of the daily threat the police pose to Black lives, while police departments continue to be rewarded with outsized budgets and impunity.
Police killed 121 people in traffic stops in 2020, and Black people are pulled over at disproportionate rates with deadly consequences — Sandra Bland, Philando Castile and now Daunte Wright. A traffic stop should never be a death sentence. There is no excuse for the continued murders and terror inflicted by police.
As the Brooklyn Center, Minneapolis, and broader Minnesota communities grieve, a militarized police force continues to perpetrate tremendous harm on a community in mourning, with police officers recklessly shooting tear gas at protestors and arresting and jailing people at protests for extended periods of time in an intentional effort to further terrorize and silence our communities.
Charging Kim Potter is not enough to create real accountability for police or real safety for these communities. Ultimately only defunding and abolishing the police will stop this terror and bring about real safety. There is no ‘reforming’ this system—the time is now to divest from deadly policing and invest in a vision of public safety that protects us all.
We’re calling for all those who stand in defense of Black lives to support Black-led organizations in Minneapolis and across Minnesota as they continue to support and mobilize their communities in this moment. If you’re able, send donations to:
The Movement for Black Lives will continue to carry Daunte with us as we fight for the justice that Black people and communities deserve.
The Movement for Black Lives