The genesis of Southern states local police departments were mostly born of slave patrols organized and financed by plantation/slave owners.
Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation “freed the slaves” but Lincoln made a deal with the Southern states to allow them to enforce their own set of local laws called, “Black Codes” which were used to jail blacks and blacks who refused to work for “slave wages.” The “Black Codes” were enforced by slave patrols and KKK-filled police departments.
To this day institutionalized racism permeates America’s 18,000 police departments requiring the complete abolition and replacement of all 18,000 police depts.
WHAT CAN CONGRESS DO RIGHT NOW?
One thing our Congress should do IMMEDIATELY to ELIMINATE OVERNIGHT the great majority of police brutality and murder is to pass a federal law decriminalizing all non-violent misdemeanor offenses.
The great majority of all police brutality/murder cases occur during attempted misdemeanor arrests. If we eliminate non-violent misdemeanor arrests, we categorically eliminate the great majority of police brutality/murder cases. Did you know the nationwide average for felony arrest per officer is approx. one felony arrest per year? The great majority of officer arrests in their career are indeed misdemeanor arrests. Felony arrests per officer are far less frequent than most people realize: eliminate all non-violent misdemeanors from arrest and you just eliminated the great majority of all police brutality/murder cases.
The Scale of Misdemeanor Justice
“The first notable fact the data reveal is no surprise: the volume of misdemeanor cases is very high. By the NCSC’s accounting, misdemeanor cases represent approximately three-quarters of the criminal justice cases processed in the United States.”
Decriminalizing misdemeanors means instead of an officer arresting a person for a non-violent misdemeanor, the officer issues a citation with a court date. If and when one fails to appear in court on a misdemeanor case, your driver’s license is suspended – you’re unable to renew until you go to court and clear up your misdemeanor case.
This federal law would eliminate the possibility of police brutality and murder occurring during non-violent misdemeanor arrests.
It is essential one realize there are over 18,000 police departments in America and you are not going to “fix” these police departments one at a time.
It is essential one recognize that institutionalized racism, bad department/municipal policies and practices permeate virtually every single one of the 18,000 police departments in America.
Take the problem of police unions protecting accused cops from justice, the problem of institutionalized racism, the problem of police investigating police, and multiply these problems by 18,000 police depts. and one can see the difficulty.
THE POLICE PROBLEM is solved by federalizing our nations’ 18,000 police departments under one federal police force operating under federal guidelines, hiring & disciplinary practices including Dept. of Justice oversight of citizen complaints against officers.
THE SOLUTION is to pass a federal amendment creating a national police force a fraction of the size of the current number of police depts. while simultaneously disbanding all 18,000 police departments.
This new “Federal Police Force” would handle only 911 emergency calls involving violence or credible threat of violence. You could bring a police chief from each major city to testify to Congress the FACT that well below 50% of all 911 calls require armed personnel response. The great majority of 911 calls need UNARMED COMMUNITY RESPONSE – not an armed “Federal Police Force” response.
The benefits of operating a “Federal Police Force” are immense:
*approx. one-third the size of all 18,000 police depts. in the aggregate;
*frees up half a municipal budget for each city due to the elimination of a municipality’s police budget; currently and traditionally, over half of a city’s budget goes to the local police department;
*brand new hiring and training practices, including robust, innovative psychological profiling of police candidates;
*U.S. Justice Dept. replacing “cops investigating cops” investigating and prosecuting use of force complaints.
*Local prosecution of police officers under local/state laws are a waste of time, money and energy; instead, police officers should be indicted, prosecuted, convicted and sentenced under U.S.C. TITLE 18, SEC. 242 in a federal courtroom.
The concept of a new “Federal Police Force” features federal law enforcement of our civil and constitutional rights. Imagine an America where a citizen can actually summon federal police to enforce your constitutional rights in a given situation – something not possible and unheard of today!
Perhaps you’re not familiar with one of the most, if not the most important federal law on the books: U.S.C. TITLE 18, SEC. 242 Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law.
The law is straightforward: Basically any person acting under color of law who violates a person’s civil/constitutional rights is guilty of violating this law and it carries a minimum penalty of one year in federal prison and up to life in prison, depending upon the severity of the violation.
Police officers, elected or unelected officials, nursing home administrators, anyone whose employment position requires one to follow a set of local, county, state or federal laws, rules, regulations or guidelines is a PERSON ACTING UNDER COLOR OF LAW.
Every person acting under color of law OWES A STATUTORY AND CONSTITUTIONAL DUTY to uphold the constitutional rights of any person they encounter in the course of their employment.
When a person acting under color of law violates a person’s constitutional rights, they violate U.S.C. TITLE 18, SEC. 242 and are subject to be prosecuted and sent to federal prison under said federal law.
This is what is missing in America, in Washington, in Americans’ daily lives.
LITERALLY GETTING AWAY WITH MURDER:
In the past 15 years, over 100 officers have been charged with murder, but only three have been convicted.
Even when the video and eye witness evidence is presented to a jury, white jurists have acquitted 99% of officers.
I contend this is because of racism and classism in America. Recent polls indicate approximately one-third or more of Americans do not support the removal of confederate symbols across the United States. I contend the high probability exists that one-third or more of a given police dept. is comprised of officers who engage in racist acts against persons.
The current system is designed to protect the officer from liability and accountability; most of the time, all an officer has to do to beat a murder charge is to claim he acted because he was in fear of his life, so he shot him or her. By some strange “coincidence” the majority of police murder victims are people of color, at the hands of a white officer.
ELIMINATE CURRENT POLICE UNIONS/TERMINATE CONTRACTS
Police Unions provide strong cover for the accused officer, in great contravention of the public interest.
Police union officials DO NOT OPERATE in the public interest one iota.
ELIMINATE IAD (Internal Affairs Depts.)
As long as you have members of a police dept. investigating citizen complaints against their fellow department members, police brutality and murder will thrive under those conditions.
That’s why you see cops doing horrific things to people in broad daylight, in front of a crowd of people; because the killer cop knows Internal Affairs cleared his last 9 complaints, so the cop feels EMBOLDENED to beat, kick, punch, choke, slap and shoot his victims at will without fear of department consequence.
ELIMINATE ARMED UNIFORMED PATROL OFFICERS
Too many armed, uniformed officers patrolling and responding to 911 calls.
ELIMINATE BAD POLICIES AND PRACTICES – institute new legislation and effective policies/practices
As if institutionalized racism wasn’t bad enough, police departments have been engaging in very bad policies and practices.
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“Warrior Cops” – a common mindset of cops with a personnel record that reads like a career criminal rap sheet; they know they are the All-Powerful One duly authorized to exact justice in the manner they see fit, to whomever they deem worthy of their brand of justice. “Warrior Cops” view themselves as “The Punishers.” They believe they exist to punish who they believe should be punished.
“Warrior Cops” develop nasty habits of viciously assaulting their victims without worry of police dept. accountability setting in.
Once an officer gets a few of these “clearances” by IAD, that officer knows what he can get away with next time. (Internal Affairs Division)
That’s how a police dept. produces a monster like Derek Chauvin, who murdered George Floyd in broad daylight in front of God, cellphone cameras and witnesses; yet there was Chauvin, hands resting inside his pockets while Chauvin non-chalantly drained the lifeblood from George Floyd.
Officer Chauvin had been cleared in 18 prior citizen complaints filed against Chauvin – his police record is another example of how police “whitewash” department investigations and why local police should never be allowed to investigate local police, period.
Truth be known, there has been a shocking number of people who were injured or killed by police due to what police call, “disrespecting police.”
The Warrior Cop believes he is justified in issuing corporal punishment at will if he perceives what most people would call “verbally disrespecting police.”
Police officers are members of a violent high-risk group to be avoided at all costs.
How did America go from your local, friendly neighborhood beat cop to the militarized “Warrior Cop” ?????
Undoubtly, it is a mix of the War On Terror and U.S. police departments sending their recruits to Israel for “terrorist training.”
Thousands of American law enforcement officers frequently travel for training to one of the few countries where policing and militarism are even more deeply intertwined than they are here: Israel.
In the aftermath of 9/11, Israel seized on its decades-long experience as an occupying force to brand itself as a world leader in counterterrorism. U.S. law enforcement agencies took the Jewish state up on its expertise by participating in exchange programs sponsored by an array of pro-Israel groups, like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, and the Anti-Defamation League. Over the past decade and a half, scores of top federal, state, and local police officers from dozens of departments from across the U.S. have gone to Israel to learn about its terrorism-focused policing.
Yet Israel’s policing prowess is marred by its primary purpose: occupation. Israel has carried out a half-century of military rule in the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza, an occupation rife with abuses. The country’s police and security forces also regularly violate the rights of Palestinians and immigrants inside of Israel’s 1967 borders.
“A lot of the policing that folks are observing and being talked to about in these trips is policing that happens in a nondemocratic context,” said Alex Vitale, a sociology professor at Brooklyn College and author of a forthcoming book on global policing. “It involves either military policing, border control policing, or policing of folks in the occupied territories who aren’t full legal subjects in the Israeli legal system.”
While attention on the militarization of American police forces has intensified in recent years, spurring some reforms that the Trump administration has already undone, U.S.-Israel police exchange programs have carried on without much public scrutiny.
This week, a delegation of top American law enforcement officers is in Israel for the ADL’s National Counter-Terrorism Seminar, which includes training on topics, such as “leadership in a time of terror” and “balancing the fight against crime and terrorism,” according to literature by the group advertising the trip. More than 200 law enforcement executives from over 100 departments in the U.S. and abroad, immigration enforcement agencies, and even campus police have participated in the ADL program since it launched in 2004.