By Christopher “Flood the Drummer®” Norris
8.11.16: Philadelphia – (National): More atrocious than what was actually stated in the Department of Justice’s report on the Baltimore Police Department – confirmed within the document were the suspicions that black citizens, maligned whenever possible by officers, are disproportionately impacted by unlawful policing, including often being stopped and search in the absence of reasonable suspicion or probable cause (95% of residents who were stopped by BPD more than ten times over the past five-and-a-half years were African-American, New York Magazine reports) – was the Mayor’s assertion that the findings “have nothing do with” Mr. Freddie Gray’s arrest – the detainment was made legal because Mr. Gray at age 25 made eye contact with a police officer and then, while in a high crime area, ran from them – and demise from injuries sustained while in police custody: his death was ruled a homicide though no one was held accountable.
Though frustrating to hear, Baltimore Mayor Mrs. Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, who requested the DOJ investigation into her police department following the death of Mr. Gray, is technically, though not morally, correct to assert that the findings released yesterday are separate from the April 2015 event which catalyzed the investigation. In fact, a pattern is emerging in America wherein police departments, following a DOJ assessment or investigation, are publicly condemned by the federal government for its many inexcusable flaws, yet neither the officer-involved shootings or controversial encounters that either catalyzed the investigation or surrounded it are woven into the narrative of the findings nor are they seen as egregious enough to warrant its own federal investigation.
How can the DOJ find policing institutions, like the BPD, capable of violating their oath to the public through shoddy policing but not condemn or charge individual officers – for example, those involved in the arrest and injuring of Mr. Gray – whose haphazard work ethic are equally flawed?
For example, after 12 year-old Mr. Tamir Rice was shot within seconds of officers’ arrival to a snow-covered Cleveland park in 2014 where the minor was playing unsupervised with a toy gun, the DOJ in 2015 found (the investigation began in 2013) that the CPD engages in a pattern or practice of unreasonable and unnecessary excessive force, including shootings, in violation of the Fourth Amendment. But despite this fact, the DOJ only said it would continue its independent analysis of the matter and would review Mr. Rice’s family plea for a federal investigation.
Why wouldn’t Mr. Rice’s case automatically trigger a federal investigation given the dastardly circumstances of the department that was directly responsible for his death?
(Article continued below. CLICK HERE for more info on promotional opportunities)
Another example of this disconnection can be found in Philadelphia: following the December 2014 fatal officer-involved shooting of Mr. Brandon Tate-Brown, who at age 26 was killed by an officer while unarmed and fleeing, the DOJ in March of 2015 released its assessment of deadly force in the Philadelphia Police Department (the investigation began in 2013 at the behest of then police commissioner Mr. Charles Ramsey) and found that PPD officers, like Mr. Nicholas Carrelli, who killed Mr. Tate-Brown, “do not receive regular, consistent training on the department’s deadly force policy.”
But even with this fact acknowledged, the DOJ didn’t even release a statement on the killing – the incident is controversial because officials said Mr. Tate-Brown was reaching into a car for a gun when shot but he was actually near the trunk with his back towards the officer – let alone pledge to consider a federal investigation.
These reports from the DOJ about various police departments are merely “novels” based on a movie whose ending the public has already seen, said Mr. Asa Khalif, a #BlackLivesMatter activist who was arrested in Baltimore for violating the curfew set during the uprising following Mr. Gray’s death and who was an older cousin to Mr. Tate-Brown.
“Residents of Baltimore knew that the police were corrupt; they’ve suffered abuse for years… that’s what the uprising was about,” Mr. Khalif, in his first exclusive interview with Techbook Online since leaving the Philly Coalition for R.E.A.L Justice, said. “These reports confirm what black and brown people already understood; so the question to the federal government becomes: How are you going to make amends?”
**Techbook Online is now available in Apple News! Search for ‘Techbook Online’ and add the channel!**
Thanks for reading. Until next time, I’m Flood the Drummer® & I’m Drumming for JUSTICE!™
About Christopher “Flood the Drummer®” Norris
About Techbook Online Corporation®:
Source: TBO Inc®
©2016 All Rights Reserved.
author, Baltimore Police Department, Black Lives Matter, Black Male Journalists, Brandon Tate-Brown, Cause Marketing, Christopher Norris Philadelphia, Civic Engagement, Cleveland, Digital, Doers, Freddie Gray, Justice, Local Content Producers, Media Justice, Millennial Leaders, Millennial Thought Leaders, Millennials, Native Advertising Solutions, News Organization, Philadelphia Black Male Journalist, Philadelphia News Organization, Philadelphia Police Department, Philadelphia Publishing Firms, Quality Journalism, Social Media Innovation, Storyteller, Tamir Rice, Techbook Online Corporation, technology, writer