(BALTIMORE – July 9, 2016) – This morning Baltimore local and statewide activist Kinji Scott, who happens to be gay, and often remarks of himself in self-deprecating fashion as someone who “may be a ‘faggie’ or a ‘sissie'” (terms of which I do not agree, and only mention them because if you know him, you understand his true authenticity), but he is one of the bravest, most courageous, and unapologetically Black brothers I can think of this morning. In expressing himself, he changed the narrative of all that has taken place in Dallas and the lens from which we should view it with these very few but choice and profound words:
“My prayers are with the family of Micah Xavier Johnson. The racist culture of American policing created him, and then killed him.”
I have to agree.
On a solemn note, if you can’t feel any pain from the recent tragedies of Alton Sterling in LA, Philando Castile, in MN, and little known, Ronnie Shumpert in MS (genitals mauled by K-9, then shot multiple times at close range by Tupelo PD) then you were dead anyway. Big ups to my good friends, Chris Stewart, Esq., Jason Bamberg, Esq., for taking on the Sterling case, and Carlos Moore for taking Shumpert’s.
However, my prayers this morning are too with the family of Micah Xaviar Johnson. American racism can drive some people into mental despair. Witnessing human suffering caused not just by those who have a badge, a gun, and the license to snuff-out a life, but by those who abuse their power over one’s livelihood, their housing, educational opportunities, healthcare, relationships, and pursuit of happiness. They too have been pulling the triggers on African Americans for a long time now. And while some of these people may never physically take a life, they do a lot of damage mentally to the human psyche. Moreover, too many times we’ve seen savages like Dylan Roof, who has committed some of the most heinous crimes, taken into custody without incident while pathological sufferers like Christopher Dorner get burned to ashes in a cabin in San Bernardino, CA, and Micah X. Johnson gets blown to smithereens in Dallas, TX. This is not okay, and we should not be afraid to publicly speak-out on it.
So, when you finish mourning the loss of the Dallas Police Department (DPD), and it too was a tragedy, start thinking about the violence that is being exacted upon civilian outlaws and those suffering from mental illnesses, particularly AA suspects and patients. The forced used on Johnson was excessive. Yeah, I said it. They always want you to feel sick when their sick, hungry when their hungry, and mourn when they mourn but I hardly ever see any police department in big City America exhibit any compassion for the human suffering caused by a rogue comrade, or empathy for the distrust and disfavor they have birthed between themselves and the community.
If we are to accept that Johnson had a manifesto (which I do not believe, I see those collected police statements as rank propaganda) to kill white people and particularly white cops, where were the Black officers trained in negotiations? Is DPD so lacking in diversity that they didn’t have any AA officers skilled in negotiations to assist in ending the standoff. You mean to tell me in the big City of Dallas, there were no AA police officers who could have deescalated the situation without breaking-out the military-grade explosive device used to annihilate a single, solitary US citizen? We need to have this discussion too. Did they do it because he was a threat to white people the same as Dylann Roof was a threat to Blacks. Or did they do it because he was a threat to law enforcement officers, the same as anti-government militant and cattle ranchers, Cliven, Aamon, and Ryan Bundy, and his band of terrorists, were a threat to local, state, and federal law enforcement officers when they took over the federal Bureau of Land Management, in a days long armed standoff (not over the murder of innocent citizens but unpaid grazing fees). Moreover, where was all the military grade weaponry when that shootout took place at the Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco, TX where several people were killed and maimed in a violent conflict between rival gun-toting gangs? Get the picture?
DPD are not heroes who exhibited courage and bravery in the manner in which they handled the Johnson matter. They were vicious, cruel and arguably cowardly vigilantes. Some may even call them civilian war criminals who violated the laws of the same constitution they swore to protect: Fourteenth Amendment, Equal Protection Clause. For some reason, all over this country, those who are charged with enforcing the law often exhibit behavior that shows they have very little regard for the law and it’s wrong. It’s a form of tyranny.
We have to develop rules for the engagement of military grade weaponry and uses of force on low grade civilian threats especially when we compare the instant threat Johnson posed to the threat law enforcement officials confronted and retreated from in NV and TX. If Johnson deserved to die in the manner that he did, so did all the violent biker gangs involved in the massacre in Waco, TX, Dylynn Roof in Charleston, SC, and Bundy and his anti-government terrorists who threatened to kill scores of local, state and federal law enforcement officers in Bunkerville, NV. In order to move forward we will have to have these uncomfortable conversations, and plausible deniability of America’s exquisite brand of racism and privilege must be checked at the door before we enter. –The Warrior Lawyer, #thewarriorlawyer, #GetGordononthePhone, #ShoottoLive, #SupportCivilRightsLawyers