Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Hearings on "Police Practices and Civil Rights in New York and New Jersey"

On behalf of the many brothers and sisters who have been victimized by the police I am speaking up. On behalf of the countless brothers and sisters whose lives have prematurely shortened because of a criminal in a blue uniform, I am speaking out. On behalf of the many brothers and sisters inside of law enforcement in New Jersey and New York who should, but cannot bring themselves to believe so firmly in the law, the Constitution and God that they will challenge the pervasive racism and negroness that a White-male dominated institution prefers, I must speak often.

I am hear to say to America, speak up, speak out and speak often. The issue of police brutality is one, which led me to found Black Cops Against Police Brutality (B-CAP) which includes both Black police officers and community representatives. For God knows that we both have a vested interest in each other and our communities.

I believe that we must examine the root causes of police brutality and our behavior patterns that contribute to the demise of African people, if we are going to effectively address this issue.

Although many of us would like to believe differently, I must state emphatically that just because you have a Black police officer, it doesn't mean that he or she has an agenda that benefits Black people. Without equivocation, I assert that White police officers would never kill, maim, rape, shoot, rob, and denigrate African people, if Black police officers did not participate-overtly or tacitly. Many of us, Black/Latino police officers have attempted to go along to get along, with the hopes that "massuh" won't bother us. Silence doesn't buy freedom it only buys time.

We have seen countless Black, Brown, Red, Yellow and even a few White bodies lay limp as a direct result of police misconduct, violence and oppression. Yet, the voices of Black/Latino/Asian police officers have not been heard.

The organizational culture of law enforcement must be dismantled! It teaches, suggests and rewards the "We're all blue" philosophy. Lest we forget, America must be made to acknowledge that the organizational culture of law enforcement is White male dominated, racist, sexist, homophobic, and then you may find a "good" police officer. Just as the Republic of South Africa has held "Truth and Reconciliation Hearings," so too must America hear our truths and reconcile! She has heard from Commissions called Warren, Christopher, Mollen and Kerner. If there is no admission of the truth, then there can be no reconciliation.

The "blue code of silence" must be discouraged. The police cannot, should not and will not ever effectively police the police unless of course it's a police officer that they want to silence.

The record of the police in America speaks volumes, from the legal lynching of Mumia Abu Jamal on death row in Pennsylvania to the 51 beats against the body of Rodney King in California to the deadly force used against young Tiesha Miller in Riverside, California to the 106 shots fired into the White body of 39 year old William Michael Arnold in Hawthorne, California to the shooting death of an unarmed 21 year old Malik Jones in New Haven, Connecticut to the shooting death of 14 year old Jenny Hightower in Trenton, New Jersey, to the profile practice of DWB (Driving While Black) in New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia to the beating death of Malice Green in Detroit, Michigan to the choke hold death of Anthony Baez in New York, to the plunging rectal rape of Abner Luima by criminals in blue in New York to 41 shots at Ahmadu Diallo on his door step by New York's "finest."

There must be a revolution of the mind if people of color are to survive the war games that law enforcement and the American government have chosen to play in New York and New Jersey's urban communities.

The police departments in both states must be demilitarized. The police academies teach the "us versus them" philosophy. The guilty plea by former New York City police officer Volpe of crimes against Mr. Abner Luima and the admission by New Jersey Attorney General Peter Verneiro that the NJ State Police is guilty of profile stops are clear indicators of problems that are racial, systemic and pervasive.

As the Russian wall came down, law enforcement's wall between the police and it's residents was erected. The Kerner Commission report clearly stated that the riots of the 1960's were a result of aggressive police acts against the community. Yet, police administrators continue to talk tough about the "war on drugs " and "zero tolerance," as if the majority of people of color are not law -abiding citizens.

Recently, the Bureau of Crime Statistics-Justice Department, reported that 6% of minority males commit 100% of the crime. But, we find police departments in this country; particularly New York and New Jersey imposing its "war on drugs" on 100% of the people Nazi Germany style.

Law enforcement cannot honestly justify attacking, demonizing and associating an entire community (ethnic group) with crime when U.S. Attorney Janet Reno has expressed that 85% of Black people recently surveyed stated that they support their police department.

The problems are many so are the solutions. We recommend the following:

  Civilian control and oversight of the police
  Residency requirements
  Community based training for all police officers
  Cash rewards for the exposure, arrest and conviction of corrupt cops
  Congressional Public hearings
  Mandatory drug testing for all police officers
  "Zero tolerance" for substance abuse by police officers
  Integrity tests
  Annual psychological evaluations

In closing, we are not anti-police. We are not against crime fighting. We know that we have good police officers and bad police officers. But, it seems strange that communities of color are often flooded with the bad police officers.

Brother Sergeant De Lacy Davis

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