Click here to read why [now former] Boston Police Commissioner Evans is [was] not the "friend" he claims to be. And click here to watch a Baltimore cop spill the beans--truthfully! And click here to watch NYPD cops tell the sordid truth too.
POLICE BRUTALITY AND OPPRESSION
September 2014 (with subsequent updates)
The police forces in the United States are essentially an occupation force acting to cow ordinary people into submission to the dictatorship of the rich. This may seem like an unjustifiably strong statement to individuals who have not experienced the police as a hostile force, as is the case for many upper middle class people. But for working class Americans, especially black and Hispanic and Native American working class Americans, this statement about the police is uncontroversial.
A retired Philadelphia police captain, Ray Lewis, described the police this way:
“I want to try and get a message to mainstream America that this system is corrupt, that police really are oppressing not only the black community, but also the whites,” he said. “It’s an oppressive organization now controlled by the one percent of corporate America. Corporate America is using police forces as their mercenaries.”
The New York Times, in order, no doubt, to give that newspaper some credibility, stated in an editorial Nov. 26, 2014, that:
"News accounts have strongly suggested, for example, that the police in St. Louis County’s many municipalities systematically target poor and minority citizens for street and traffic stops — partly to generate fines — which has the effect of both bankrupting and criminalizing whole communities. In this context, the police are justifiably seen as an alien, occupying force that is synonymous with state-sponsored abuse."
Click here to read an article titled "Ferguson Reexamined" by Paul Craig Roberts, a former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy appointed by Ronald Reagan and a former associate editor of the Wall Street Journal, who writes:
"The US justice system is no longer concerned with justice, but with the careers of prosecutors, punishing the powerless, and protecting the powerful. As justice has largely departed the justice system, it is hardly surprising that police lack any concept of justice."
Roberts's article includes numerous links to videos showing the "gratuitous violence that police are trained to use" and demonstrating that "the police when they gratuitously murder members of the public are merely doing what they have been trained to do."
"In its majestic equality, the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets and steal loaves of bread"--Anatole France
Ronald Kramer, in his article in the journal Critical Criminology titled "Political Elites, 'Broken Windows', and the Commodification of Urban Space," [Crit Crim DOI 10.1007/s10612-011-9137-9] explains why the police attack poor people so aggressively. Kramer first demonstrates that the official explanation is bogus. The official explanation is the so-called "broken windows" theory, which police departments across the United States invoke. The theory is based on the idea that if a broken window is not quickly repaired then people will assume nobody cares about the other windows and this will induce some people to break more windows. Therefore, according to this theory, the police need to aggressively prevent little crimes (like graffiti or panhandling) in order to prevent the occurrence of big crimes. Kramer documents that a) there is no empirical evidence to support the "broken windows" theory and b) the theory itself relies on terms that are so poorly defined as to make the theory meaningless.
Kramer then shows that, in practice, the ruling elite label things that poor people do but that rich people do not do as "dirty" and "dishonest" even when there is nothing actually dirty or dishonest about them. The rulers do this in order to criminalize poor people for the crime, essentially, of being poor. Kramer then, based on examining memos by mayors and business leaders, identifies one of the main reasons these ruling elites order the police to treat poor people so harshly; it has nothing to do with believing in the "broken windows" theory. That theory is just a pretext for a policy that has an ulterior motive that the ruling elites dare not admit to having. Their actual motive, Kramer shows, is to make the places where poor people live become more profitable to big business, which prefers an environment in which poor people don't exist or at least are kept out of sight. The police are therefore trained to view anybody who is poor and visible as refusing to submit to "law and order"--in other words, as a criminal.
The New Jim Crow: Racist Incarceration
In addition to using violence and brutality to try to cow working class Americans into submission to the "law and order" of the rich, the police also single out racial minorities for especially harsh treatment. This is one reason why blacks are being killed by police at a rate 21 times greater than whites, as indicated by federal government data described here. The ruling class uses the so-called War on Drugs to facilitate this racial discrimination, as discussed here and here.
The Civil Rights Movement abolished the racist Jim Crow laws but racist oppression was not abolished; it merely took another form: "From the back of the bus to the front of the prison" or "The new Jim Crow." As the figure below (giving prison incarceration per 100,000 population, for blacks and whites and the ratio, from this source) illustrates, Jim Crow was simply replaced with racist prison incarceration, accomplished in large part by the War on Drugs:
Click here to continue.