Philadelphia Police Beating
It gives me a chilling feeling whenever I
view police officers use the level of force that Philadelphia’s officers used
after subduing Thomas Jones. No
matter what crime a criminal commits the public should never tolerate the use of
abusive police tactics. Police
officers have an awesome amount of power to bring criminals to justice, not
administer it. I can only imagine
the amount of anger I would have if one of my family members were struck in that
manner. The only thing that matches
my anger for abusive police officers is when I hear that a police officer is
shot while doing his duty. The
shooting of a police officer hits a personal note because my youngest brother
and three first cousins followed my footsteps and decided to also wear a police
uniform. I could not phantom
hearing that someone like Thomas Jones shot at them.
It would be difficult to control my anger and rage. I thought of this when I watched the anger the officers
involved in the Philadelphia incident appeared to have displayed.
The beating that followed the car chase should concern and outrage all
Americans not just African Americans. The
presence of African Americans on the scene does not make the picture any less
was pleased to see many African American lawmakers and community leaders voice
their outrage over the possibility that excessive force was used during the
apprehension of Thomas Jones. The
noticeable absence of non-minority lawmakers and community leaders is
disheartening. It sends a terrible
message that many of them would hope that they could wish the problem away.
This is not going to happen. The
problem of excessive police abuse must be brought to the front of the American
agenda. Non minority law makers and community leaders silence can
only be equally matched by the appalling silence of many African American law
makers and community leaders who did not denounce the incident that preceded the
assault. If it is true that Thomas
Jones actions of allegedly stealing a vehicle and shooting a police officer can
not be lost in the possible abusive police action that followed.
Each problem must be viewed in its separate environment.
Community leaders must be as outraged over the reckless violence that was
used by the suspect as they are over the apparent abuse that followed.
Police abuse and violence in the inner city are both real problems that
will be solved when both Whites and Blacks acknowledge that the problems do
exist. Some will attempt to argue
that the police actions were more repulsive because they are sworn to serve and
protect. I strongly disagree.
A mother does not cry less if a criminal and not a police officer shoot
her son. Criminals who commit
heinous crimes should not be abused by aggressive police officers and they
should not be treated as poster children for our cries to end police brutality.
an African American man I have experienced police abuse first hand.
I have also been the victim of senseless violence.
On a daily basis countless numbers of young adults and adults enter
precincts looking for justice after being the victim of the same level of
violence that Thomas Jones carried out. That
is why it is imperative that our pursuit to clean up the nation’s police
forces must be equally matched by our pursuit to eradicate violence in our
nation’s inner cities.