The two scariest things I think about the Bland dashcam video are as follows:
1.) The fact that they had the enormous brass balls to release an obviously edited video makes you wonder just what exactly they are used to getting away with down there that they thought they could do this and no one would notice. It’s stunning, really, as well as horrifying. A DOJ investigation of all the practices down there is warranted, IMHO.
2.) It confirms to everyone that literally anything is a pretext for the murder of black people at the hands of police. I still have yet to figure out why he raced up behind her, why he then pulled her over, and why he decided that because she refused to put out a cigarette in her own god damned car that she needed to go to jail. It really can’t be anything other than the black woman refused to kiss his ass. I mean, he asked her why she was pissed, she told him, and that made him angrier. Why the fuck did he ask? How many loose cannons like this are there out there terrorizing black people?
And this strikes closer to home than many of you think. As many of you know, I am the advisor for a fraternity, and there are a lot of black men in my fraternity. Currently, one of our brothers who you have seen a good bit of, Christion, is living with me. He graduated in May and doesn’t have a great support system, and no family wealth to set him up anywhere or buy him a car, so he is living here, working, trying to get a job, and we are working on saving up enough money for him to get a car so he can have stable transportation for when he gets a good career opportunity. From time to time he drives my car to do things, and I often wonder if, even though we don’t live in the deep south, if some cop is going to fuck with him just for being black.
Additionally, a lot of the brothers have to go to national conferences, and often times our delegation will be if not all black, then three or four black young men in the prime age for being accosted by police. There was a conference in St. Louis in the almost immediate aftermath of Ferguson that they had to go to or our house would face fines from Nationals, and I was a fucking nervous wreck the entire time. I didn’t want them to go and debated whether or not I could afford to personally pay the fines to nationals so they wouldn’t have to, but I couldn’t swing it, so they went. I told them repeatedly- “Do not leave the hotel complex. Do not leave the hotel complex. Do not leave the hotel complex. Always carry your id and stick together, don’t cause any trouble whatsoever.” Even the most innocent of things can get you in trouble in that miserable racist shithole. The cops there seem to shoot young black men for sport and the DA will have their back.
Sometimes, when the conference is somewhere not too far away, like Indianapolis, I will just load everyone into my car and I will drive and drop them off at the conference hotel and then rent a room elsewhere for myself for the weekend, and pick them up and drive them home when the conference is over. That way I don’t have to worry about the driving while black issue.
I remember one time we were driving somewhere, and there was a minor accident while blocking the road ahead- lots of lights and sirens and traffic was at a dead standstill. After about fifteen minutes, I got out of the car, walked up to one of the cops, and asked “What’s going on? Do you need some help? How long are we going to be here? We have places to go.” The cop looked like they hadn’t thought about that, and they started slowly waving us around the accident. The guys couldn’t believe I did that- had the balls to get out of the car and approach a cop, and it wasn’t anything I had even thought about. Me being in danger didn’t even occur to me because all I was thinking about was that I used to be in the Fire Department and could help out or at least get us on our way.
So yeah. Kinda rambling. But I’m just kind of stunned about this whole thing. This is even worse than Garner, I think, because I just can’t think of any justifiable reason for that cop to pull her over and start the stupid and inexcusable chain of events that left her dead. It makes no fucking sense.