Lying Media Bastards

December 18, 2006

Bang Bang

Thousands protested police brutality in the middle of NYC’s Times Square Friday, disrupting a busy shopping day. The called the event “Shopping for Justice”, justice for victims of the recent NYPD shooting, where unarmed African-American Sean Bell was killed and his friends wounded when police shot at his vehicle 50 times. One of the cops actually fired every bullet in his gun, reloaded, and shot some more.

I believe these killings keep happening for two main reasons.

1) A widespread belief/fear among Americans that young black men are inherently dangerous. I think that cops of all races share this fear, and it makes them far too quick to feel threatened and act with deadly force.

2) The lack of punishment faced by police officers for excessive violence against African-Americans. The cops who shot unarmed Amadou Diallo 41 times were acquitted of all charges. The cops who beat unarmed Rodney King on videotape were acquitted. Seriously, can you imagine police officers from any part of the United States getting off like that if they’d committed that sort of attack on a white person? I can’t (well, maybe if those white people were protesters…). If cops knew there were severe repercussions for violence on black men, I think they’d be less likely to dish it out. But there aren’t.

So folks in NYC took to the streets, in what was reportedly a huge, quiet protest (the “quiet” part was probably a practical tactic to prevent scared cops from whipping out the shotguns. If cops freak out when a single black man holds up his wallet, I can only imagine what they’d do when facing thousands of angry, yelling black men). As always, I think that seeing photos of protests is much more important than reading coverage of them. Go here, here, and here for good photos (but what the fuck is up with that family in the Christmas tree hats?).

The NY Times reports that shoppers nearby seemed to be “against the protest”. Fun quotes from passers-by:

“It’s New York, you always see crazy things,” Margaret Rajnik, a nurse from Atlantic City, said at Rockefeller Center, where mobs of shoppers jammed the plaza in front of the skating rink, the giant Christmas tree and the golden Prometheus…

“We just came here to go shopping at the American Girl store and go see the Rockettes,” said Cherrie Ostigui, 38, of Odenton, Md. “Now we can’t even cross the street to get our lunch.”

Steve Diomopoulos, 22, a student from Livonia, Mich., called it “a weird time to be doing this,” and added: “It’s an inconvenience to people like myself who came from out of town and want to get some Christmas shopping done. It’s almost like a hostile atmosphere. I don’t think that’s what people came here to see.”

“Crazy things”? Yes, it’s so crazy that people don’t want to be murdered by police officers. Aww, can’t get your lunch? You know who else can’t get his lunch? Sean Bell. “Inconvenient”? You know what’s inconvenient? Being shot and killed by police for no reason the night before your wedding, like Sean Bell. “Hostile environment”? Sorta like living your life in fear that you’re going to be murdered by police officers because of your skin color? “Not what people came here to see”? Go fuck yourself, you prick. People fighting for their lives trump your sightseeing desires.

Not to beat a dead horse, but Jesus! I understand, it’s Christmas, you’re busy, you want to see the beauty of New York or buy your loved ones gifts, but maybe you need to raise your eyes a little higher sometimes. “Gee, this protest really ruins my plans, but I suppose the cause of stopping unjust police terror is more important.” Or even, “maybe I should join them.”

[update]

Okay, read some accounts of folks who attended the protest and in their view, nearly all the spectators were sympathetic to the march.

Posted by Jake on December 18, 2006 9:09 pm

3 Comments »

  1. Jake, you write best when you are angry. Nice job.

    Comment by Dead Civilian — December 19, 2006 @ 3:26 pm

  2. two notes on this:

    it’s been striking how many people are making the connection between this latest police murder and the economic structure of the city. the biggest demonstrations have been in shopping areas; today’s midday event is based on a call to shut down wall street. it’s kinda exciting to folks like me who see the connections between white supremacy, capitalism and the state as both strong and important to struggle against in overlapping ways. this didn’t happen when diallo was murdered, or when malcom ferguson was murdered (in part for participating in the diallo demonstrations), or when patrick dorismond was murdered, etc, etc. i’m not sure why it’s happening now, but it is, i think, a very important part of the story.

    there has been one high profile police murder of a whiter person in nyc in the past few years - compared to dozens of muders of african americans, latin@s, and other people of color. gidone busch, an ashkenazi jewish man, was gunned down in brooklyn in the fall of 1999. i mention it not because it’s any more important than any other police murder, but because the results of the protests and legal actions around busch’s murder were the same as they’ve been for diallo, ferguson, dorismond, etc. which is to say - white supremacy is more important in determining who gets killed by cops than in cops getting away with murder. though busch probably wouldn’t've been murdered if he had been less visibly observant, and thus definitively an ethnic if not racial ‘other’. it’s also important to say that the folks of color who’ve led the nyc movements against police brutality came out in solidarity with busch & his family, as did the jewish radicals and progressives who’ve been allies in that fight. conspicuously absent was the ‘mainstream’ jewish leadership - the ‘jewish community relations council’ wouldn’t even make a statment that they thought the murder was wrong.

    Comment by rozele — December 21, 2006 @ 9:48 am

  3. The establishemnt media will always, without exception step up the propaganda after these healthy events. Cops are tyranny’s bullies, and a very necessary part of it.

    Angry is good. Far more people should be angry. About police brutality and numerous things in the modern society.

    Comment by Midnight Fire — December 24, 2006 @ 9:42 am

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