I want to begin again by offering some links to charitable organizations and activist groups. If this madness must continue then let us at least stand together. Donate, protest, volunteer when able, and spread the word. It’s time to hold cops, politicians, and the bought and sold media accountable for this crap. Remember that Black Lives Matter and, as always, Fuck the Police!
https://blacklivesmattervancouver.com (BLM Vancouver)
I published an anti-cop piece last year after the murder of George Floyd on May 25th by piggy wiggy Derek Chauvin who just today was found guilty for said murder. About fucking time. I wrote my 2020 post to address the dismal state of policing both past and present. Things haven’t gotten any better. 20 year old Daunte Wright was killed on April 11th, 2021 in Brooklyn Center, a suburb of Minneapolis, Minnesota by a cop (26 year veteran) who allegedly mistook their own gun for a taser. On March 3rd, 2021, Daisha Smalls’ 1 year old child was shot in the head by cops in Houston, Texas while they were chasing a robbery suspect. On March 29th, 13 year old Adam Toledo was shot and killed in Chicago after being chased down by a cop. The Atlanta, Georgia mass shooter who targeted Asian women in massage parlours was said to have “had a bad day” in a statement from Captain Jay Baker, a cop with a history of anti-Asian social media posts. Capitol police were caught taking pictures with domestic terrorists and QAnon fuckwits (oh sorry… “protestors”) in January as they stormed the Capitol Building to protest Biden’s inevitable presidency. These are just some examples from 2021. I haven’t even gotten to the other notable failures of 2020 including Jacob Blake being shot in the back in Kenosha, Wisconsin in August, Nova Scotia RCMP standing idly by as settler commercial fishermen threatened Mi’kmaq fishermen and destroyed their property in November, the Fort McMurray RCMP officer tackling and punching Athabasca Chipewyan Chief Allan Adam while he was on the ground in June, Damian Lamar Daniels of San Antonio was shot and killed in August while suffering from mental health distress, and I could go on for days. Just as it was in 2020 (and long before), the problem is policing and we need to deal with it now.
According to Mapping Police Violence, 319 people have been killed by police in the USA alone since January 1st, 2021. Hell, there were only 18 days in 2020 when cops didn’t kill somebody. Lots of people aren’t going home to their families, their spouses, or their friends because of run-ins with the “thin blue line” and we’re supposed to accept it. We’ve been conditioned to believe that cops are always making the best call and actively keeping communities safe from bad guys and miscreants. Anyone who dies at their hands probably had a good reason to be shot, tased, beaten, or otherwise neglected. “They should have complied” we hear. “They shouldn’t have run” they argue. “Just be polite” they claim again and again. As if it’s simple to be calm and collected with a gun in your face or when suffering from a mental health crisis. Running, expired plates, or being unable to follow unclear demands are not excuses for an execution. The uniform, while comforting to the powerful, does not instill confidence or peace in the many groups who are brutalized by snarling guard dogs with itchy trigger fingers. The power imbalance and so-called respect for authority costs lives and impedes our liberation. We’re watching murders by State soldiers and most people are too busy licking their boots to rip the gun from their hands. Cops are untouchable only as long as WE give them that privilege. Without our tolerance for State violence, they have no protection from consequences.
Police will never change by themselves. They are too important to the maintenance of the State and they’re status as foot soldiers affords them privileges and comforts that are difficult to give up. Any liberal reforms will fail because they’ll either ignore it, politicians/lobby groups/cop unions will fight it, or they’ll simply change it behind our backs and we’ll be back to square one. Alex S. Vitale explains this beautifully in his book The End of Policing where he states that even if they “adopt a language of reform” to appease us they’ll likely “continue to reproduce their political power by fanning fear of the poor, non-white, disabled, and dispossessed and empowering police to be the ‘thin blue line'” because there’s simply too much power in that image. Liberal reforms promise change, but keep us in a perpetual loop of failure because they aren’t designed to change anything. Centrists, liberals, and right-wingers don’t want to abolish the police or even defund them significantly because that’s too much change and without cops it would simply be “anarchy” on the streets. Police rely on the idea that they are the only forces keeping us from chaos. That glowing image of order is how they can get away with brutalizing BIPOC communities and “investigating” themselves time and time again. Our misguided fears of our neighbours and so-called outside agitators help to maintain police dominance. To fight back properly, we have to acknowledge that maybe a militarized security force created to subdue the populace does more harm than good. Who knew?
All cops are bastards. That extensive list includes everyone from Derek Chauvin to your kindly uncle to BIPOC officers to every cop who told me to have a good day. The problem is (for a modicum at least) not the people. The problem is the institution itself. I feel like I need to stress this because every single time I bring up this discussion I get someone trying to argue for themselves or for a family member/friend who’s a cop. Their initial reason for joining may have been altruistic because we’ve been programmed to see cops as true paragons of justice. However, their willingness to stay within an institution that is ripe with abuses and corruption is abhorrent and undermines the “not all cops” argument. I have left cushy jobs because of moral failings before and I’d do it again. They too can find themselves honest work that doesn’t oppress the disadvantaged and prop up the wealthy, but most choose the path of willful ignorance and complacency. So-called good cops can/should call out their abusive fellow officers and superiors and face their scorn with bravery like the “thin blue line” is supposed to represent, but most don’t because it’s easier to just shut up and do their job. I’d feel better if public servants served the public, but cops constantly disappoint me by bowing to their State masters and cowing before their cliques. I don’t care why they initially joined. As a person who used to idolize cops, I understand the appeal. Why they continue to writhe in the muck despite clear and obvious injustices is something I cannot fathom. Faithful service to an abusive system is no way to earn the people’s respect or trust. There’s a reason no one’s out there on the street yelling “Fuck the paramedics!”
Trigger Warning for police violence
I again ask you (just as I did in 2020) to tell me if you believe the following acts and images to be justice. Do they make you feel safe? Consider that question while you scroll down.
Was this justified?
Was this right?
Was this for their own good?
Is this a public service?
Has justice been served?
Am I going to be making another one of these posts for 2022? I pray that I won’t have to. Chauvin’s trial has ended, but history’s shown us just how unlikely it is for him to rot in a cell forever. I wouldn’t be surprised if he walks away a free man in a few years with a GoFundMe and fawning praise from right-wing ghouls like another Kyle Rittenhouse or George Zimmerman. Police, their unions, and their supportive politicians/media are issues that must be addressed immediately. We don’t, however, because we’ve been lied to about the necessity of police work and how overburdening them with calls for accountability will allow criminals to run wild. The unhoused, the mentally-ill, and the political “agitators” stand in the way of law and order and must be expunged for the sake of civil society. The fact that the vast majority targeted are BIPOC, LGBTQ2S+, or the poor is of no concern, innocent citizen. Policing depends on our acceptance or general tolerance for State violence against the “others” in our communities. If we collectively don’t accept violence or coercion, they can’t hide everything under the guise of law and order. If we demand and force real action from our elected representatives, cops will be unable to use their political protection to escape justice. Police need us more than we need them. They need us to praise them and to shut up and let them do the State’s bidding without objection. For Breonna Taylor, I object. For Jacob Blake, I object. For George Floyd, I object. For Adam Toledo, I object. For all the victims murdered in Atlanta (Soon Chung Park, Hyun Jung Grant, Suncha Kim, Yong Yue, Delaina Ashley Yaun, Paul Andre Michels, Xiaojie Tan, and Daoyou Feng) who were dismissed for some piece of shit’s “bad day”, I object. For Daunte Wright, I object. I will continue to object to this unnecessary violence as well as all of the outrageous excuses offered for it. Those people deserved better. They deserved to live and feel safe in their own community without the lingering fear that their skin colour or socioeconomic status could get them killed. The role of police has always been to defend power and property through submission and fear. Cops are just doing their job, and frankly, that’s the real goddamn problem. Thanks for reading and I hope to see you again. Solidarity, my friends.