Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Liberty Can't Breathe

By Biko Agozino
Professor of Sociology and Africana Studies,
Virginia Tech

Policing emerged in America from the slave-catching posse of the 19th century and so it is hardly surprising that Grand Juries rarely indict white police officers who kill African Americans even today. 

Any grown ass man, six feet two inches tall, armed to serve and protect the people, who tells the Grand Jury that he shot someone dead because he felt ‘like a five year old struggling with Hulk Hogan’ and that he saw the unarmed college-bound teenage Michael Brown as a ‘demon’ must have been drunk on absolute power or on the prejudicial fear that forced him to cowardly quit his job afterwards.

The official toxicology report on Darren Wilson did not test his blood for ethanol but indicated an abnormally high level of creatinine that researchers say is usually an indication of alcohol in the blood.

Given that 86% of the 179 people who were killed by New York police officers since that of Amadou Diallo in 1999 were colored people like Eric Garner but with the grand injury of hardly any indictments by Grand Juries, Liberty Can’t Breathe!

No sane or moral society can breathe easily when the air is frequently polluted with the race-class-gender articulation of repression by agents of authoritarian populism. Sadly, moral entrepreneurs continue to support police homey-cide disproportionately against African American men because ‘when you carry the corpse of another, it feels like the carcass of a dog’, according to an Igbo proverb. Michael Vick’s dogs surely got more justice than poor African Americans.

The war on drugs must end so police officers cannot claim as ‘probable cause’, the testimony by Darren Wilson that Mike Brown’s stockings had the images of green marijuana leaves painted on them. Marijuana remains medicinal and much safer than alcohol and tobacco that kill hundreds of thousands annually while 800,000 Americans are arrested yearly for marijuana possession but no one ever died from marijuana use.

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