Modern-day America and another young Black Male teenager is gunned down in the street for allegedly committing a crime that could have been resolved with the issuance of a misdemeanor summons. Laquan McDonald, a 17-year-old Black male, allegedly in possession of a small 4 inch knife and under the influence of the illegal drug PCP was shot 16 times and the autopsy report revealed that he was shot a significant amount of times while he lay dying in the street. The already nationally fragile relationship between the police and the Black Community is now in a state of chaos as American law enforcement agencies continue to struggle with how to provide public safety in urban communities plagued by constant acts of urban gun violence that primarily involve Black male victims and Black male perpetrators.
The October 20, 2014 police shooting of Laquan McDonald may represent the poorest set of judgments regarding an officers’ actions regarding the police use of deadly force. There were five other police officers on the scene with Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke who did not shoot. The question remains as to what compelled Van Dyke to fire 16 bullets into Laquan McDonald considering that McDonald, was jogging away from Van Dyke. Another question remains as to why officers did not approach Laquan McDonald, who was more of a “person in medical crisis,” with less-lethal force option such as a Taser.
On Tuesday November 24, 2015, over one year later, Chicago police released the October 2014 video of police shooting of unarmed Laquan McDonald. Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder a few days before a judge ordered the release of the video after it was FOI by a media source.
They Spoke Green-Black Friday Boycott
Though there has been calls of a “cover up” because of the 13 month delayed release of the Laquan McDonald video, Chicago government officials could not have picked a worst time. Continued outrage by the Black community regarding the ongoing incidents of police related shootings of unarmed Black males had already sparked demands for a nationwide boycott on “Black Friday.” The Laquan McDonald Video was released two days prior to the largest shopping weekend of the year.
McCarthy Fired: “Trust in the Chicago Police Department is broken,”
On Tuesday December 1, 2015 rumblings began in the Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel administration that forced him to ask for the resignation of Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy.
“A police officer is only as effective as when he has the trust of those he serves,” said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel during a late day press conference.
“Trust in the Chicago Police Department is broken,” Madigan said in a statement. “Chicago cannot move ahead and rebuild trust between the police and the community without an outside, independent investigation into its police department to improve policing practices.” Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said she sent a letter to the U.S. attorney general asking the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division to open an investigation into the Chicago Police Department
7 Shootings in 12 Months
The release of the Laquan McDonald Video will increase the number of Controversial Police Shootings in 12 Months:
(7) July 19, 2015
•Ray Tensing became the first police officer in the history of Cincinnati to have been charged with murder for killing someone while in the course of police duty. On July 19, 2015, University of Cincinnati Police Officer Tensing fatally shot motorist Samuel DuBose during a daytime traffic stop for driving without a front license plate near campus and Officer Tensing followed him for about a half mile before finally pulling him over. The incident was captured in full detail on Officer Tensing’s department issued police body camera.
(6) April 4, 2015
•The shooting of unarmed man, Walter Scott occurred on April 4, 2015, in North Charleston, South Carolina, following a daytime traffic stop for a non-functioning brake light. Scott, a black man, was fatally shot eight times in the back by Michael Slager, a white North Charleston police officer. The shooting of Walter Scott may go down as being one of the most provocative incidents that threatens the stability of American law enforcement and its ability to effectively police black Americans.
(5) April 2, 2015
•The police shooting of unarmed Eric Harris on April 2, 2015 in Tulsa, Oklahoma features the error of a 73-year-old White reserve deputy who had mistaken his gun for a Taser following a botched undercover operation. The incident created a new perspective that has allowed court prosecutors to critique the actions of police officers prior, during and after they have exercised their discretion to use force.
(4) November 22, 2014
•The police shooting of unarmed 12 year-old, Tamir Rice occurred on November 22, 2014 when a city police officer drew his weapon, shot, and killed Rice, who reportedly had a pellet gun. A citizen had called the 911 center to report a “guy with a pistol” outside a city recreation center, but the responding officers weren’t told the caller said the gun might be “fake” and the guy might be a juvenile.
(3) October 20th, 2014 (Newly Released)
•Unarmed Laquan McDonald, a black 17-year-old male, allegedly in possession of a small 4 inch knife and under the influence of the illegal drug PCP was shot was shot 16 times down while walking in the street for allegedly committing a crime that could have been resolved with the issuance of a payable infraction. The autopsy report revealed that McDonald was shot a significant amount of times, once he fell to the ground, while he lay dying in the street. Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder a few days before a judge ordered the release of the video. In April of 2015, the city of Chicago settled a $5,000,000 lawsuit with Laquan McDonald’s family.
(2) September 4th, 2014
•Unarmed Levar Jones was shot by Trooper Sean Groubert at a Circle K gas station on Broad River Road in Columbia, SC. The in-dash cam video was released and showed Jones getting out of his car when Groubert pulled up and asked for his license. Jones then reached into his car to get the credential, and as he did, Groubert began yelling at Jones to “get out of the car” and fired several shots. Jones later received $285,000 as part of a settlement with the state of South Carolina.
(1) August 9, 2014
•The controversial shooting of unarmed 18 year-old Michael Brown on August 9, 2014, in Ferguson, Missouri set the stage for a national debate on race and ethnicity and a blue print for modern-day urban rioting. Brown was fatally shot by Officer Daren Wilson after a verbal dispute that was said to have escalated into a physical confrontation. Following the shooting. Brown’s body laid for over four hours uncovered in the middle of the street of the apartment complex where his family lived.
Once again, police professionals, their agencies and government official are scrambling to quickly find a solution that can help them rebuild trust with Black community stakeholders and more importantly Black men.
Another Broken Police Bridge
Also Check Out: Cops and Coffee” Finding a Police Cure
For the Holidays
I was at Starbucks in New Haven, Connecticut getting a cup of coffee when I ran into national community organizer DeRay McKesson. He was headed to Yale University deliver to an explosive lecture. I had recently seen him on CNN talking about the well-publicized Black Lives Matter Movement and concerns regarding police brutality rates and racism in USA.
I wanted to at least share the valuable content in my book about my unique approaches for reforming modern-day policing and racial profiling prevention. The book teaches ways to stop racism and highlights incidents of black man shot by police. So, I armed him with a copy of my book A Black Man’s Guide to Law Enforcement in America. He gave me the pleasure of gaining incite on how the Black Lives Matter movement started. Deray stated that it initially started out as #CampaignZero, which to my understanding evolved to the #blacklivesmatter movement which is reported to have been co-founded by three black activists: Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi.
Deray stated that he and some friends had been home in Saint Louis watching the events unfold in Ferguson days following the Michael Brown shooting on August 9, 2014. Once they arrived, they would later join the protest. Overreaction by #ferguson police started after a Black protester threw a water bottle at the Ferguson Riot Police during the initial protest and the #Fergusonpolice responded with a barrage of tear gas.
In March 2015 the Los Angeles Times named DeRay McKesson one of the “new civil rights leaders” for the 21st century. He is noted for the iconic hashtag #BlackLivesMatter. A voice for millions across America this young Black male has made it clear that #BlackMouthsMatter in a never-ending struggle for social justice in the 21st century.
Also Check Out: Huffington Post Article #BlackMouthsMatter
The latest episode of “Urban Talk Radio,” host Shafiq Abdussabur brought together Starr, senior editor at AlterNet, and New Havener Stacy Spell, current head of the U.S. Attorney’s “Project Longevity,” a former member of the NHPD and a lifelong community activist.
Terrell J. Starr a senior New York editor of the online news network AlterNet recently wrote an article entitled “Body Cams Can Capture Abuse, But Can They End Police Brutality?” His article suggest that Criminal justice experts say much more is needed to really reform police departments nationwide.
Stacy Spell a retired New Haven homicide detective believes that a key to police reform is “Community Building.” Since his retirement in 2006, he has since reinvigorated the West River Neighborhood Services Corporation and put special focus on working with at-risk young people. He has now expanded his philosophy by creating and implementing new strategies through his new post.
More about Urban Talk Radio segment “Cops and Coffee”
Also Check Out: THE STATE OF POLICING POST-FERGUSON
The seemingly new priority for police officers and police professionals is not to only Be on the Look Out – BOLO for a “Black male with a handgun.” In this evolving new world of policing, officers are likely to Be on the Look Out for a “Black male with a cellphone.” Now police must begin and end their shifts hoping that they have convinced the public and Black stakeholders that #BlackLivesMatter.
Many police professionals and their agencies have responded to this ripple in law enforcement by modifying their strategy when conducting routine investigative pedestrian stops and routine traffic stops. The sentiment from Washington suggests that American law enforcement must be prepared to dodge the politically focused pressure for constant calls of restorative justice from Black mouths. Moreover, police professionals and their agencies continue scrambling to quickly rebuild urban trust with Black stakeholders by trying to be more aware of the police related events that sparked #BlackLivesMatter, and the consciousness that ……..Read More Here on the Huffington Post
Also check Out: URBAN TALK RADIO WHERE BOLDMINDS SPEAK
Racial Discrimination in America Today
July 17 – September 13
Art Opening Reception July 17 from 5-8pm
This dynamic art exhibition brings together a group of artists who seek to uncover the often-overlooked patterns of racial disparity in the United States Criminal Justice system.
The featured artists include: Jamal Cyrus, Maria Gaspar, Titus Kaphar, Iyaba Ibo Mandingo, Adrian Piper, Laurie Jo Reynolds, Dread Scott, and Andy Warhol.
Race Based Post-Traumatic Stress
On Wednesday June 17, 2015, Dylann Roof a 21 year-old white male, allegedly shot and killed nine Black members of the Emanuel AME historically and prominent Black church in South Charleston, South Carolina. Roof, who dropped out of high school before finishing the 10th grade, confirms having committed the heinous crime after sitting with them in their Bible study before his attack. It was later confirmed but then debated whether Police officials were investigating this incident as a hate crime. Despite strong evidence that Roof had published an online hate manifesto and eyewitness accounts of him declaring that his role in the mass shooting was to start a Race War in America, officials claimed uncertainty as to whether or not to call this crime what it was.
This mass shooting, predicted on race, has touched off a series of hot topic debates to include analyzing the way America views raced based violence. Calling into question rather there is a “Double Standard in Race Based Violence?” Recently published on the Huffington Post. However, a new conversation has emerged to question rather or not racism can cause post-traumatic stress. On July 2, 2015, KCBX Radio ran a story entitled “Coping While Black: A Season of Traumatic News Takes a Psychological Toll.”
What’s clear is that many black Americans experience what psychologists call “race-based trauma,” says Monnica Williams, director of the Center for Mental Health Disparities at the University of Louisville.
KCBX reported that while researchers are still trying to understand exactly how this phenomenon operates, Williams says it’s clear that African-Americans are hit hard by incidents that recall the country’s ugly history of institutionalized racism.
South Carolina does not have a “Hate Crimes Law.”
South Carolina is one of only five states that does not have a hate crimes law, according to campaign group SC Equality, although a recent extension of federal law means there are legal protections for victims of hate crimes in all states.
Race Based Post-Traumatic Stress
Also check out: Suburban Gun Violence and Urban Gun Violence
Racial Profiling Prevention & Law Enforcement
(Sunday, June 14, 2015, Bridgeport, Connecticut) – The State of Connecticut’s African-American Affairs Commission (AAAC) along with the Latino and Puerto Rican Affairs Commission (LPRAC) will be holding a discussion panel and Q & A forum regarding recently released CTRP3 reporting on racial profiling and traffic stops in the State of Connecticut.
Date: Tuesday, June 16th,
Time: 5:30PM to 8PM
Where: Housatonic Community College (HCC), 900 Lafayette Blvd, Bridgeport, Connecticut
BH-BEACON HALL 2nd FLOOR LOCATED RIGHT BEHIND HCC’S PARKING LOT,
Shafiq R. Fulcher Abdussabur–Author, public speaker, racial profiling consultant, entrepreneur, and law enforcement officer (Sergeant), State of Connecticut’s African-American Affairs Commission (AAAC) 2015 Man of the Year.
Invited guests panelists include:
Joseph L. Gaudett, Jr–Bridgeport Chief of Police
Patrick Ridenhour–Stratford Chief of Police
Kevin Muhammed –CEO/founder of Muck Mud LLC and Principal of Love Christian Academy
Tanya A. Hughes–Executive Director, State of CT Commission on Human Rights
Ken Barone–Policy and Research Specialist with IMRP at CCSU
Ric Cruz–Chairperson of Latino and Puerto Rican Affairs Commission (LPRAC)
Charles Grady–Project Coordinator Bridgeport Project Longevity
The AAAC recognizes there are many issues affecting the African-American community and we are striving to resolve those issues via policy and community engagement. The AAAC also recognizes that these same issues impact minority communities as a whole. As always, the AAAC remains focused on the education achievement gap, health disparities and housing. In education the Commission has concentrated its efforts on improving graduation rates for students of color, increased diversity of educators, cultural competency, reducing suspensions and expulsions of minorities, and loan debt facing college students. The AAAC promotes policies nurturing economic development, improved education, better health outcomes and affordable housing for all in the African-American community.
AAAC and LAPRAC forums open to the public. The discussion will include the topics of Racial Profiling Prevention, Mass Incarceration, Juvenile Detention, Suspension and Expulsion Rates of Minority Students, Implicit and Explicit Bias, and Felony Reentry/Societal Reintegration.
Mission of The State of Connecticut’s African-American Commission (AAAC)
To improve and promote the economic development, education, health and political well-being of the African-American community in the State of Connecticut
For additional information about the event, contact:
Earl Bloodworth at 203-903-7073
State of Connecticut’s African-American
Affairs Commission (AAAC)
210 Capitol Avenue – RM 509
Hartford, CT 06106
Fax: (860) 240-8444
Racial Profiling Prohibition Project Forum