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Before Kaepernick & Black Lives Matter

Cariol Horne Knew White America was Tone-Deaf to True Police Officers, and Race




by Chris Stevenson

Early this month (11/1) marked the ten-year anniversary of the day Officer Cariol (Carol) J. Horne saved a man from being choked, possibly to death. Normally any officer of the law would have been praised and given high commendation for such a feat, except the City of Buffalo decided to pull out it’s well-worn out race card and create it’s most diabolical matrix ever. As many of you know by now Horne is African American, as was the handcuffed man being choked Neal Mack. The man applying the illegal stranglehold was a fellow cop in Horne’s precinct, Gregory Kwiatkowski, a white officer with behavioral issues not unlike many of those officers you see in these videos today. The result, black officer-though being the one getting punched in the face-is charged with several counts of “obstruction of justice” (As if to imply choking Mack constituted justice), made to undergo a disciplinary hearing, and is predictably fired just weeks before her pension eligibility by then-Commissioner H. McCarthy Gipson, with the approval of Mayor Byron Brown. Both of these officials are black. Kwiatkowski is promoted to lieutenant shortly after that by the same two stooges that fired Carol.

Fast forward all the local media-framing Horne and Mack endured and Kwiatkowski benefitted from over the next two years (in spite of his being unable to avoid police misconduct incidents during Horne’s hearing), and the associated trials that took place in actual courts (Horne’s hearing was in Buffalo Police Headquarters), and blacks across the country find themselves in worse shape regarding police than they did ten years ago. Exposing bad policing has not been a deterrent, it doesn’t matter how much credibility black leaders and officials have when they criticize police, it’s whites at-large who aren’t adding a significant opposing voice, perhaps because they feel too comfortable with the police killings. Back in September I heard a caller on the local sports affiliate for ESPN say he was not going to watch any San Francisco 49ers games because of Colin Kaepernick’s not saluting the flag, and then he asks “was it the police that shot Dwyane Wade’s sister.” Whenever your senses are dull to the point of invoking the murder of an NBA star’s sister to cloud an unrelated issue of police murdering blacks around the country with most of these officers being granted a get-out-of-jail-free-jury, then you know things have changed for the worse.

Of course none of this is surprising if you follow the opinions of about 60% of White America on issues regarding race, especially when they feel their precious flag or police officers are under PR attack. In light of the conspicuous absence of critical dialogue toward these types of officers, a way must be found to take them to task. While the problem is not always with the white police officer, police corruption and departmental racism is a white cop created system from decades ago.

Horne’s next goal is to start a fund and push a law that protects law enforcement officers that are whistleblowers or save civilians from police abuse or police murder. I’m sure she will have more info regarding her plans in the near future. What I am proposing is something different. For years I have been thinking of writing some anti-racial profiling legislation that protects members of the public from profiling and the subsequent misconduct and abuse it leads to many times. This law is not just a record-keeping measure meant solely to monitor wrong police behavior, but penalize it also along the same line as the recent D.O.T. rules have for tractor trailer drivers across the country. Given the limited amount of time left before President Obama leaves office, I suggest we push this in the form of an executive order.

By hitting the link you will see the various ideas myself and others have in this proposal. The beauty of it is it’s interactive. You can list your suggestion for what should be included in Executive Order 112214 in the comment section along with your signature. Over the past several months I noted how President Obama has called for a reduction of private prisons known to be run by nothing more than rich white guys with opinions and no management skills. What reduces excessive force out on the street? Something I will call the Dave Brown Model:

  • Reality-based training and increased training hours.
  • Community engaged officers.
  • Officers using less force, don’t approach a suspect immediately, don’t have multiple officers shoot a suspect at once as if they are shooting Godzilla or King Kong (a white cop staple).
  • Body microphones and dashcams.
  • Firing problematic officers.

Of course Dave Brown is the Dallas Chief of Police who became nationally known during the tragic random attack on police and protesters in response to police shootings in different cities (Baton Rouge, LA and Falcon Heights, MN). Brown is credited for a sweeping reform of his agency that resulted in a reported removal of some 70 officers. Due to these reforms Dallas complaints dropped from 147 in 2009, to 53 in 2014, and 18 in 2015. Obviously changes like these must be implemented nationally at once.

Toss in another idea by attorney Gary Ingemunson, “Stop Making Investigative Stops” because this reduces biased police complaints (racial profiling), use of force, shootings, and unnecessary arrests that threaten livelihood. The best suggestions included with your name will be added to the petition as a proposal to the XO 112214 law we intend to submit to our outgoing President.

On 8/12/13 Stop & Frisk was ruled unconstitutional by Judge Shira A. Scheindlin in a 195-page ruling. The main reason was of course it was out of control. It’s one thing to stop and frisk someone based on a valid observation of suspicious activity, what’s taken place over the past few years went far beyond that. Between 2004 and 2011 the amount of these stops bloated from 314,000 to 686,000, much of the reasoning was the search for drugs and weapons. Police found a weapon in 1.5 percent of the people stopped, this means 98.5 percent (of the 2.3 million frisks) produced no weapon. In fact data found that drugs and weapons were more likely to be found on white New Yorkers than black or Hispanic. Stop & Frisk would become the country’s foremost white man’s fantasy law forced into reality.

In spite of Rudolph Giuliani and Donald Trump believing Stop & Frisk led to a decline in crime, statistics show this to be pure wishful thinking (like much of Trump’s rhetoric). In actuality the crime reduction can be traced back to the tenure of Mayor David Dinkins around 1990. Dinkins city was rife with both high-crime and police abuses, so his was a rare-duel role in cleaning up New York. He hired thousands of more officers, and worked concurrently for community policing and reform. The last two years of his administration began showing results, although it has since become customary to give all the credit to Giuliani.

Today in Buffalo no one wants to admit what Horne did on 11/1/06 was part of a national trend for years. As far back as 1994 in Illinois for instance most of the cops that reported spotting unethical actions by fellow officers were female. “Female officers are better at defusing potentially violent confrontations before those encounters turn deadly. According to Katherine Spillar, of the Feminist Majority Foundation. “Before it turns deadly” is just what Horne did, and the City of Buffalo galvanized around Kwiatkowski so effectively they almost made him look like the victim. There were no local feminist behind Cariol ten years ago, in Buffalo they stayed home and continued making sandwiches for their husbands (or wives). A former police chief in Madison Wis. stated “women in policing makes a difference-a big difference-they make for a far better police department. Haven’t you wondered why women police are not the ones in recent officer involved shootings?”

Women police officers are generally seen as less authoritative and more communicative in their methods in most cities. Of course there are exceptions to every rule, but overall this holds true. Cariol-as was pointed out during her 10 year anniversary rally-had no record of this type of adversarial or abusive behavior towards the public. And this while serving in a city with more problematic white female cops than most. Much of the reason behind Executive Order 112214 is the need to cut down on stops and encounters with law enforcement that lead to harmful or deadly results. Some states or cities have already implemented laws that have reduced these unwarranted frivolous police stops.

According to Newsweek: The number of street stops in Chicago reportedly fell by 80 percent this year after a new policy made cops document their stops with a two-page “investigatory stop report.” And last year, the Boston Police Department implemented a policy that bars stops based on race after a report found that cops were mostly stopping black people. In the past year, Newark, New Jersey, and Cleveland both signed agreements with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) that will revamp how their police stop and frisk.

Other cities, like Philadelphia-the late Frank Rizzo’s Philadelphia-and Buffalo-recently named in a recent report to be an incident waiting to happen due to being undertrained-are a harder nut to crack. This Tamir Rice National Anti-Racial Profiling Law offers something extra and necessary to cities whose police already under some level of racial monitoring, and a total package to cities that have nothing. Please check the link to this petition/proposal and don’t hesitate to add what you like to see change regarding how the police or law enforcement in your community perform their duties.

Chris Stevenson is author of “The MAO Syndrome: A Timeline of Newspaper columns Tracking Hate, Fear, Loathing, Obstinacy, and Stubbornness of many on the right & some on the left who are simply Mad At Obama.” He is also a regular columnist for blackcommentator, and a contributor to the Hampton Institute, his own blog www.thebuffalobullet.com, and a syndicated columnist. Follow him on Twitter, and Facebook, you don’t have to join any of them. Watch his video interviews for Griot Nation (GNN). Follow his Blogtalkradio interviews on 36OOseconds. Respond to him by email; pointblankdta@yahoo.com

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