Thursday, August 13, 2015

Unarmed Black youth charging cops: is it the water?

Epidemic spreads abroad as unarmed black kid on scooter charges cops, survives.
by Richard Mellor
Afscme Local 444, retired

Things sure have changed.

I lived in what we call "the hood" in the US for about 20 years. Liquorstoreville I used to call it. It was East Oakland CA. It was a good block though and we all took care of each other. My sons' best friends to this day are still from that block.

I knew the young men on the corner as some of them played Dungeons and Dragons in my house at one point or had been at my own son's 6th or 7th birthday perhaps.

I knew one guy had passed the exam as I walked up there for a sixpac once and as I approached he was in his usual spot. "Hi Eric" I said, "Hey Rich" he replies, "Can I have a word with you?"

"Sure" I say. I go over and he asks me, "Rich don't call me Eric anymore, my name's Peewee now."
"No problem Peewee" I respond, recognizing his authority on that little plot of land plus, despite being a bit of a roly poly character, I had seen him kick some serious ass on that corner. He was not slow.*

Some time later I was on my porch and he was walking up to the store. He passed a little ways and there was a cop sitting in his unit across the street. The cop calls out to Peewee to "come over here" indicating what he meant with his index finger. Peewee wasn't so fast here, in fact he was a bit reluctant to go.  The cop got a little more aggressive in his tone and told him to "get on over here."

Peewee complied, but he was not the fearless and confident Peewee I knew.

In my 20 years on that block I had never seen the young guys on the corner rush at cops, try to grab their guns or charge them fists flailing, never! Just the opposite, the toughest of them were very compliant. After all, if a cop plants some nose candy on a guy the whole world is told is a "thug", who will the whole world believe? And if we have doubts, the nightly news will set things straight.

But it appears from what I am reading now there seems to be an epidemic of young black males, unarmed ones to boot, rushing cops, trying to grab their guns and generally making the cops feel that their lives are in danger. And when cops say they believe their lives are in danger, they are free to protect it.

What I can't figure out is what's causing all those young black men to go against their basic instinct and smarts to charge cops like this on a daily basis. Is it the food, the televisions shows, rap music UFO's what? Surely, the cops wouldn't lie would they?

I'm baffled.

*Peewee is no longer with us.

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