Betty Pleasant’s Weekly #Soulvine Column 12/15/14

By Betty Pleasant

THAT IS NOT ENOUGH! — U.S. Attorney General Eric Holderreleased his new guidelines last week for improving relations between the country’s police forces and the minority communities they are supposed to serve, thus ending the slaughter of unarmed black and brown men by law enforcement agents from sea to shining sea. Whatever it is that Holder called himself doing was woefully inadequate because his guidelines apply only to federal agents or local police working with federal agencies. We have no truck with the feds, for it’s the state, county and city law enforcement that is killing our black and brown men and boys and beating up our black and brown women.

If that’s the best Holder can do for us, then our governors, state legislators, mayors and city councilmembers need to step into the void and stop this slaughter now. They need to establish new and/or more effective guidelines as to who can be a cop and where that cop can work. Every time a cop kills an unarmed person he says he did it because he “feared for his life.” Hell, if they are that “fearful” of unarmed people, they shouldn’t be cops. They should be slinging burgers at McDonald’s where the only thing they have to fear is being burned by hot grease!

As a rule, I don’t believe in segregation, but I do when it comes to the kind of cops we’re dealing with these days. Since the cops are so “fearful” of black and brown people, then keep them away from us and our neighborhoods so we can at least live.

And there seem to be more paranoids in law enforcement than there are in mental institutions. They are out there roaming our black and brown neighborhoods, and are so afraid of us that everything we touch is, to them, a gun. Like that black man in Phoenix who was killed by a cop because he was holding a bottle of pills in his hand. The cop said he thought he had a gun in his hand and he “feared for his life,” so he killed him—over a bottle of pills! Then there was that black man in Brooklyn who was leaving his girlfriend’s apartment and walking down the stairwell with his cell phone in his hand. A cop was walking up the stairwell in response to a call, saw the man coming down and shot him dead. Oops!

Don’t get me started on the cop killing of the 12-year-old black boy who branished a pellet gun on a playground, or the young black father who was killed by a cop in a WalMart while he was shopping in the toy section for a gun for his son to play with. The man was holding the toy guns, so naturally, the cop killed him.

And then sometimes we don’t even have to “hold” anything — the cop just needs to think we’re holding something. There was the Hispanic couple which was set upon and nearly beaten to death by three cops who “believed” the male had drugs in his mouth, and his heavily pregnant mate was slammed belly-down on the street and beaten because the offending cop “thought” she was going to kick him! We need criminal justice guidelines from somewhere in which what law enforcement “believes” or “thinks” has no more credence than it does for the rest of us. After all, paranoids hallucinate and when paranoid cops do it, we die.

ALL HAIL THE NEW QUEENS — Two new female members were seated on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors the other day, heralding a new day — a day in which the board will cease to be known as “The Five Kings.” Instead, we can look forward to the reign of “The Five Queens!”

Hilda Solis now supervises the 1st District and Sheila Kuehl is the supervisor of the 3rd District. Excellent! At the next available opportunity, we need to elect State Sen. Holly J. Mitchell as 2nd District supervisor and Rep. Janice Hahn as supervisor of the 4th District.  I don’t know of anyone to replace 5th District SupervisorMichael Antonovich, so get busy and find us a woman so the Five Queens can make county government function in the best interests of the people — all the people for a change.



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