The advent of digital eyes: bearing witness to police criminality

The natural eyes of black people have long been witnessing and testifying against police aggression and brutalities, but society has rejected these accounts and questions their veracities. But with the advent of digital eyes, society was forced to bear witness to some of the most inhumane and criminal acts that we have been enduring at the hands of police. Yet, society did not need to wait for the testimony of electronics and the digital eyes of iPhone to reveal the truth concerning the brutalities of policing; because since its infancy, society stood by and watch these brutalities with its own God-given eyes. And why did society waited until the digital eyes and ears of electronics captured the reality that the brutalities of policing are suffocating black people until we are no longer able to breathe? Many would want us to believe that the criminality and brutalities that have been recorded by digital eyes are new phenomena of just a few bad apples and that the system is working as it was designed to work. Well, here lies the problem, the system of policing was not originally designed to work for everyone. The primary duty of the police has always been to provide first class protection and service to the rich and their properties; while their secondary duty is to protect and serve the working class and the poor. Initially, police were not sworn to protect and serve black lives, we fell within the jurisdiction of property and outside the jurisdiction of humanity; the police’s only duty regarding us was to make sure that we did not step outside our allotted jurisdiction — the plantation.

There are too many people that are making too many excuses for police criminality and brutalities against black lives in society, and they want us to believe that there are only a few bad apples that are committing these egregious acts. But these bad apples sprung from a seed that was planted and caught root in a society that was racially poison; it is easier to discard a few bad apples that fell from a poisonous tree than to acknowledge the poisonous root from which they came. And there are others who wish to convince us that these oppressive acts by law enforcement stemmed from bad judgment that can be remedied with better training. But I do not buy into this argument, because police have shown to be perfectly trained whenever they enter into rich communities and they do not engage them with any aggression. However, I am not surprised by the discrepancies in behaviors and treatments that law enforcement dishes out between the rich and poor communities; after all, everyone knows ( including the police) that society does not give a damn about the poor and their communities. Pardon my honest; but how can we live in the wealthiest society in the world, yet handcuffs are the only jewelry that the poor can afford to wear and prison the only place where they can go to get meals thrice a day? It is the natural tendency of injustices and oppression to gravitate toward the unloved or those who are the least loved in society and it is also the natural tendency of society to willing sacrifice them to these injustices and oppression. But what if society could put itself vicariously in the place of black people and live our fears? It could feel the fears that are thumping in the hearts of black parents, as they watch their children leaving home; wondering if they would be able to sidestep the criminal elements in the streets, while at the same time avoid being swept away in the blue wave of brutalities that are plaguing the nation. It would feel the anxiety of black women lying in their bed not knowing if the legal wrongs of law enforcement will breach the sanctity of their homes and violate the sanctity of their lives. And it would witness how the unwarranted aggression of policing dehumanized and emasculated black men and leaving them to wonder if their next word or act will be their last. Through the advent of digital eyes, police criminality and brutalities have become breaking news to most of society, but to us, this news is as old as the statue of liberty.  


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