It’s Not Just About Killer KKKops, The Whole System Is Built To Work The Way It Is Working…

There is a cer­tain mind­set in the United States on the part of wealthy and pow­er­ful white peo­ple, that what­ev­er pow­er the police need to keep enforc­ing the sys­tem of white suprema­cy is jus­ti­fied, regard­less of the con­se­quences to inno­cent lives. (As far as they are con­cerned, those who fall, vic­tim to police vio­lence are col­lat­er­al dam­age, a nec­es­sary loss toward achiev­ing the larg­er goal).
The sys­tem pro­tects pow­er­ful whites, it was designed exact­ly to do so, it has indoc­tri­nat­ed poor whites to live in a per­pet­u­al­ly sus­pend­ed state of await­ing their turn.
They are indoc­tri­nat­ed into believ­ing in a mirage, that just over the hori­zon is an oasis of wealth and pros­per­i­ty.
That they will become the next suc­cess sto­ry, the big man who owns the plan­ta­tion. Make no mis­take about it, this has been hap­pen­ing since slav­ery when the rich told whites they were bet­ter than blacks based on their white skin.
To this day poor whites still refuse to see the error of sup­port­ing a sys­tem that keeps them down, almost as it does minori­ties.

From the days of slav­ery, to the present, poor whites believed the lies they were told by the wealthy. The lies were designed to dri­ve a wedge between poor whites & Blacks, so that white planters and oth­er wealthy whites could con­tin­ue to stack up wealth and main­tain con­trol.
Still today, poor whites wait expec­tant­ly that they will be next in line to move up to the gaudy, gild­ed pent­house, fifty floors into the Manhattan sky.
Today, even though the United States has acquired more wealth and pow­er than any oth­er nation in his­to­ry ever had, pover­ty con­tin­ues to rise, not just in the black com­mu­ni­ty but across all racial groups. According to the Census Bureau 29.9% of the pop­u­la­tion — or 93.6 mil­lion — live close to pover­ty, with incomes less than two times that of their pover­ty thresh­olds. The USDA esti­mat­ed that 11.1% of US house­holds were food inse­cure in 2018. This means that approx­i­mate­ly 14.3 mil­lion house­holds had dif­fi­cul­ty pro­vid­ing enough food for all their mem­bers due to a lack of resources. Rates of food inse­cu­ri­ty were sub­stan­tial­ly high­er than the nation­al aver­age for house­holds with incomes near or below the Federal pover­ty line. (Source: US Department of Agriculture)

Despite those glar­ing trend­lines, poor whites tend not to see inequities in the sys­tem much the same way that blacks do. Despite being poor, and in many cas­es more des­ti­tute than a large seg­ment of the black pop­u­la­tion, they cling to the sys­tem that has kept them in per­pet­u­al pover­ty, gen­er­a­tion after gen­er­a­tion.
But it is hard­ly my point to show the pover­ty rate among white Americans. My intent is to demon­strate just how poor whites are also vic­tims of a sys­tem that is held up by their sheer numer­ic strength of white peo­ple. But under which they too suf­fer in pover­ty, and are seen as valu­able, only to the extent they con­tin­ue to mil­i­tate against their own self-inter­est.
As the COVID-19 pan­dem­ic rages, and peo­ple are forced to stop. Take stock of their lives, and observe the things that are hap­pen­ing around them, the year 2020 has result­ed in some firsts.
For the very first time in the nation’s his­to­ry, the police killing of a black man, George Floyd took cen­ter stage across the coun­try, and cities and town across the coun­try were filled with pro­test­ers against police bru­tal­i­ty, most of the pro­test­ers have been white, that’s a first.

In the same way that the crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem treats two men, one who walks into a bank and com­mits an armed rob­bery, then runs out­side to a get­away car dri­ven by anoth­er, so must dis­senters view the sys­tem when it comes to pros­e­cu­tors and judges who enable and cheer­lead police mur­der, and cre­ates space (pros­e­cu­to­ri­al­ly, through non-action) and judi­cial­ly, through rul­ings and dis­sent, allow­ing it to con­tin­ue and to grow.
What has been clear as a result of (a) Trump’s ascen­den­cy to the exec­u­tive Mansion, (b) the COVID-19 pan­dem­ic, and © the unrest on the nation’s streets, is that Americans of all stripes have begun to see police bru­tal­i­ty for what it is.
Also evi­dent, is the bud­dy-bud­dy sys­tem that exists between police and pros­e­cu­tors offices, which makes it impos­si­ble for pros­e­cu­tors to appro­pri­ate­ly hold police account­able for their crimes.
What has not got­ten much atten­tion, is the com­plic­i­ty of unelect­ed judges who con­tin­ue to be shield­ed by their dark robes and ivory tow­ers, away from the blood and gore, many of whom help to cre­ate doc­trines that places the lives of peo­ple in inher­ent dan­ger.
One such doc­trine is the qual­i­fied immu­ni­ty doc­trine cre­at­ed by the Supreme Court, which is not in the con­sti­tu­tion, is not law, but a stan­dard set by the Supreme Court to shield pub­lic employ­ees from civ­il lia­bil­i­ty when they are law­ful­ly car­ry­ing out their pro­fes­sion­al duties and may make mis­takes.

The prob­lem with Qualified immu­ni­ty is that when it comes to police offi­cers who are giv­en pow­ers unequaled in any oth­er field, the courts have bent over back­ward to allow police to oper­ate in enforc­ing the nation’s laws..
Unfortunately, many police offi­cers use qual­i­fied immu­ni­ty as a shield, behind which they abuse, maim, and kill cit­i­zens with wan­ton dis­re­gard and abject impuni­ty.
According to the Supreme Court’s estab­lished doc­trine, in order for a cop to be out­side the shield of qual­i­fied immu­ni­ty, he must com­mit an act so egre­gious, that any oth­er offi­cer would have known that the act was crim­i­nal. However, that is not all, in order for an errant cop to lose his immu­ni­ty, there must have already been one such case against anoth­er cop that has been pros­e­cut­ed and decid­ed in a court of law.
It is a high bar for pros­e­cu­tors who are doing their job prop­er­ly to meet. It is a bar behind which pros­e­cu­tors who side with police rather than do their jobs, find shel­ter.

Buzzfeed report­ed on a case in 2010 in which In police offi­cers respond­ed to a report that a teenag­er was walk­ing through a neigh­bor­hood in Garland, Texas, with a hand­gun. When offi­cers found the 17-year-old, he was hold­ing the gun to his own head. The cops imme­di­ate­ly shot the poor teen twice, hav­ing been shot, he invol­un­tar­i­ly pulled the trig­ger. The teen sur­vived but has per­ma­nent injuries that include paral­y­sis and brain dam­age.
(Way to save a per­son from harm­ing him­self).
The fam­i­ly of the teen sued the police, they accused the cops of using exces­sive force and fab­ri­cat­ing evi­dence. They argued that even though the young man was armed, the cir­cum­stances didn’t jus­ti­fy dead­ly force, and they accused one offi­cer of lying about the teen aim­ing a gun at the police.

Andrew Oldham

In August 2019, the US Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit denied immu­ni­ty to the offi­cers, mean­ing the case would go to a jury. That’s great, but what is star­tling, is that the four Trump’s appointees dis­sent­ed, argu­ing, “No mem­ber of this court has stared down a flee­ing felon on the inter­state or con­front­ed a men­tal­ly dis­turbed teenag­er who is bran­dish­ing a loaded gun near his school.” Judges Andy Oldham and James Ho, both Trump nom­i­nees, wrote in a dis­sent­ing opin­ion.
The dis­sent gives a bird’s eye view of what is hap­pen­ing behind the scenes, whose actions are embold­en­ing the police vio­lence dai­ly, result­ing in the push­back from peo­ple tired of the abuse.
The word­ing itself caus­es one to rethink the whole notion of “learned judge”. It pre­sup­pos­es that a flee­ing felon or a men­tal­ly dis­turbed teenag­er, is fair game to be sum­mar­i­ly exe­cut­ed by police.
God help those of you who have your won­der­ful kids, teenagers, or oth­er­wise, with men­tal health issues, who think it’s a good idea to call the police to your home to help.

James Ho

The Buzzfeed report­ing went on to state that In cas­es where police have argued for immu­ni­ty, Trump’s nom­i­nees haven’t just split with their fel­low Republican appointees on how to apply the law — they’ve expressed full-throat­ed sup­port for law enforce­ment and made clear they believe courts should do more to shield offi­cers from lawsuits“If we want to stop mass shoot­ings, we should stop pun­ish­ing police offi­cers who put their lives on the line to pre­vent them’.
The unde­ni­able real­i­ty is that there is not a sin­gle case of a mass shoot­ing that was stopped by police offi­cers.
Judge Ho wrote in anoth­er case in October 2019. He dis­sent­ed from his col­leagues — a mix of Republican and Democratic appointees — who denied immu­ni­ty to offi­cers accused of using exces­sive force when they respond­ed to reports of an armed man walk­ing through a neigh­bor­hood and shot and killed the sus­pect. (Buzzfeed)

This one speaks for itself

In the case of a 17-year old boy shot by Garland Texas Police, the very same Ho & Oldham joined byJerry Smith, a Reagan appointee, blast­ed their col­leagues in the major­i­ty who ruled that it should be up to a jury to decide the case. Clearly this new cadre of earth­ly Gods do not feel that juries should make the call but it should be up to them the unelect­ed elites to decide to say police are above the laws.
Supreme Court prece­dent “gives us no basis for sneer­ing at cops on the beat from the safe­ty of our cham­bers,” they wrote.
Judge Kyle Duncan, also a Trump nom­i­nee, pub­lished his own dis­sent, writ­ing that “by mak­ing the offi­cers run the gaunt­let of tri­al,” the court under­mined their abil­i­ty to make split-sec­ond deci­sions about using lethal force”.
In oth­er words, police offi­cers who are entrust­ed to make deci­sions of life and death, police offi­cers who are trained for only a few months, police offi­cers who har­bor deep racial bias­es, police offi­cers who use drugs and are some­times hopped up on mind-alter­ing sub­stances, should be held to zero stan­dards of account­abil­i­ty when they use dead­ly force result­ing in the death of cit­i­zens.
The nation is in for a rather rough ride, in some quar­ters there have been com­plaints about the lack of qual­i­fi­ca­tion of some of the over 200 appointees Donald Trump has man­aged to load up onto the fed­er­al judi­cia­ry, includ­ing two on the supreme court, the con­se­quences are going to be dire going for­ward. Andrew Oldham is only 42 years old.

The cold, cal­cu­lat­ed impuni­ty with which American police bru­tal­ize, and kill cit­i­zens, can­not be processed with­in a frame­work sole­ly of good cop Vs bad cop. It has to be addressed in a ful­some way, tak­ing into account the vast infra­struc­ture that oper­ates behind the scenes to pro­tect police from account­abil­i­ty.
This is not a sys­tem that will crum­ble and allow for jus­tice to pre­vail, it is a sys­tem that will take all hands on deck to dis­man­tle, and it will not be easy.

Mike Beckles is a for­mer police Detective cor­po­ral, busi­ness­man, free­lance writer, he is a black achiev­er hon­oree, and pub­lish­er of the blog mike​beck​les​.com. 
He’s also a con­trib­u­tor to sev­er­al web­sites.
You may sub­scribe to his blogs free of charge, or sub­scribe to his Youtube chan­nel @chatt-a-box, for the lat­est pod­cast all free to you of course.

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