Since Black life matters, then...

Assemblyman-elect Charles Barron | 12/12/2014, 5:52 p.m.
Since Black life matters, then ... fire Police Commissioner Bratton and rid this city of his broken windows theory.

Since Black life matters, then ... stop calling for us to be peaceful while police officers continue to violently take our lives. We are not killing police officers—they are killing us. Tell the police to be peaceful. Because Black life matters, we must protect ourselves “by any means necessary.” In 1967, when asked to condemn the riots, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, the prince of peace and non-violence, said, “I cannot condemn the riots without condemning the conditions that caused them ... The riots are the voice of the unheard.”

When America doesn’t allow for peaceful methods for change and justice, violent methods are inevitable. New York is a racial powder keg about to explode. Don’t blame me, the social forecaster, for forecasting an explosion just as you wouldn’t blame the weather forecaster for forecasting a storm.

As far as the issue of police violence is concerned, I offer the following recommendations.

  1. The police commissioner should be an elected position, not one appointed by the mayor.

  2. State legislation should be enacted to create an independent civilian agency with investigative and prosecutorial power to prosecute police in those cases of police brutality and the abusive use of deadly force. We cannot count on local district attorneys.

  3. The local community police precinct council should be independent of the local police precincts and should be empowered to determine local policing policies for their community and should have the final approval of who should be the local police precinct commander.

  4. No more private grand jury proceedings. We want public preliminary hearings for probable cause indictments. Let the public witness how the district attorney is presenting the case, cross-examining the witnesses and interpreting the forensic evidence.

  5. Fully fund community patrols to patrol areas where police misconduct and community crime is high. Sometimes the presence of a community patrol can serve as a preventive measure, not an apprehending measure.

Ultimately, America needs a radical transformation of its government. Greedy monopoly capitalism, a domestic form of colonialism and neo-colonial, institutional and structural racism and a foreign policy called imperialism has caused death and destruction to the human family domestically and worldwide. King said, “America needs a radical rearrangement of its economic and political order and an equitable redistribution of its wealth.”

The United States Declaration of Independence states, “All [people] are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness ... That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it and to institute new government.”

Let’s get busy! Forward ever! Our victory is certain.