The following guidelines are for police officers, neighborhood watchmen and anyone else that was “frightened” by an unarmed Black person. They’ve been utilized successfully throughout the Jim Crow era and are heavily based on 18th century Slave Codes. Yet even in 2014, these guidelines are as ripe as ever. During the Ferguson police press conference held on August 15th, 2014, they let the public “know” that they are carefully following these guidelines step by step.
1. Act Like It Didn’t Happen
Best case scenario is if the person killed was a prisoner, had a criminal past, was homeless or a sex worker. Generally society has marginalized these sets of people so much that their humanity and human rights are often overlooked. In that case, someone is less likely to champion for them, come looking for them or report them missing. This is the easiest type of crime to push under the rug.
If they officer that killed the person is also Black, this makes it even easier. Then the public can’t blame racism.
2. Hide The Facts
If there are any key facts that can point to your wrongdoing, hide or destroy them before the media or an outside department gets wind of it. Remember that the evidence is in your control. Sometimes people catch feelings, so fire or publicly discredit any possible whistleblowers. Dig up dirt on them to make their words less credible.
3. Be Slow To Make An Arrest
No matter if the killing took place in broad day light or how many people saw it, don’t make an immediate arrest. It didn’t happen until you said it happened. You are the one to determine whether an actual crime took place. Take as much time as you need. Don’t worry about public push back. Let them eat cake! In due time you will make your decision on how to handle this. Don’t provide any information to the public while you’re getting your story together/or creating one.
4. Demand that the public believe you over their lying eyes.
No matter what the video shows, don’t allow the public to believe their own eyes.
5. Create an optical illusion.
Is it a bird, a plane? The public has a short memory. Work off of that, use this knowledge to your advantage. If you have any footage or videos potentially showing the person in perceived devious acts, send it to every news media outlet imaginable. Even the blogs. Make sure that every Tom, Dick and Harry knows that one time, the person smoked weed or gave “the finger.” They were bad, very bad and had to be stopped before they became a greater nuisance to society.
6. Criminalize, Criminalize, Criminalize
Can you link the person to a crime? Can you dig up something from their past? Did they ever attend a juvenile detention center? Did they have alcohol or marijuana in their system? If any of these things applies, use it as your greatest asset. This will prove to some members of the public that the person was not worthy of life. If you can’t find anything, make something up. Try to make it sound as believable as possible. Say the person was a suspect to a recent crime.
7. Push For No Blacks On The Jury Or No Jury At All
8. Glorious Freedom – Rinse & Repeat
If you’ve managed to make it through the obstacle course of so called “accountability” you’re free to go back on the streets to protect and serve. This also goes for self appointed neighborhood watchmen and anyone else that has taken an issue with Black people just living their lives.
Writer’s Note: Everyone of these instances continues to happen. The police departments are meant to protect and serve. There are many police officers across the country that are working with their local communities but there are others that are terrorizing their local communities. There needs be a change, bottom up, top down and every way imaginable. At the same time I recognize that many people say they hate the police, until they need them. Whenever we feel like our lives are in danger we reach for the phone to call the police. But we need stability, trust and respect. Communities can not be protected without mutual respect. Crimes can not be solved and lives can not be saved if police don’t listen to the local community. But the question remains, “Do the police and government care about Black lives as much as others?” History has shown us the answer to that question time and time again.
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Jessica Ann Mitchell is the founder of OurLegaci.com & BlackBloggersConnect.com. To reach JAM, email her at OurLegaci@gmail.com. Follow Jessica @TweetingJAM.
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