Thursday, December 18, 2008

One Black Man Became President, The Rest Just Soldiered On

The New Era will have to wait a little longer for the rest of us. Not a day pass by that I do not read about African Americans and other people of color being beaten, lie to, financially taken advantages of, discriminate against.

Some stories are just so shocking... Then you understand that the people that are doing those crimes don't even have to be careful or insidious: they know that there is no justice for those assaulted, only financial compensation maybe, like throwing money in the others face and telling them to shut the fuck up already, but no justice.

I am so mad since I read this story just a minute ago. There is nothing new or surprising about this. No new level of consciousness has dawn upon us since November. Yet.

Let me ask you this: if three grown, strong men would come out of a van in front of your house and try to snatch your 12 years old, who started to scream and call you in panic, what would you do?

If you would see those 3 big Neanderthals hitting her, trying to silence her, with their big dumb fists and then take her away in their van, how would you feel?

If, after you learned that those dangerous thugs were police officers in plain clothes that never identified themselves and thought that your little girl was a prostitute because she was outside, black and in shorts, if after you learned all this, those same goons went up to your daughter's school during the day and, instead of offering an apology, they arrested her for resisting arrest, then arrested you for the same unconscionable crazy reason, how would you cope?

From the Houston Press web site:

Police Get The Wrong House In Galveston, Allegedly Assault 12-Year-Old Girl

Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 12:37:01 PM

It was a little before 8 at night when the breaker went out at Emily Milburn's home in Galveston. She was busy preparing her children for school the next day, so she asked her 12-year-old daughter, Dymond, to pop outside and turn the switch back on.

As Dymond headed toward the breaker, a blue van drove up and three men jumped out rushing toward her. One of them grabbed her saying, "You're a prostitute. You're coming with me."

Dymond grabbed onto a tree and started screaming, "Daddy, Daddy, Daddy." One of the men covered her mouth. Two of the men beat her about the face and throat.

As it turned out, the three men were plain-clothed Galveston police officers who had been called to the area regarding three white prostitutes soliciting a white man and a black drug dealer.

All this is according to a lawsuit filed in Galveston federal court by Milburn against the officers. The lawsuit alleges that the officers thought Dymond, an African-American, was a hooker due to the "tight shorts" she was wearing, despite not fitting the racial description of any of the female suspects. The police went to the wrong house, two blocks away from the area of the reported illegal activity, Milburn's attorney, Anthony Griffin, tells Hair Balls.

After the incident, Dymond was hospitalized and suffered black eyes as well as throat and ear drum injuries.

Three weeks later, according to the lawsuit, police went to Dymond's school, where she was an honor student, and arrested her for assaulting a public servant. Griffin says the allegations stem from when Dymond fought back against the three men who were trying to take her from her home. The case went to trial, but the judge declared it a mistrial on the first day, says Griffin. The new trial is set for February.

"I think we'll be okay," says Griffin. "I don't think a jury will find a 12-year-old girl guilty who's just sitting outside her house. Any 12-year-old attacked by three men and told that she's a prostitute is going to scream and yell for Daddy and hit back and do whatever she can. She's scared to death."

Since the incident more than two years ago, Dymond regularly suffers nightmares in which police officers are raping and beating her and cutting off her fingers, according to the lawsuit.
Griffin says he expects to enter mediation with the officers in early 2009 to resolve the lawsuit.

We've got calls in to the officers' lawyer; we'll let you know if we hear something.

Update: This is from the officers' lawyer, William Helfand:

Both the daughter and the father were arrested for assaulting a peace officer. "The father basically attacked police officers as they were trying to take the daughter into custody after she ran off."

Also, "The city has investigated the matter and found that the conduct of the police officers was appropriate under the circumstances," Helfand says. "It's unfortunate that sometimes police officers have to use force against people who are using force against them. And the evidence will show that both these folks violated the law and forcefully resisted arrest."
-- Chris Vogel

This was done 2 years ago. What will happen today?
Can we expect more of our institutions? Are they ready to protect the citizens of this country, not just their collective, uncharitable existence a.k.a. asses. If really they thought that the girl was a child prostitute, shouldn't they be concerned for her? Shouldn't they have been gentle? What does it mean for the thousands child prostitutes in this country? Do you think they feel like they can trust those repulsive, stupid, armed and dangerous goons?

I always thought that the leader of the United States also acted, nationally and internationally, as a moral and behavioural barometer of what is acceptable and even, if the President is good enough, admirable. Reagan gave us triumphant conservatism and rampant racism. Bush gave us looters and morally bankrupt contempt for the American People. Will Obama give us something to be proud of and that can help heal those hundreds of years of hatred? The crisis is not only financial, it's also plainly moral.

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