Tyre Nichols' life was tragically and unnecessarily cut short due to another instance of police brutality and officer misconduct. Acts of state-sanctioned violence toward citizens in any of its forms should be prohibited and outlawed without haste. Our prayers and sincere condolences go out to the family and a grieving Memphis community.
We must not lose focus on the systemic changes we all should collectively demand in order to address these societal detriments. The body count of those brutalized by police cannot continue to grow longer with new names and shattered families. We join the voices of state and national organizations in calling for the immediate end of qualified immunity; we also cannot turn a blind eye to police violence in Chattanooga. Rather than waiting on federal legislation solely, local communities must lead the charge in demanding:
Ending the use of unmarked cars and plainclothes officers
Ending the use of pretextual traffic stops
Removing police from traffic enforcement entirely
Passing the Data Transparency Ordinance
Dissolving and ending the use of all "LEO" task forces
These community demands were born in Memphis after MPD Officers murdered Tyre Nichols. We must vigorously oppose instances of police brutality and the excessive use of force in Tennessee and throughout the greater Chattanooga community. These demands must be implemented here both in Chattanooga and Hamilton County. Please let the City Council and Mayor Kelly, along with the government of Hamilton County and the Sheriff's Office, know they should pass these policies.
Let us press forward with a righteous indignation, firmly planted in the moral urgency of now, in eradicating and eroding these grave threats to democracy and basic humanity.
The Unity Group
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I must say I actually agree with some of the bullet points in the above opinion. It may be in the best interest of all involved not to utilize task forces (Bullet point #5) and/or police officers in some of these communities.
I think in order to help protect concerned citizens that have an issue with law enforcement presence, we just need to have communities vote on whether they would prefer police presence or not. If they vote no to police presence, they replace the patrol officers with cameras. Once the cameras catch a criminal act and an ID can be confirmed, a warrant is then placed for that offender.
Of course, with no law enforcement presence in the community or on traffic stops (Bullet point 3), the offenders would pretty much be on the honor system to turn themselves in once their conscious got the better of them, whether it be rape, murder, assault, theft, etc.
The vulnerable in these communities across the nation would ultimately suffer, where senseless murders and shootings are as common as potholes on our city streets, but at least they would would not have to deal with law enforcement anymore.
The ones that signed the above opinion piece could declare victory, and we could still avoid talking about the "Elephant in the Room", and that is the over 10,000 black Americans that are murdered every year.
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Chris, of course you're bending on the sarcastic side with talk of restricting or not having police patrol black communities at all. Then you give some weak statistics you lifted from a shadowy site that warp and mislead FBI statistics on crime based on race. But, even if those statistics are anywhere near the truth, which they're not, what if there's a direct correlation between those numbers you use and the way police aggressively patrol in black, brown, poor communities? It doesn't take much to create the perfect storm that would ensure that bad things will happen.
Chris, I've lived in a racially mixed/economically mixed, non-bias/bias mixed community for decades, give or take a few years I didn't live in the area. I was actually born in the community of St Elmo more than 60 years ago. My maternal side family history dates back to well before the community was even established. And I can tell there's vast differences in the way police have often come into the community, often at the behest of the more bias leaning dwellers, and how some police treat/mistreat people according to their race. It didn't matter if the police patrolling the area is white, black, green with red and blue polka dots. Most all carried the same "well, you don't look like you belong," attitude.
Yes, there's been blacks in the community dating back over a hundred years or so. My great aunts and great uncles were playmates with children of some of the most notable/wealthy white citizens in or around the community. Of course, they were listed as Mulatto on the census at much of the time. Other times, the census form was left blank where race was meant to be recorded because the census takers couldn't figure out what they were. But their rules for certain blacks and limits on the numbers allowed. My maternal great aunts and uncles didn't have to worry about being vetted because they were closer to being white than black. There was also a vetting system in place to determine who was and who wasn't allowed and how many. Anything above that limit and a campaign began to run the rest off. This is where the police would be called in to harass any numbers over that limit out. This is why my son, USAF at the time, and other young black males in the area found themselves being harassed by cops, white/black, patrolling the area. The area had become too "diverse" for the liking of a few diehards who had the ears of some of the police patrolled the area at the time and also some city leaders.
For anyone who say they want to assure what happened in Memphis to Tyre Nichols will never happen here, they're ill informed, because it's already happened here. It happened to my son, USAF, in the mid 2000s. It just didn't rise to the level of abuse Mr. Nichols experienced, and there was no Skycop in place to catch anything. I'll always believe the only thing that saved my son on that night, he was walking right outside our home was he had his military ID, credit cards and other ID on him. However that didn't stop the cop. It should have ended there, but it didn't. The cop could have apologize, thought up some lie, which they're good at coming up with on the spot, explained himself and thanked by son for serving the country. Instead, realizing he'd made a major goof, the cop became even more aggressive and hostile towards my son. My son's crime? WWB, not driving, after dark in the community he was born, but walking while black after dark in what the cop perceived was a white community, no blacks should be.
My son and his wife, US Army, were home on a short weekend leave. As her unit at the military base she was stationed (they weren't stationed at the same base) was about to be deployed to Iraq in a couple of months and the base was going into lockdown. You surely know about those base lockdowns. No one's allowed to leave once they go in effect. Both being full time active duty at the time, she wanted to see family one last time before heading to Iraq. Their thanks for serving their country was met with a hostility at the hands of cop who thought my son "didn't belong" in the community. These were actual words some cops were telling young black males whose families had lived in the area much longer than some of the residence who were constantly calling police on them. "You don't look like you belong here."
Police can serve the citizens without all the brute force and hostility involved, and targeting certain areas and people, Chris. When the heavy aggressive style policing and police presence went away out this way, Chris, so did much of the racial hostility and resentment subside somewhat they caused by pitting neighbor against neighbor. Though a level of mistrust will likely always remain, neighbor to neighbor and with police. You don't treat people that way and then expect the mistrust and suspicion to just up and magically disappear.
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The latest report I could find was from the FBI's 2019 Crime in the United States report with 2019 Arrests by Race and Ethnicity.
Since Mr. Morgan exaggerated the murder statistic just a bit, here are the actual numbers for 2019 "Murder & non-negligent manslaughter" category by race and ethnicity. This category is, by far, the most skewed as measured against percentage of population, but not the only category. There are lots of categories in this report.
3,352 45.7% White
3,764 51.3% Black or African American
109 1.5% American Indian or Alaska Native
82 1.1% Asian
28 0.4% Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander
If anyone decides to review the FBI's 2019 Crime in the United States with Arrests by Race and Ethnicity statistics, there are 3 tables....
43A is arrests all ages,
43B arrests of under 18,
43C arrests of over 18.
Look it up and draw your own conclusions. It's straight from the FBI....no warpiness and no shadows.
I copied the bullet points from that document....see below
Arrests, by Race and Ethnicity, 2019
* In 2019, 69.4 percent of all individuals arrested were White, 26.6 percent were Black or African American, and 4.0 percent were of other races.
* Of arrestees for whom ethnicity was reported, 19.1 percent were Hispanic or Latino.
* Of all juveniles (persons under the age of 18) arrested in 2019, 62.5 percent were White, 33.9 percent were Black or African American, and 3.6 percent were of other races.
* Of juvenile arrestees for whom ethnicity was reported, 23.6 percent were Hispanic or Latino.
* Of all adults arrested in 2019, 69.9 percent were White, 26.1 percent were Black or African American, and 4.0 percent were of other races.
* Of adult arrestees for whom ethnicity was reported, 18.8 percent were Hispanic or Latino.
* White individuals were arrested more often for violent crimes than individuals of any other race and accounted for 59.1 percent of those arrests.
* Of adults arrested for murder, 51.3 percent were Black or African American, 45.7 percent were White, and 3.0 percent were of other races.
* White juveniles comprised 50.3 percent of all juveniles arrested for violent crimes, and Black or African American juveniles accounted for 46.4 percent of juveniles arrested for violent crimes. White juveniles comprised 54.9 percent of all juveniles arrested for
property crimes. Of juveniles arrested for drug abuse violations, 74.8 percent were
* White juveniles comprised 56.4 percent of juveniles arrested for aggravated assault and 55.4 percent of juveniles arrested for larceny-theft.