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August 31, 2005

Make Me!

Doc's patience is being tried by knucklehead members of the Coalition of the Damned. Mine too.

Their new prophet of rage, Tony Muhammad, blasted cops for not raising the dead. Well actually, that's not the whole truth, he blasted firemen for not raising the dead. Well, that's not the whole truth either, because Tony Muhammad wanted to raise a ruckus at the funeral of the dead homie in question as an opportunity to get in cops' faces. That's more like it. And so when he and his bodyguards (why do you bring bodyguards to a funeral? ) didn't disperse at the order of the police the conversation went south.

How did this all start? Hell it never finished. The Nation of Islam regularly spins off Somebody Muhammads (I think the PC term is 'radical cleric') who incite poor, helpless and ignorant people aka the Coalition of the Damned, who have decided that their entire entree into the political arena is all about shouting in public meetings about how the LAPD is genocidal. They lurk in the bushes and wait for any situation that can escalate into the tired old stereotypes. NOI loudmouths is a tired old stereotype. Thuglike cops is a tired old stereotype. But this time it started because of a gang murder. That may be a stereotype too, but it is what actually happened. And the banger who was twitching on the sidewalk with half of his brains in the street was pronounced dead by paramedics. The neighborhood shouted to use CPR on the twitching body while the cops told them to back off.

And so the invitation went out to Tony Muhammad to be the voice of... the voice of what? So that when it came time for the dead banger's funeral, lots of people could be counted on to show up, most importantly perhaps, the reporters for the LA Times who made sure that the murder that precipitated police presence in the first place was mentioned about 8 paragraphs down the page.

So I've got to hear all this from my mother yesterday with all the shit that's going down in New Orleans. Doc had to do crowd control at the hearing and people were getting all in his face. What hearing? Oh, the hearing that our new mayor called so that every possible word against the LAPD can be heard. The room sits 70, about three times that showed up. Now this is where I put the beatdown down several paragraphs in the page.

When, at the funeral for the dead banger, our radical cleric was ordered to stop following police officers he uttered the taunt which is the title of this blog article. He got beat down by the cops. I suppose that was provocation enough but there are official charges assault against the minister.

I'm rather stressed out at the moment, but I feel the need to say things in the face of the people who get in my brother's face. All I can do is shout at the walls right now. I may as well, because that's probably all the satisfaction I'm going to get.

You may well note that the bosses of Tony Muhammad have no comment at this time.

Doc has gotten the ear of Chief Bratton who is asking for input from folks here in LA about what they think about this situation. So from your keyboard to the Chief's ears. Doc says their is a silent majority of blackfolks that is sick and tired of these radical clerics. I say, stop being silent, because the knuckleheads are drowning you out.

Not that I expect anybody who spews off about the LAPD to actually check out their side of the story, so I've gathered this from their site which illustrates their 'genocidal' programs and goals.

This is from the neighborhood I grew up in, and these are the crime stats:

Mission Statement

To reduce crime and traffic collisions, to provide the highest standard of law enforcement service, and to improve the quality of life in Southwest Area for those we serve and our employees. We will do this in partnership with the community.

2000 Goals

The Southwest Area Management Team worked to develop a work plan and set realistic goals for the Southwest Area. We believe this plan will help us to achieve our goals. By providing our personnel with annually established goals and objectives to achieve, we feel we ensure our contribution to Community Based Policing and quality service to the community. The Management Team developed the following goals:

* Reduce crime by five percent,
* Reduce serious and fatal traffic collisions by five percent,
* Reduce personnel complaints by five percent,
* Increase the clearance rate for violent crimes by 10 %,
* Reduce the detectives’ backlog to less than 150 cases,
* Increase the detectives’ participation with the community, and;
* Implement the department’s new mission statement.

Youth Programs

Posted by mbowen at August 31, 2005 03:34 PM

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The cops were at the funeral? Why?

Posted by: brotherbrown [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 31, 2005 04:37 PM

I know this may seem wrong but I do believe the LAPD are genocidal. I have seen nothing of them to make me believe they give a damn about the people they are sworn to protect. I'm not sure what happened in this particular case - but the Devin Brown case was murder.

I don't blame the black people in LA for hating their police. Chicago police are bad but in no way could I could compare them to what I've heard about the LAPD. I can imagine all the stories that never see the light of day.

I know your brother is a cop and he may be a good one. Heck, there may be a lot of good cops on the force - but they operate in a diseased infested system so until proven otherwise, I would have to treat them as if they were contaminated as well.

Posted by: james manning at September 1, 2005 08:19 AM

The cops were at a funeral because it was a gang murder. If a Crip gets shot in front of 100 neighbors by a Blood, do you think that Crips are not going to show up at the funeral looking for Bloods? Do you think it's wiser just to have no cops around at the funeral of a murdered banger?

As for the disease infested system, I think we need to Go There, when it comes to police involved shootings as a ratio of all shootings in LA. I'll RSS that to the blog. Suddenly, I think you'll find that when you see the numbers, about how many bangers are shot by each other vs how many carjackers get knocked upside the head with a flashlight, you'll change your tune. Although I can understand the political desire to defy the truth. After all, that's what the Coalition of the Damned is all about.

Posted by: Cobb [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 1, 2005 12:14 PM

Settle down, this was an innocent question. I didn't know uniformed LAPD officers attended gang funerals as a part of anti-gang policy.

I heard about the incident, and just thought it was unusual for there to be any sort of confrontation between NOI and the police at a funeral.

I can see how that may be seen as provocative, but it is just as easy to ignore the cops as get in their faces.

Posted by: brotherbrown [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 1, 2005 04:33 PM

Cobb, I know the streets are gang infested. Actually, I've never seen gang activity like I see in LA. I know the cops have a hard job to do. But it is their job - they are professionals. So, if they can't handle the heat, maybe they should leave. What I'm saying is that the police department should be on the otherside of the law and not be as reckless as the people they are trying to get off of the streets.

I've had my runins with the police and even when I'm being respectful to them they act a fool. That, I don't understand. OK, so they may be having a bad day - but they have the power to take a life - that gives them greater a responsibility to control themselves.

I hate to dog the fuzz out but we can't ignore the fact that the relationship between the cops and the black community has never been a cozy one - and they need to take responsibility for the role they played in getting to where we are today.

Posted by: james manning at September 1, 2005 05:02 PM

Here's what I think. I think that too many ghetto-bound people have not updated their politics since 1968, and/or haven't looked at the upside of having black police officers.

Anybody who is talking the same yang about the LAPD since Rodney King hasn't been paying attention, and what makes it more hypocritical is that there has already been two black police chiefs at the top. Bratton is widely acknowledged as one of the best in the nation and people are still rallying behind a two bit jackleg NOI preacher. I don't have any patience for that kind of bullshit. Sorry.

Posted by: Cobb [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 1, 2005 05:33 PM

The NOI doesn't really have that sort of following anymore. There used to be a lot of non-NOI who would nevertheless attend NOI rallies, but not so much now.

I've met Tony Muhammad, and he hasn't really had run-ins with the cops before. I wonder if something is up in the Nation.

Posted by: brotherbrown [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 1, 2005 10:20 PM

Cobb, your blog is absolutely incredible. I wanted you to finally know this after I've been lurking about for the past 6 months. Really, you keep great information and stories and realities with humanism that no other particular blogger I read or know about does. You're the best. Thanks.

Posted by: T.S. Mick at September 2, 2005 06:30 AM

Black police officers (or any state-sanctioned body of armed black folk) are ESSENTIAL to providing a sense of peace and balance to black communities. In this day and age, it is straining credulity to ask or expect the average person to organize against well-armed, well-funded young men engaged in a NATIONAL battle over territorial distribution of narcotics.

The exceptions prove the rule. Community organizing is insufficient. The challenge in PDs around the country is in effectively recruiting a CRITICAL MASS of black police officers. There have black chiefs in cities across the nation, but the road to promotion for middle-level and senior-managers is more difficult. Still, the policing profession will be facing a significant number of retirements across the nation in coming years - and now is a good time to get in...but the cadre is limited precisely because so many potential recruits are engaged on the other side of the conflict.

The killings between gang members are nothing new - and they are not reflective of ANYTHING particular to black folk. The Yakuza used to do it. La Cosa Nostra did it. If you couldn't go to a bar and buy a beer, they'd still be doing it - and the police couldn't stop them in the 1930's. What ended the NATIONAL gang battles over the distribution of alcohol was legalization. Alcohol will always kill more folks than cocaine or marijuana or herrrron. Take it back four centuries...Queen Elizabeth endorses Walter Raleigh raids on Spanish and Dutch ships for the narcotics of their time - the things people simply could not do without - enslaved Africans.

A CRITICAL MASS of Black Police Officers might play a role similar to the British in 1807 when they banned the slave trade - but the challenges are enormous. The challenges include intra-departmental racism, community bias-mistrust-resentment, limited budgets, media disinterest, low-performing schools, and the gangs themselves.

I see two options: legalize the trade or garner sufficient resources to impose other choices on bangers. The latter option is not likely. There is too much loot involved and too little will to change the game.

Posted by: Temple3 [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 2, 2005 07:23 AM

Funny thing is, LAPD is trying very hard right now to recruit more officers. On top of that our mayor is looking for ways to hire more cops in the future. LAPD is even looking into relaxing some of its requirements regarding prior drug use and bad credit for recruits. We're talking about a job with a starting salary of over $50,000, that requires only a high school diploma and reasonably good physical health, and that gives people the opportunity to make an impact in their community. Instead of complaining about how “genocidal” they think LAPD is, why aren't they trying to encourage people to join the force and make change from the inside?

p.s. IMO the LAPD isn’t genocidal – GANGS are. How many LAPD killing of black men have there been versus black-on-black gang-related killings?

Posted by: rgone at September 4, 2005 01:00 PM

You nailed it Temple. If the NOI had its head on straight, they'd be recruiting on the LAPD's behalf. But I bet you a nickel they're harboring a grudge that's 15 years old.

It hasn't helped that the DA's office has beef with Najee Ali, whom I've seen be a very reasonable alternative as far as rabble-rousers go. But what I'm seeing is that Councilman Parks has an even greater opportunity (if he'd take that stick out of his ass) to make the proper pitch for support of the LAPD. I'm very curious as to his relationship with John Mack in his new role on the Police Commission.

Posted by: Cobb [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 4, 2005 01:55 PM

BTW. I will say that the black officer who heads up the 77th has had some good press. They need to get him on the radio more often. (but not Pacifica)

Posted by: Cobb [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 4, 2005 01:57 PM