Friday, September 17, 2010

Three Dallas Police Officer Charged with Allegedly Beating a Black Man

By now a tittle like what I have chosen for this piece is commonplace, because police brutality against Blacks happens everyday.  Affluent White people can afford to the cops as friends because they are after all defending their property and Whiteness can be completely enamored of the police because they help to maintain White supremacy.  Blacks have long talked about police violence in their neighbourhoods, only to have their concerns ignored.  Now that cameras widely record police behavior and it is not even remotely plausible to deny police brutality, forces across North America offer platitudes about sensitivity training, while the beatings continue.  Each new video that is released, society expresses faux rage and quickly moves onto the next moment of contrived anger.
Three Dallas police officers, including one who was fired, will face criminal charges for their alleged roles in the beating of a suspect, which was caught on video by dashboard cameras, the police chief said Wednesday.

Andrew Collins, 28, suffered bruising and blood clots earlier this month after being struck by officers, who hit him about seven times with their fists and batons. The alleged beating lasted about 14 seconds following a chase.

The video, which the department distributed to reporters, shows one of the officers moving the dashboard camera so that it does not film the incident.

"This won't be tolerated," police Chief David Brown said. "This is not indicative of the Dallas Police Department. No one incident defines our character." [source]

Of the 22 officers who responded to the scene, one was black, Brown said. At least two were Hispanic, and the rest were white. Brown said there is no indication that race was a factor and no racial slurs were heard on the radio transmissions or recordings. 
and yet: 
The incident began around 9:15 p.m. on Sept. 5, when Randolph and Bauer saw Collins riding a motorcycle on a sidewalk. Police try to pulled him over, and the video shows Collins repeatedly allowing police to close in before he speeds away.

On the video recording, one of the officers can be heard saying that he planned to "beat the (expletive)" out of Collins once they pulled him over. 
So this particular incident of alleged violence, is completely disconnected from every other time the  police have allegedly crossed the line and beaten or murdered a person of colour?  This is a typical tactic of Whiteness - obscuring the systemic nature of its actions. When POC break the law, they are usually representative of their race, but when the person in question is white, it is an unrelated incident that involves an individual. A complete and utter aberration. In this way, even in the position of the supposedly criminalized body, Whiteness maintains not only its individuality but agency and supremacy.

Another factor that is prevalent in these alleged abuse cases, is a fixation on what crime the victim may or may not have been involved in prior to the start of the interaction with police -- as well as a search and or fixation on a criminal record.  All of this is done to alleviate what ever guilt may be placed upon the officer.  You see, if someone already has a record, we are more than willing to believe that the victim had it coming, despite the fact that this places the officer in the position of judge, jury, executioner.

If the police officer happens to be of colour, we quickly rule out race as a motivating factor, as though internalized racism does not exist.   We ignore that to rule, the dominant body requires the collusion of marginalized bodies to properly oversee its power. Just as women maintain and support patriarchy, so to, do people of colour maintain White supremacy.  Whiteness simply has too much invested in its rule, to openly acknowledge its dependency upon collusion.

When an officer lifts his billy club to strike someone, there is so much invested in each blow that it becomes easier for society to look at it as just one bad cop or a criminal that had it coming.  We shy away from looking at Whiteness, because of the awesome ugliness of this system of oppression, that benefits some, even as it painfully wounds.  If we are ever going to stop police violence in Black communities, we need to start looking at the big picture and dismantling the White Supremacist state.