”You should have thought about that before you started resisting!” These were the exact words spoken to Sandra Bland after she complained that Trooper Brian Encinia manhandled her and bashed her head into the ground. “I have epilepsy!” Bland revealed. She was not speaking to Encinia; but to a Black female officer who’d arrived on the scene. I wonder if Bland expected empathy from the officer considering they were both Black women. If so, she was sadly mistaken.
“Are you okay?” asked the Black female officer. She wasn’t speaking to Miss Bland. She was concerned about Encinia. Then, in the most sickening moment, in Negro cop history, she declared, “I saw the whole thing.” Video footage of the arrest later surfaced and proved that the Black female officer was lying. Not only did she not see the entire encounter, she was more concerned with the well-being of the White officer who’d just assaulted a Black woman. Bland was later found hanging in her jail cell. Encinia was later terminated for how he handled Bland.
Months later, this same Black female officer appeared on the scene when a Black Prairie View City Councilman was assaulted by a White officer with a taser. This same Negro officer is heard speaking to the councilman saying, “Now he’s gonna have to tase you.” That officer was later indicted for official oppression. Amazing how this Black cop was cheerleader, character witness and co-signer in both incidents where White officers abused their authority against Black citizens. She swore they were justified in their actions when even America’s crooked small town system found them at fault. This has been a pathological sickness among Black law enforcement officers ever since White America decided to “let us into” their police departments. Black officers are expected to co-sign on the Supremacy of White people of all non-White people, even themselves.
I was recently asked by Houston’s police chief to deliver a speech before some graduating cadets. I noticed there were not very many people who looked like me among the graduates. When I was in elementary school, the question was often asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Back then, maybe 5 out of 10 youngsters would answer “a police officer.” As we got older and witnessed the role police played in the “War on Drugs”, that narrative began to change. Officers began to look less like who we wanted to be and more like who we wanted to avoid. Nowadays you can hardly find young Black boys who want to be police officers. Police/Community relations in the age of “Black Lives Matter” is worse than ever. And caught in the crossfire is the Black law enforcement officer.
Black police officers make up approximately 12% of departments nationwide. While the presence of other minority groups is on the rise in law enforcement, Black folks are opting out of opportunities to become police officers. The Black officer previously mentioned does not make things better.
Let me say that not all Black officers are “certified coons.” There are some who, despite the culture of their profession, are still decent human beings unwilling to go along with the corruption within their ranks. However, the majority are unfortunately controlled by fear. They fear being ostracized, set up, targeted, terminated and in some cases physically harmed. For this reason, some Black officers are harder on Black people than their White counterparts. They try to prove their loyalty to the department by abandoning their loyalty to their own community. Big mistake!
Over the years I’ve had countless Black officers reach out to me for assistance. The truth is, the same kind of racial profiling and discrimination that the Black community suffers at the hands of law enforcement, Black officers suffer within their departments. They are reprimanded quicker than White officers and are promoted with greater scrutiny, if at all. All cops are protected by the “Blue Wall”, but there is a Black Wall within the Blue Wall designed to keep Black officers in their places. Even those who rise to position of chief don’t get the same respect. If they’ll treat a Black president with blatant disrespect, what do you think they do to Black police chiefs. I’m not telling you what I heard. I’m telling you what I know.
Black police officers must wake the hell up. You must develop a mindset that seeks to protect the community; not just “arrest” the community. Do not lose your soul trying to be accepted into a “brotherhood” where you are not free to speak your mind or be proud of who you are. You must invest in the community you patrol. Let the youth see you “out of uniform” helping the elderly or encouraging the next generation. This will get you the support of the community and help us to separate the good officers from the rogues. If so-called good officers don’t make themselves known (through good deeds), they will continue to be “lumped in” and stereotyped with the rest. It’s rough being stereotyped. Trust me, we know.
Now comes the most critical part of this article. Black police officers nationwide must ORGANIZE themselves. You must become supremely organized if you are to make an impact in the community and protect yourselves from the White supremacist culture that internally oppresses you. Not all Black officers will want to unite. Some are already compromised, “cooned out” and sold out. With your own community behind you, you could become a very powerful force. But you must first rid yourself of fear, realize that White supremacy hates you just as much as the rest of us and start treating your people with the dignity and respect that they have been long denied by the law enforcement community.
Lastly, don’t compromise your soul trying to please your superiors. Don’t lie for the liars or cover for the corrupt; especially when they wouldn’t do the same for you. The truth is, in most cases, the Blue Wall protects White officers in a way that it doesn’t protect you. You signed up to protect and serve the community―not White supremacy. I’m sure some “Uncle Token” Negro cop will be recruited to denounce me and this article, but when you lay down at night and close your eyes, you know what I’m saying is the truth. You were Black before you became a cop. You will be Black when it’s over. As long as the justice system continues to deny us justice, police/community relations will continue to worsen. If you turn your back on the community that produced you, where will you go when the Blue Wall reminds you of your Blackness? More on this topic later.