Thursday, October 20, 2016

I'm Telling You So, Again

Please make a donation to support Minutes Before Six

By Santonio D. Murff

I have two Afro-American and ambitious, college-educated and hardworking, very respectful sons of whom I am proud. They are truly my pride and joy. In them, I see all of my creativity and potential without the negativity that poverty and miseducation had polluted me with at their age. I have high hopes and grand dreams for them.

To see so many young, unarmed Black men being murdered by private citizens, neighborhood watchmen, and cops strikes terror in my heart. The cold-blooded murder of 11 year old Tamir Rice by a police officer had an especially traumatizing effect on me and was the catalyst that spurred me to utilize my gift and resources to get involved, speak out, write, and do all that I could to help The Black Lives Matter campaign to be successful.

The Black Lives Matter Movement isn't about killing cops. It's about stopping racist and rogue cops from killing us. It is about holding corrupt and murderous cops accountable for their criminal conduct. Blowing the Blue Wall of Silence up, because there is no place for it in a righteous, transparent, judicial system.

The Black Lives Matter Movement is made up of good Americans from all nationalities who want equal justice under the law for everyone. Good Americans who want the slaughtering of innocent people to stop! We focus on Black Lives, because we are the ones being gunned down at an average of 26 a week, with 262 Afro-Americans having already been killed this year by cops claiming that they were scared as reported in the July 2016 issue of Final Call.

I poured my emotions into a piece I published here on MB6 entitled A Father's Plea: Please Don't Murder My Son. In that piece, I not only exposed the mass murdering of UNARMED men, women, and children by police officers, but I warned that if their heinous actions and the private war that was being waged against people of color wasn't addressed and curtailed that all of that urban fear, anger, and feelings of hopelessness would explode in what we've now witnessed in the retaliatory mass shooting of police officers in Dallas, Texas.

Renowned actress (and beauty) Jada Pinkett-Smith warned only hours before the sniper attack in Dallas that left five police officers dead, "Desperate people do desperate things." No community in America is as desperate as the Afro-American community. No community has suffered and wept more over the loss of innocent lives due to a coward's cry that "he was scared".

For years now, due to advances in technology and compassionate souls we have donned hoodies for an adolescent hunted and gunned down for walking while Black, held our hands up in surrender for a teenager cut down in his prime and left dead and uncovered in the streets for hours--because a cop was so scared he had to shoot him NINE times, two in the head.

Week after week, we've had to watch UNARMED people of color shot to death, choked to death, and beaten to death by cops who have claimed they were scared. Week after week, funeral after funeral, we've witnessed cop after cop fail to be indicted by grand juries who hide behind their judicial cloaks much as the Klan hide behind their white sheets, basically rubber stamping our removal with their approval. For years now too, we've suffered seeing juries acquit those who kill us, because they were standing their ground and scared. They with the guns were scared of the unarmed. . .

Today, we end the lies, kill the propaganda, and speak truth into existence. Those racist and rogue officers don't fear us. They hate what they see: US breathing!

They murder us with abandon, because they know a community of color's words will not be taken over a single white cop's statement, no matter how absurd his statement is. No matter how "disturbing" their actions are as the mayor of New York called the murder of Eric Garner, other officers will support them, try to hide their misconduct, and attack anyone who seeks transparency and justice.

"I was scared" has been proven to be the only defense a white cop needs; whether he takes a man's life with an illegal choke-hold as other officer pin the passive man down, shoots a woman to death while she's sleeping in her car, shoots a nine year old girl to death while she's sleeping on the couch, or shoots two senior citizens to death while they are sleeping in their beds, after mistakenly confusing their address with that of a dope house. And, on and on, the carnage goes. . .

Do you all truly get that none of these cases involved incidents where a cop's life was in danger? Where a weapon was aimed or fired at him? None of these victims even had weapons! None of them were fugitives or criminals! None of these innocent people should be dead today, but a coward said he was scared. . .

How can we be divided along racial lines on this? Right is right. Wrong is wrong. A badge does not immune you from this universal truth.

Okay, here's something I hope that we can all agree upon: Good cops are not cowards: If you are so scared that you must shoot UNARMED women and children, or sleeping senior citizens, before you determine conclusively that they are armed, that your life is in jeopardy, that they're AWAKE--your coward ass don't need a badge. You need to go to the wizard and get you a heart!

Eminem, one of the greatest lyricist to ever do it spit, "Now it's a tragedy/ now it's so sad to see" in reference to no one caring when gun violence was out of control in urban America, when Black America was getting killed. There was no major cry for gun control until White America started dying through mass shootings.

262. Two hundred and Sixty-Two Afro-Americans have been killed by police officers this year. The vast majority unarmed. That's not a tragedy? So sad to see? That's not news worthy? No flags are flown half-mast. No one in power seems to care enough to seek and implement real solutions. (Note: Body-Cams are a joke! Since Rodney King, a blind eye has been turned to what is seen!)

But, five cops get shot to death in Dallas. ...  in no way do I condone the killing of innocent people. Truly, I would put my life on the line for a good cop! But, watching the aftermath of the shooting, the unity and earnest search for solutions, in a town hall meeting, it begged the questions, is that what it took, silent majority? Did you have to feel our pain to hear our cries? Must cops get killed for us to live? For solutions to our slaughtering to be sought? It sure seemed like it.

Let me be very clear, it is tragic whenever a good person dies unnecessarily. I have beloved family members in the military and law enforcement as cops. I understand fully how hard and dangerous their jobs can be and a good cop deserves to be respected and appreciated for his contributions to society. So does a good father, a good mother, a good teacher--and, no child should ever have their lives cut short, their potential stolen by a coward's bullets.

My cousin Bobby has been a police officer for decades in Shreveport, Louisiana. He's had dozens of altercations with crazed women with knives, drug addicts with weapons, and even a couple of frightened kids with guns--he's never shot a single one. He's no coward. He'd rather talk to an inebriated or frightened person for hours than kill them forever.

"At the end of the day, if I have a gun and you don't, I'm not in fear of my life. So, I'm not taking yours," he's said. He is a good cop.

Okay, okay, let me set the record straight. Micah Xavier Johnson, the man who allegedly was responsible for the sniper attack that left five cops dead in Dallas was not mentally ill. Oh yes, he was sick. Sick and tired of watching those who kill us no billed or acquitted. He was sick and tired of watching our men, women, and children being slaughtered and no one being held accountable. Just like half of America is-- The good half.

The difference between Micah and us is America trained him to kill for a cause. Their cause. They never imagined that he could break the mental shackles, take all of his training and kill for his own cause: US.

Quit being afraid to say his name, look at the truth, and examine what led this patriotic soldier who proudly served his country for seven years in the army before being honorably discharged just last year in 2015, down the road to reportedly being responsible for the greatest American tragedy since 9/11.

Kill the propaganda! You need to know that Micah was remembered by his friends of all races and those who he went to school with as a goofy, fun-loving guy. You need to know that he had a white step-mom and that he never voiced a dislike of any race. You need to know that all he ever stressed hating was injustice. So what could drive such a young man to do such a thing? Year after year, month after month, week after week, and remembering the days leading up to the mass shooting--day after day of seeing injustices like the murders of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Philando Castile in St Paul (MN), because cops were scared.

But, you can continue to lie to yourself if that helps you to sleep at night. Continue to contribute to more tragedies like Dallas through your silence and callous disregard for the innocent lives being lost. As a patriotic American who truly doesn’t want to see any more families suffer unnecessary loss, I forewarn you again, Micah Johnson was not the first to entertain such thoughts. He's merely the first to act upon them.

He can now be the catalyst who moves us together for peaceful resolution and reconciliation, or he can be the martyr for some who turn mass cop shootings in retaliation for us being killed into the new norm in America....

No one has to agree with me. You can continue to promote the propaganda. I'm on the frontlines. I'm privy to the private conversations that go on behind closed doors and on street corners. The politically correct, the so-called Black spokesmen won't tell you this, but a very large segment of Black America breath a collective sigh of relief, exhaled years of pent-up emotions, and felt a certain kind of way to see that the Dallas shooting wasn't another case of them killing us--especially in light of the fore-mentioned constant footage of the two Black men being shot to death by cops in Louisiana and Minnesota in the days preceding the shooting.

No doubt, it is a tragedy! A tragedy that started long before a young brother went out for Skittles and tea, long before a man attempted to sell loose cigarettes on a New York street, long before a young woman refused to put out her cigarette, long before a much loved pillar of his community was told to produce his concealed weapon's license. NOW, they say the nation is in mourning? No, I'm sorry, but we've been in mourning. We've been shedding tears for a long time now.

I wrote A Father's Plea over a year ago. It is still posted on Minutes Before Six. Read it! Witnesses our tears! Witness our fears! Witness our pleas! Witness our grief! Witness... the warning!

You all, the silent majority, have merely joined us in our mourning--and, I hope, the seeking of peaceful solutions. I'm no politician, no great scholar, but since everyone else claim to be at a loss for solutions, I have some proposals for the peaceful and progressive. Because, the road to peaceful resolution is simple: STOP KILLING US: 

(1)There must be zero tolerance not just for those who commit such acts, but also for those in positions of responsibility who turn a blind eye to or try to cover up the acts.

As an expert at the UN has stated, "The root of the problem lies in the lack of accountability for perpetrators of such killings despite overwhelming evidence against them, including video footage of the crime."

Further, cops are put through rigorous fitness tests and given hand-to-hand combat training. They have an arsenal of non-lethal weapons at their disposal from pepper spray to stun guns in which they can subdue unarmed combatants with. There is to excuse for cowardice!  A mandatory-minimum sentence of ten years in prison needs to be imposed on any officer shooting an unarmed civilian.

Yes, I know, the cowards and callous will reach for the hypothetical of cops' lives being endangered by the hesitation to determine if their lives are in jeopardy, if the person has a weapon. Good cops aren't cowards, and I'm not speaking of hypotheticals! I'm speaking facts: Rice, Brown, Boyd, and every single man, woman, and child in A Father's Plea, and so many more did not have to die. Should not be dead today. But, they are dead due to a very real, very deadly coward's bullet, because the officer said that he was scared.

As I detailed in A Father's Plea, we need only look at the officers' actions after these shootings to see that hatred, callousness, and racism played a greater role than any fear ever did. In all of these incidents from city to city, state to state when has an officer ever rushed to render or secure aid after their "Mistake"? When has a single officer personally made an apology to the family?

Hard truths are oft times hard to accept, but if you watch the video of Tamir Rice's murder, you realize that these rogue cops aren't concerned with whether there is a threat to their safety, they aren't concerned with whether it's a man, woman, or child, they don't care whether it's a real gun or toy gun, whether it's in his hand or waist band. All that they are ascertaining before opening fire is that the person is Black.

We must through rigorously enforced laws and severe punishment let the perpetrators and their cohorts and covers know with a certainty that such cowardly and criminal conduct will not be tolerated.

(2) The second and most imperative path to peaceful progression must begin with #GOGOODCOPS! That is a movement ignited by the courageous police woman in Louisiana, shown on TMZ, but otherwise suppressed by the press, who spoke up about cowardice and corruption within police departments, which results in innocent people being murdered by cops and keeps us divided as a nation with too many choosing to see color instead of character.

In the brave police woman, that GOOD COP who deserved praise and accreditation from our Commander-in Chief lies our hope. In her and those like her – GOOD COPS –lies peaceful resolution. In them – GOOD COPS – lies the power to do the imperative and create a movement from the inside with GOOD COPS weeding out the bad.

The true heroes, the courageous cops who risk their lives day in and day out to serve and protect, only to have a few rogues and racists with badges continually burn them all with the negative rays of light that result from their criminal conduct, most come together with honesty and integrity to say NO MORE, to crush and stomp out the cowardice and racism, expose the lies and misconduct, and render the injustices and killings rare if not obsolete over time. If one is not willing or brave enough to step up to the challenge and do their sworn duty to serve and protect ALL, to put an end to the criminals masquerading as cops - - then a GOOD COP they are not. They are no more than the best of the worse...of the cowards.

That mighty step towards justice, #GOGOODCOPS, MUST BE supported by the top brass or it is destined to fail as GOOD COPS continue to be marginalized or ostracised.

Police officers are given the arduous task of keeping civilized societies civil. When some of their actions reflect the most barbaric and sadistic actions in the country as shown in the videoing of Philando Castile being shot to death in front of his girlfriend and a four year old as he calmly complies with the officer’s requests, all faith in the law is lost. All of society suffers. And, it’s not long before civility devolves into civil unrest, or riots, or sniper attacks on cops...

I don’t know it all. I do know murder when I see it. A court’s ruling does not change that. A lot, many many, way too many people of color have been murdered by police officers with little to no punishment s, and with virtually no one being held accountable. Sean Bell, Amadou Diallo, Tamon Robinson, Ramarley Graham, Nicholas Heyward, Oscar Grant, and so on and so on, the carnage to us has gone - - with the criminal injustice system failing us horribly.

Over a year ago, I gave a warning that has become reality. Today, I warn you that if these solutions aren’t seriously examined, refined, and implemented immediately to restore faith in the government, law and order, and GOOD COPS, if America does not seriously and expeditiously address the systemic problems and criminal conduct that led up to the Dallas sniper attack that left five police officers dead and several wounded – Dallas will merely be remembered as the shots that shattered the shackles of fear and myth, unearthing a lot, many many, too many more tragedies that will leave us all in mourning together.

From mob books and movies to American Gangsta starring Denzel Washington, it has always been instilled in the oppressed, the criminal, and the disenfranchised that you can’t kill a cop. Micah Johnson put that to the test and now desperate communities, full of scared, angry, long-suffering, and desperate people know it to be a lie...

Our Commander-in Chief has stated on numerous occasions that there is no excuse for violence against police officers. We now need that same cement convictiona nd proclamation when it comes to the shooting of unarmed men, women, and children.

You all have the power to push the legislation through. To ensure that the new laws are enforced. To fuel the movement from within with your support and pressure upon your elected officials. Right is right and wrong is wrong. Do right, America or we shall all be suffering for a long time to come. 

AFTERWORD:  Before this piece could be published, my words are already proving prophetic with Calvin Long, a marine, shooting cops in Baton Rouge, Louisiana where Aiton Sterling was shot to death by police officers only a week ago. Targeted shootings of police officers have alos been reported in Georgia, Tennessee, and Missouri. Solutions over shootings, please. Solutions over shootings.

Santonio Murff 773394
French M. Robertson Unit
12071 FM3522
Abilene, TX 79601


Barbara Grant said...

Excellent writing Mr. Murff, to inform society about this extremely important matter. I agree, there are so many good officers that should not be denied acknowledgement because of the actions of their fellow officers. Thank you for your time enlightening us concerning facts bout these matters- SALUTE!

Anonymous said...

Hi Santonio, great piece as always. It's gotten to the point that I don't like looking at news because it's so depresing. Racism is so ingrained in some communities in the U.S., and sadly it's constantly fed by some in the media who capitalize on the less educated's fears and prejudices. It's a business really.

err gag said...

I really enjoy the article. Keep telling it like it is.Nobody can refute the truth