Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Race, Violence, Justice on Camden Streets
Police/Arestee violence. This is not new in Urban America. What is new is the i-report capability of the public. This incident in Camden was caught on tape, but the tape was taken by the police. Given that the incident recorded was of violence toward a person in custody, it is not surprising that someone might give up the vid if asked.
But the subject of my interest is the above video - a reporter's interview with a woman in the neighborhood who watched the man in custody get beaten. Her concern is why the police would beat and kick a person who is ALREADY IN HANDCUFFS? But the clincher question is at the end of the interview. The reporter asks if she has ever seen police violence before. She laughs in a knowing way as if to say - you did not just ask me that Mr. white reporter. He sheepishly says, I guess that is a yes. She says they do it all the time.
Now this woman was not in an excited state or overcome with emotion. She was calm and recounting what she saw. She reflected on what is reality as she sees it in her neighborhood.
I would like to see the video confiscated by the police and hope it does not disappear and in fact is shown to the press. Police officers are on admin leave as the death of this man is reviewed. And the official explanation is that when confronted, the man put a bag in his mouth and then probably choked on it. That is just lame, on so many levels, but maybe it went down that way. The tape might tell us.
victim/man in custody: latino