Abu-Jamal's Radio Broadcasts
Police Procedure' in Cin. City
3.48 MBs, 3:14
Short version: mp3,
2.38 MBs, 2:52
by Mumia Abu-Jamal;
short, mp3, 261 KBs,
.15 long, mp3, 417
we go again," laments a Cincinnati religious leader as local
and national TV stations broadcast the harrowing footage of cops
beating a black man, striking him with long truncheons perhaps two
The Rev. Damon
Lynch, Jr., pastor of New Jerusalem Baptist Church, is not alone
in that sentiment.
is but the latest of a long train of abuses, this latest is based
on that often-used pretext: 'the Big Nigger Defense.'
It was used
in the infamous beating of Rodney King in L.A. (one of the cops
charged spiced up the imagery by likening him to a "gorilla").
A decade before Rodney King became a household name, a man named
Delbert Africa was beaten, rifle-butted, and repeatedly kicked while
giving up after the 1978 Phila. police assault on the home and headquarter
of the MOVE Organization.
the city's police chief denied Africa was beaten (in fact, all the
men were beaten that day) but the videotapes made it difficult to
disprove Delbert's pummeling.
When a trial
took place, the cops took the stand to announce they were in fear
of Delbert because of his muscles. (The judge would dismiss the
jury and proclaim
them 'not guilty', *ignoring videotape evidence*!).
Now, a man
named Nathaniel Jones is beaten to a pulp on tape in Cincinnati.
When he dies, the first thing the corporate media proclaims is his
size. On some early reports, Mr. Jones was described as "nearly
It took a day
or so to shrink to around 350 lbs. Still, we see the rudiments of
the BND: 'Big Nigger Defense.' Six cops, each armed with a variety
of weapons, were
threatened by the BND syndrome.
almost predictably, drugs have been introduced into the case.
If it were
not so tragic, it would be almost comical. One is reminded of a
stand-up routine by comedian Dave Chappelle. He describes cops beating
a Black person into the concrete. The cops get together, and one
tells the other, "OK let's just sprinkle some crack
on 'em, and get outta here."
The line never
fails to score laughs from the audience.
It is so deep
in American consciousness, that it's become a national, private
It is a joke
that stems from something deadly serious. And it stems from a national
problem that shows no signs of abatement.
For far to
many men and women, it is no laughing matter.
There is not
a social explosion in the last half of the 20th Century that did
not stem from events of just this nature. From Watts of 1965 to
Los Angeles of 1992, the trigger has been the same police
violence against Black people. Courts have issued judgments up into
the billions (in total), but to no avail.
it goes on and on... and on.
not a whit what color the police chief, or mayor is.
not whether there is a police accountability board or not.
not whether there is a Republican or Democratic Administration in
power, nationally, or locally.
How many politicians,
whether they are running for president or dog catcher, have raised
the issue? How many have offered anything close to a solution?
will not come from City Hall. Indeed, often, City Hall is the problem!
will come from the people themselves, who organize themselves to
make a difference, directly.
provides many examples of average, everyday people, organized to
change social problems.
That time has
2003 Mumia Abu-Jamal
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© copyright 2003 by Mumia Abu-Jamal.
All rights reserved.
Reprinted by permission of the author.