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'Good Police Procedure' in Cin. City

Long version: mp3, 3.48 MBs, 3:14
Short version: mp3, 2.38 MBs, 2:52

Intro by Mumia Abu-Jamal; short, mp3, 261 KBs, .15 long, mp3, 417 KBs, :28

[Col. Recorded 12/7/03]

"Here 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 dozen times.

The Rev. Damon Lynch, Jr., pastor of New Jerusalem Baptist Church, is not alone in that sentiment.

Cincinnati 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.

Initially, 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 400 pounds."

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.

Of course, 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 joke.

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.

Like cancer, it goes on and on... and on.

It matters not a whit what color the police chief, or mayor is.

It matters not whether there is a police accountability board or not.

It matters 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?

The solution will not come from City Hall. Indeed, often, City Hall is the problem!

The solution will come from the people themselves, who organize themselves to make a difference, directly.

Our history provides many examples of average, everyday people, organized to change social problems.

That time has come again.

Copyright 2003 Mumia Abu-Jamal

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Submitted by: Sis. Marpessa

Text © copyright 2003 by Mumia Abu-Jamal.
All rights reserved.
Reprinted by permission of the author.