FUCK YOU CBS: THIS OAKLAND MOM FIGHTS BACK
On January 22, 2013 between 5pm and 3am the next morning over 400 Oakland residents showed up to a city council to speak against the contract proposing Bill Bratton (Mr. Stop & Frisk himself) be hired to help Oakland’s Police Department with a “short term solution” for the violence & crime in the city; all for the very low low price of $250,000. I was one of the very concerned speakers that night as Oakland is my home, and the things I have seen from my local government and police over the past few years are nothing short of disappointing and not deserving of my trust in their ability to run the city.
I know that claims of racial profiling go unheard, and that’s why I was pretty upset that I wasn’t able to play my video at the council meeting to show the types of things that happen and how OPD violates the rights of Black & Brown youth in the city using the excuse that they “fit the description”. Walking While Black (Video Link) shows an incident in July of 2012 where two young black men were stopped by officers with guns drawn. Had 3 members of Political Fail Blog not been present filming (2 others, including myself) after a rally for Alan Blueford, another young man killed unjustly by OPD after being racially profiled earlier,these young men may have been shot and most definitely would have been detained & booked not only wasting more tax dollars but violating the rights of citizens who were pulled over for being black and having a tshirt on. Coincidentally 5 days before the deadly shooting of Alan Blueford was the unjust targeting and excessive force used on Prince Hasheem Bason on May 1st (Video Link). There would be video footage added here of Bluefords murder but Miguel Masso (the officer who killed him & will not be remanded) turned of his camera so that there is no video to corroborate his testimony.
With several instances of racial profiling and excessive force, some captured on video and some not, how could I feel safe with a racist and abusive police department; especially when expecting a son? One who will definitely fit some description of Black male between 5’7″ and 6’2″while wearing a tshirt or a hoodie. This is enough to make him a possible criminal, one who deserves to have guns drawn on him and to possibly (and quite likely) be shot and killed by the very police who I am forced to pay their salaries and their lawsuits via my tax dollars to protect and serve me, not criminalize and arrest or kill me and the people on my community.
With all of this on my mind, I show up to speak as well. To explain to city council as a lifetime Oakland resident how uncomfortable I am with the proposal to spend anything on the hiring of Bill Bratton. I feel as if only Desly Brooks heard any cry for help or even scrutiny of the proposal. As I started to speak Libby Shaff started to whisper into a colleagues ear, blatant lack of consideration for the concerned citizens of the city. Already upset with the proposal, it’s just frustrating to get up in front of elected representatives and know that they aren’t listening to you. So here I am, about 7 months pregnant and emotional about the future oppression of my son and many others in my city, and my local government officials aren’t even listening.
Take a government that doesn’t listen to its residents and takes every opportunity to criminalize its community instead of invest in its ability to sustain itself via education, jobs and housing and put that together with Mainstream Media outlets like CBS who will take my statements in this speech (Video Link) and put a spin on it to indicate that it is not the police I am afraid of, but that I would like more police for protection from my own community. Do you know what you get? According to Desley Brooks, Council Woman for District 6 during an interview with Davey D (Link) “When you keep putting gimmicks in front of a community on an issue as emotional as crime, you further distance yourself from the community”.I say, you get a citizenry that is outraged! One that is tired of being ignored and lied on, silenced and criminalized. You get a muted voice that is too strong to be ignored.