NTS: Who are we policing?


I remember saying during the Eric Casebolt controversy that this won't be the last time we as Americans have a conversation regarding police brutality and how police interact with our children. I specifically remember saying this because I knew deep down another issue would arise calling us to reassess how to restore trust in on police force across the country. And yet again I bear witness to what seems to be cruel and unusual punishment directed towards a young woman of color.

In Spring Valley High School in South Carolina, a teenager was assaulted by a school police officer (Ben Fields) for being disruptive and refusing to leave a classroom.

I find myself in disgust trying to wrap my head around the actions of the officer and the reactions of the students, and adults in the room. I think about the family of the young woman assaulted and the future relationship she will have with law enforcement. Most importantly, I think about the young men and women who will see this video and live in fear of what if. I also think about how this video will reshape the way we discuss the issue of police brutality in America and when will we start to reflect a change in our policies regarding how our officers police.  I say this for three reasons: 1. Within the past decade, we've observed a heightened number of cases surrounding people of color and police brutality. 2. Within the past decade, we've seen many officers receiving a slap on the risk for crimes committed against communities of color. 3. We know in cases like Eric Garner that even with video evidence there is no promise in "justice." And to be perfectly frank currently, there is a lack of faith in the American justice system.

In looking at this video, I ask myself: How do we see a video like this and place the blame on the student for the violent, and aggressive behavior of Officer Ben Fields?  What level of disruption causes for this type of violence? And what does the silence in the room say? Is it fear of Officer Fields next move or agreeance of his actions? And who in the hell is dumb enough to believe that obedience is the "real problem." I'd like to address the non-sense! I refuse to let this young woman of color be made an "example" of how "Blacks need to do a better job in raising their kids to be obedient".  For those ignorant people who think this way regarding this case, I encourage them to remember the times Blacks raised White families (yeah I went there). I refuse to let people say well she should not have been on her phone! I don't care if she was texting God himself and refused to place the phone down Fields aggression was not validated. Also, can we NOT play victim blaming. If I hear anymore buts regarding this situation, I just might beat myself up. I'm tired of illegitimate excuses, it's like saying a raped victim didn't deserve to get raped, but she should have never worn that short skirt! #ITMAKESNOSENSE.

I refuse to let little boys and girls of color all over the country sleep in fear, upset that they too will be labeled disobedient and treated in the same manner. These incidents are not isolated nor are there ever be police brutality cases that stand alone.

I refuse for people to tell our students we don't want them to be a part of violent communities, but then we use violence to make an example out of them.

I refuse not to discuss how race and policing people of color have become a touchy topics in our society especially regarding our children and the school to prison pipeline. We must remember that who we police is just important as how we do it! And I will say as I always do this issue will become a part of the long list of issues seeking to bring police brutality to an end. With this stated, I encourage you to take action and sign the petition to fire Officer Ben Fields. I encourage you to educate yourself on police brutality especially within communities of color. #WEGOTTODOBETTER #BLACKLIVESMATTER and #BLACKGIRLSMATTER too.

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