By now folks know of this story out of Moore, Oklahoma where a father Louis Rodriguez was killed in front of his wife and daughter. I hesitated in posting it because at this point in time its one of far too many… It’s at a point where its apparent the police who commit these acts of terrorism get off and relish the notoriety…At the same time repeatedly showing such brutal acts is not empowering.. It fosters a climate of fear, which is what the police want…
With that being said, its important that those who choose to read and watch the video be thinking about solutions to this epidemic… One must be cautious not to allow our brains to slip into the realm where such videos become a macabre form of entertainment. Nor can it be something we talk about in such a way to indicate how rough things are and one is using such incidents as a way to brag about how you are navigating its effects…
Whats the solutions? whats the practical solutions? We already know to film.. People are doing that.. This incident below was caught on tape? Take the cops to trial??
First we have to be assured the prosecutors who work the police everyday and depend upon them, hence forming strong bonds centered around enforcing the law, will break that bond and dedicate the full force of their office and bring every resource to press charges and prosecute them in court..
Up to now we’ve seen prosecutors throw away cases for non cops shooting Black people.. ie the high profile Florida cases involving George Zimmerman and Michael Dunn..where state attorney Angela Corey and her office did a terrible job.
We see prosecutors who look like us, refuse to appoint special prosecutors even when there are clear conflicts of interests…That would be the refusal of Kamala Harris, a Black woman who won’t remove the prosecutor in Santa Rosa, Jill Ravitch over the police killing 13-year-old Andy Lopez.
Ravitch had 90 days to press charges on the sheriff deputy Erick Gelhaus who shot unarmed Andy last November..She has steadfastly stalled with many organizers pointing out her extreme bias. Ravitch is running for re-election and has taken quite a bit of money from the sheriff department that is pushing for her to be re-elected. Ravitch in turn has been supportive of the sheriff’s re-election bid. Harris has not removed the DA to ensure a clean slate and unbiased justice pool..
That leads us to the question of what other solutions can be put forth if the justice system is not working? Its been suggested that communities hold their own public tribunals, where they issue subpoenas for those being charged to show up. Such activities may good for helping heal the community even if penalties can’t be ‘legally’ forced. However it does put the issue on record. Important information can be shared and ideally it’ll inform folks in the community as to what steps to take legislatively and electorally.
Others have suggested that communities return to armed patrols and basically police the police..That requires a committed body of folks and serious discipline. It might be helpful for folks to consult with groups if any already doing similar actions.
Others have suggested that folks push to have laws on the books that allow one to stand their ground against police which is what they basically have in Indiana. It might be a good idea for folks to look at that law, see whats practical and start the process of pushing this..
Personally I have long advocated that there should be s special office and prosecutor that is not connected to local law enforcement that only deals with the wrong doings of police and elected officials. How that office is established needs to be worked out. Is it an elected position which leaves it vulnerable to big money interests? Is it appointed by an elected official which means whoever is appointed will be the result of political leanings? In any case we should be thinking long and hard about how to eradicate these types of brutal incidents.
For those unfamiliar, here’s the 4-11… A family went to a movie, father, mother daughter.. The mother and daughter got into an argument, the mother slapped the daughter the father went to calm down his wife. The police were called for a domestic violence disturbance and assumed Louis Rodriguez was the one who did it.. He was pepper sprayed as 5 police piled upon him and was killed. While they were killing him, the wife was calling for them to stop and even asked if he was still alive.. Police are on paid leave..
As noted earlier with the current climate, even with video and scores of witnesses, they are unlikely to vigorously prosecuted much less convicted.. There are simply too many people in America who wind up sitting on juries who can’t fathom the police doing anything wrong..This can’t be allowed to be swept under the rug. There has to be push back on all levels even as we know the justice system is biased. How do we help this family heal? How do we heal the community from such trauma?
Below is the raw video as well as a link to the story as reported to CNN