In new video addressing the police force, Philly’s Mayor is vocal on the use of excessive force, yet mute on ineffective polices.
I’ve been to a lot of protests in Philadelphia – way before Mike Brown and Eric Garner were killed – and I’ve heard countless protesters yell at the police: “Who do you protect? Who do you serve?”
And though I always shake the hands and engage in pleasant small talk with a number of civil affair officers at every rally, die-in, sit-in and any other large scale act of civil disobedience that I cover, I know that police and community relations in my city are not what they should be, although it’s not as awful as the mainstream media would have you to believe.
There are certainly big stories we can point to – like Askia Sabur, a Philadelphia man who beaten bloody by officers then charged by the Office of the District Attorney with aggravated assault against a police officer, but the charges were eventually dropped – that prove some individuals who are employed by the Philadelphia Police Department are scumbags who aren’t worthy of shining badges, let alone wearing them.
But in the same breath, there are stories like the rescuing of Carlesha Freeland-Gaither – a young Philadelphia woman who was kidnapped recently by Mr. Delvin Barner and safely returned home to her mother – that proves some individuals employed by the Philadelphia Police Department take their duty of protecting and serving very serious – though, to be fair, a portion of those “good cops” – even the ones whose hands I shake – more than likely also honor the unwritten, no-snitching code of blue brotherhood, which contributes to violent troublemakers staying on the force.
Since its pretty hard to weed out the good cops from the sh*tty ones in a force of more than 6,000, Mayor Michael A. Nutter decided to address the entire force in a new, nearly 10 minute video that will be shown in every precinct citywide before officers hit the street, beginning Friday, December 12th, and continuing for at least three days.
Though it may seems hypocritical coming from Mayor Nutter given he proudly champions the stop-and-frisk policy, it was good to see him communicate – in his own words – that though “F*uck the police” is a often heard at the protest both here locally and nationally, communities – particularly those of color – are not really against the idea of policing, just “bad policing,” which, in my opinion, stop-and-frisk is a prime example of.
I personally believe a video of this nature is long overdue – in terms of publicly celebrating law enforcement for reducing crime, condemning the use of excessive force and reminding all officers to lean on their training in de-escalation – but it’s better late than never.
As a businessman, Mayor Nutter should know he’s only as good as his last sale. So while this video was necessary and I publicly applaud him for recording it, so is repealing stop-and-frisk, so is the passing of the bill to bolster the Philadelphia Police Advisory Commission and so is changing the arbitration process. So, Mayor Nutter, what’s your next move?
Thanks for reading. Until next time, I’m Flood the Drummer® & I’m Drumming for JUSTICE!™
Photo: AP/Matt Rourke