President Obama Addressed the UN Security Council

I was depressed after listening to the President’s speech to the UN Security Council. While I understand that people with machetes, who aren’t afraid to use them, are a threat to all. An enlightened society where some can openly carry and shoot to kill unarmed Black men / women seems a more immediate threat to me and mine. So, because the President has been unable to put forth a plan to hold American citizens accountable for violence against other American citizens whom God created as a different race, because the President has been unable to formulate a plan to secure the safety (life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness) for the ethnic / racial minority in these United States of America; his words were tepid tea.

The President did mention Ferguson, Missouri as proof that he is aware that the United States of America has internal problems. However, he was unable to explain how our “enlightened” nation deals with our internal problems. Rather, it appeared that President Obama mentioned #Ferguson as a way of cutting off criticism “at the pass” from other countries.

Maybe the President’s rhetorical device worked with foreign leaders from around the globe; but, here, on “The Homeland,” it fell short. On the same day the President made an historical speech to the UN Security Council (meeting for only the 6th time at the Head of State level in history); Americans learned that an Ohio grand jury decided not to charge police officers for fatally shooting a Black man for shopping in a Walmart store while carrying a pellet gun he had picked up from the Walmart shelves.

Since the killing of unarmed Trayvon Martin, there appears to be a pattern of shooting unarmed Black men, with impunity, in this country. Perhaps these Black men are standing in for President Obama, for whom racist White Americans carry boundless hatred. Whatever the reason, the shooters of unarmed Black men, are generally cleared and deemed to have re-acted appropriately to a perceived threat of violence. The United States has long had a history of arresting Black men for DWB (driving while Black). Now, Black men can be legally shot dead for WalkingWhileBlack, #TrayvonMartin and #MichaelBrown, ShoppingWhileBlack, #JohnCrawford; or WorkingWhileBlack #EricGarner, choked on the street in New York for peddling cigarettes (possibly working at the only job available to him).

So, while I am sickened to see video of two American journalists beheaded by terrorists on the other side of the world, and equally sickened at descriptions of women and girls being abducted, raped, murdered or forced into marriage; I was depressed by the President’s speech to the UN Security Council. I was depressed because it appeared that the President only invoked #Ferguson Missouri as a preemptive strike against those who would dare criticize these United States, or “The Homeland,” as he now calls it.

When President Obama ran for office, he assured us that he could pat his head and rub his stomach at the same time. I need President Obama to recognize the threat faced by American citizens on “The Homeland” and come up with a plan to neutralize the threat. And, I need him to know that a mentoring program to show our young men how to pull themselves up by their boot straps will not neutralize or solve the problems faced by minorities in this country as racial minorities are not being killed by their boot straps.

I need President Obama to turn a portion of his considerable intelligence to protecting the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness of Black men and women in this country. I need the President to convene great leaders/thinkers in this country, just as he convened the Heads of State of the UN Security Council, to mobilize and activate plans to neutralize the internal threats to American citizens. Perhaps, then the United States will be able to speak to others from a position of moral authority.

Flight or Fight

A Mother’s arms are empty. A Father’s head is bowed. A child’s blood cries out from the ground.  A police officer, sworn to protect and defend the citizens of Ferguson, Missouri, rises every morning to look at “the man in the mirror” who shot an unarmed teenager.  And the big question of the day seems to be: “Why would people destroy their own community”?

Political pundits, news anchors, public officials, ministers, friends and acquaintances have all weighed in on this question. The answers have been wide-ranging, including:

  • This is typical thug behavior
  •  These are the actions of a few ignorant people who make everyone look bad
  • The looters are outside agitators
  • People are reacting to a militarized police force
  • The people need to be given a public square to speak and express their anger
  • The people of Ferguson need jobs
  • Blacks in Ferguson are under-represented on the police force
  • These actions are reminiscent of the “Destruction of  Tea in Boston”
  • People are reacting to their perceived circumstances

In my opinion, none of the above responses, sufficiently, answers the question of why people would destroy  their own community.  It appears that the people of Ferguson were functioning on automatic pilot in response to danger.  They were in “flight or fight” mode. The community had watched a young man try to run from a dangerous situation, only to be gunned down.  After the killing of #MichaelBrown, the community was surrounded by a hostile police force.  There appeared to be no escape.  There appeared to be no safety.  They appeared to have no rights. They seemed powerless and without speech.

Tellingly, if news reports are accurate,  the Missouri National Guard was dispatched to protect the Police Command Center, and some police officers were dispatched to protect certain neighborhoods in Ferguson. It appeared that there was no protection of the First Amendment rights of the people in Ferguson. Instead, the people were given an unjust order to “keep moving.”

So, it seems to me, that rather than the query about why a few, distressed, fearful protestors threw rocks; there are better questions to ask. Why was an unarmed teen killed by a trained police officer who, in addition to a gun, carried a club and mace?   Why did the police officers and Missouri National Guard deny American citizens their First Amendment right of peaceful assembly?  How can the family get justice for #MichaelBrown?  Most importantly, how can we make sure it never happens again?

It is time, as the Prophet Amos and the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. said, to Let Justice Roll Down (Click).

 

Reblog From www.huffingtonpost.com/Ferguson Police Officer Justin Cosma Hog-Tied And Injured A Young Child, Lawsuit Alleges

Ferguson Police Officer Justin Cosma Hog-Tied And Injured A Young Child, Lawsuit Alleges
Ryan J. Reilly, Ashley Alman 08/24/14 05:48 PM ET
WASHINGTON — A Ferguson police officer who helped detain a journalist in a McDonald’s earlier this month is in the midst of a civil rights lawsuit because he allegedly hog-tied a 12-year-old boy who was checking the mail at the end of his driveway.

According to a lawsuit filed in 2012 in Missouri federal court, Justin Cosma and another officer, Richard Carter, approached a 12-year-old boy who was checking the mailbox at the end of his driveway in June 2010. Cosma was an officer with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office at the time, the lawsuit states. The pair asked the boy if he’d been playing on a nearby highway, and he replied no, according to the lawsuit.

Then, the officers “became confrontational” and intimidated the child, the lawsuit claims. “Unprovoked and without cause, the deputies grabbed [the boy], choked him around the neck and threw him to the ground,” it says. The boy was shirtless at the time, and allegedly “suffered bruising, choke marks, scrapes and cuts across his body.”

The 12-year-old was transferred to a medical facility for treatment, but the lawsuit says Cosma and the other officer reported the incident as “assault of a law enforcement officer third degree” and “resisting/interfering with arrest, detention or stop.”

Jefferson County prosecutors “refused to issue a juvenile case” against the young child, the suit says.

The allegations against Cosma were made in September 2012, shortly after he was introduced as a new officer at a Ferguson City Council meeting. Jefferson County is just south of Ferguson.

Captain Ron Arnhart of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, who is a candidate for sheriff, did not respond to The Huffington Post’s request for comment on the circumstances of Cosma’s departure. Neither Ferguson police spokesman Tom Zoll nor Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson responded to requests for comment.

A dispatcher at the Ferguson Police Department said she would relay a message to Cosma, who was out in the field on Sunday afternoon.

Richard R. Lozano, the lawyer representing the young man in the lawsuit, declined to be interviewed due to the pending claims against Cosma and the other officer. He said he anticipates a trial date early next year. However, Lozano did provide a statement.

“The lawsuit alleges that Justin Cosma and Richard Carter, two deputies with the Jefferson County, Missouri sheriff’s department in 2010, assaulted my client during an encounter on my client’s driveway while his mother was inside their house. My client was 12 years old at the time, shirtless and was not suspected of any criminal behavior. He was checking the mail. The deputies approached my client and the encounter quickly escalated. My client was restrained, choked, thrown to the ground and hogtied by the two deputies. He suffered scrapes and choke marks to his neck. No charges were ever brought against my client. It is my understanding that Justin Cosma is currently an officer with the City of Ferguson,” Lozano wrote.

Cosma was also one of the officers who detained journalists from HuffPost and The Washington Post earlier this month in a local McDonald’s. He declined to give his name or badge number at the time, and has subsequently refused to identify himself to the press. A reader tip allowed HuffPost to match his name and face after the altercation.

While still at the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Cosma received an award for dealing with a person in psychiatric crisis, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Cosma isn’t the only officer whose past has received new attention in the wake of the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown and the subsequent protests in Ferguson. Eddie Boyd III, an officer who faced allegations of hitting children while serving under the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, quietly resigned and sought employment with the Ferguson Police Department. Boyd faced three complaints of physical abuse against children between 2004 and 2006, two of which were dropped. Internal affairs sustained the third complaint against Boyd, saying there was sufficient evidence to support the allegation that he struck a 12-year-old girl in the head with a pistol, and recommended Boyd be fired. The St. Louis police chose to demote him.

Less than a year later, a teenage boy alleged that Boyd hit him in the nose with a gun, and the officer quietly resigned from his role at the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. His license was not revoked in the ensuing lawsuit. Boyd was hired by the Ferguson Police Department sometime between July 2009 and December 2010.

St. Ann officer Dan Page, who has been on the force for 35 years, was suspended from duty for inflammatory comments made while addressing the Oath Keepers of St. Louis and St. Charles. Page made racist and sexist remarks, called President Obama an “illegal alien,” denounced hate crime laws and spoke flippantly about violence and killings. The video, uploaded to YouTube in April, was uncovered by CNN after Page pushed anchor Don Lemon on Aug. 18 during demonstrations in Ferguson.

St. Louis County Lt. Ray Albers was also suspended from duty after he threatened civilians in Ferguson, pointing his gun at them and shouting, “I will fucking kill you.” Reporter Joe Biggs was among the group being threatened.

“I can’t believe that that happened in America,” Biggs told HuffPost of the confrontation. “That’s something I’ve seen in Iraq and Afghanistan. In our country? Mind-blowing.”

Darren Wilson, the officer who shot Michael Brown, joined the Ferguson police after the city council in nearby Jennings disbanded the police department and brought in new officers over three years ago because of the poor relationship between cops and residents, the Washington Post reported.

Read the lawsuit laying out the allegations against Cosma below.

Justin Cosma

CORRECTION: Alber was originally misidentified as a lieutenant with the St. Louis County Police Department.

ALSO ON HUFFINGTON POST
Kids Of Ferguson

Load More

Ferguson Police Officer Justin Cosma Hog-Tied And Injured A Young Child, Lawsuit Alleges
Ryan J. Reilly, Ashley Alman 08/24/14 05:48 PM ET
WASHINGTON — A Ferguson police officer who helped detain a journalist in a McDonald’s earlier this month is in the midst of a civil rights lawsuit because he allegedly hog-tied a 12-year-old boy who was checking the mail at the end of his driveway.

According to a lawsuit filed in 2012 in Missouri federal court, Justin Cosma and another officer, Richard Carter, approached a 12-year-old boy who was checking the mailbox at the end of his driveway in June 2010. Cosma was an officer with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office at the time, the lawsuit states. The pair asked the boy if he’d been playing on a nearby highway, and he replied no, according to the lawsuit.

Then, the officers “became confrontational” and intimidated the child, the lawsuit claims. “Unprovoked and without cause, the deputies grabbed [the boy], choked him around the neck and threw him to the ground,” it says. The boy was shirtless at the time, and allegedly “suffered bruising, choke marks, scrapes and cuts across his body.”

The 12-year-old was transferred to a medical facility for treatment, but the lawsuit says Cosma and the other officer reported the incident as “assault of a law enforcement officer third degree” and “resisting/interfering with arrest, detention or stop.”

Jefferson County prosecutors “refused to issue a juvenile case” against the young child, the suit says.

The allegations against Cosma were made in September 2012, shortly after he was introduced as a new officer at a Ferguson City Council meeting. Jefferson County is just south of Ferguson.

Captain Ron Arnhart of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, who is a candidate for sheriff, did not respond to The Huffington Post’s request for comment on the circumstances of Cosma’s departure. Neither Ferguson police spokesman Tom Zoll nor Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson responded to requests for comment.

A dispatcher at the Ferguson Police Department said she would relay a message to Cosma, who was out in the field on Sunday afternoon.

Richard R. Lozano, the lawyer representing the young man in the lawsuit, declined to be interviewed due to the pending claims against Cosma and the other officer. He said he anticipates a trial date early next year. However, Lozano did provide a statement.

“The lawsuit alleges that Justin Cosma and Richard Carter, two deputies with the Jefferson County, Missouri sheriff’s department in 2010, assaulted my client during an encounter on my client’s driveway while his mother was inside their house. My client was 12 years old at the time, shirtless and was not suspected of any criminal behavior. He was checking the mail. The deputies approached my client and the encounter quickly escalated. My client was restrained, choked, thrown to the ground and hogtied by the two deputies. He suffered scrapes and choke marks to his neck. No charges were ever brought against my client. It is my understanding that Justin Cosma is currently an officer with the City of Ferguson,” Lozano wrote.

Cosma was also one of the officers who detained journalists from HuffPost and The Washington Post earlier this month in a local McDonald’s. He declined to give his name or badge number at the time, and has subsequently refused to identify himself to the press. A reader tip allowed HuffPost to match his name and face after the altercation.

While still at the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Cosma received an award for dealing with a person in psychiatric crisis, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Cosma isn’t the only officer whose past has received new attention in the wake of the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown and the subsequent protests in Ferguson. Eddie Boyd III, an officer who faced allegations of hitting children while serving under the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, quietly resigned and sought employment with the Ferguson Police Department. Boyd faced three complaints of physical abuse against children between 2004 and 2006, two of which were dropped. Internal affairs sustained the third complaint against Boyd, saying there was sufficient evidence to support the allegation that he struck a 12-year-old girl in the head with a pistol, and recommended Boyd be fired. The St. Louis police chose to demote him.

Less than a year later, a teenage boy alleged that Boyd hit him in the nose with a gun, and the officer quietly resigned from his role at the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. His license was not revoked in the ensuing lawsuit. Boyd was hired by the Ferguson Police Department sometime between July 2009 and December 2010.

St. Ann officer Dan Page, who has been on the force for 35 years, was suspended from duty for inflammatory comments made while addressing the Oath Keepers of St. Louis and St. Charles. Page made racist and sexist remarks, called President Obama an “illegal alien,” denounced hate crime laws and spoke flippantly about violence and killings. The video, uploaded to YouTube in April, was uncovered by CNN after Page pushed anchor Don Lemon on Aug. 18 during demonstrations in Ferguson.

St. Louis County Lt. Ray Albers was also suspended from duty after he threatened civilians in Ferguson, pointing his gun at them and shouting, “I will fucking kill you.” Reporter Joe Biggs was among the group being threatened.

“I can’t believe that that happened in America,” Biggs told HuffPost of the confrontation. “That’s something I’ve seen in Iraq and Afghanistan. In our country? Mind-blowing.”

Darren Wilson, the officer who shot Michael Brown, joined the Ferguson police after the city council in nearby Jennings disbanded the police department and brought in new officers over three years ago because of the poor relationship between cops and residents, the Washington Post reported.

Read the lawsuit laying out the allegations against Cosma below.

Justin Cosma

CORRECTION: Alber was originally misidentified as a lieutenant with the St. Louis County Police Department.

ALSO ON HUFFINGTON POST
Kids Of Ferguson

Load More

Finally, the voice of wisdom…

I received an email, recently, from a friend who called the Ferguson Police Chief the dumbest police chief in America (click for the article).   Yesterday, I received a phone call from a close friend who was distraught over news reports that there was looting by some Ferguson protestors.   My friend suggested that she could no longer support the protests in Ferguson because people were destroying their own community.

I disagreed with the first statement; because, in my opinion,  the Ferguson Police Chief, or his puppeteer, is executing a well-known diabolical game plan to change the conversation.  And, for the last 10+ days they have been successfully changing the conversation from the tragic shooting death of Michael Brown (#handsupdontshoot) to the claims of  lawlessness by citizens who dare question those who were hired to protect them.

As I watched the images on TV of the Ferguson Police, the Saint Louis County Police Force, the Highway Patrol Officers and the Missouri National Guard surrounding the reservation of Ferguson; I have been waiting for a voice of reason.  Finally someone has stepped forward to question –no–to denounce the  militarized response in Ferguson to a group of United States citizens exercising their right to speak up and demand answers regarding, what appears to be, the use of unnecessary force against an unarmed man by a police officer.

In the video below, Gen. Honore contrasts what is happening in Fergusion with what should be happening. General Honore’s remarks, I think, speak to my friend’s concerns about the looting in Ferguson and who is responsible.

Click here:Gen. Honore: Police should adjust tactics

 

 

#HandsUpDontShoot

“The whole city is like the bar, Cheers.”  This was the description given by Ferguson, Missouri Mayor, James W. Knowles III on the April 24, 2014 Ferguson History Video posted on the City of Ferguson website.

I was a “Cheers” devotee; and, although I am a teetotaler, I would gladly grab a bar seat at Cheers.  But, would I want to become a resident of Ferguson, Missouri — a city where, apparently, “hands up don’t shoot,” carries no weight (if witness accounts are accurate) — well, no.  Would I want my son in Ferguson, Missouri — well, no.

Why do I feel so strongly about Ferguson, Missouri.  The easy answer is that I am the Black mother of a young Black man.  There is, also, a more complex answer– an answer that I imagine is shared by all people of good will throughout our vast country.

Ferguson, Missouri reminds us of Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Oscar Grant, Emmett Till.  Ferguson, Missouri makes us question our role in the world.  Ferguson, Missouri makes us think of the Israeli / Palestinian conflict.  It makes us wonder how we can advise others.  It makes us wonder why the Yazidis would trust us to come to their rescue.  It makes us wonder if some Yazidis would rather stay on the Sinjar Mountains because they just do not trust us.

Flight attendants instruct us on how to handle a loss of oxygen on an airplane.  They tell us that if there is a loss off oxygen, an air mask will drop down.  If we are traveling with young children or someone who needs help, we are instructed to put on our own oxygen mask first. We can take a breath, then share our oxygen with others.

A police officer in Ferguson, Missouri cut off Michael Brown’s oxygen less than a month after a New York City police officer cut off oxygen to Eric Garner with an illegal choke hold.  These young men were not allowed to breathe.

And, now, we are all holding our breath.  And, people of good will throughout the United States are wondering how we can possibly help others have life (breathe), liberty (freedom from tyranny), and the pursuit of happiness (a seat at Cheers).