The recent tragic and unfortunate death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore is Exhibit A for why you should never run from a policeman. We cannot speculate on why Mr. Gray decided to flee from the police, but it was a fatal mistake. Here’s why.
Remember growing up when the person who got the worst “whupping” was the person who tried to run? Remember an already upset parent said, “boy (it was typically a boy) don’t you run from me.” Running from a switch would turn a swat or two into a full-fledged beating. The reason? Defiance. Parents, aka, the enforcers don’t like being challenged. A defiant, running from a switch child, was expressing open defiance, and this attitude alone would “set off” a parent into a whipping rage—so much so that punishment could go overboard. Well, policemen are community parents. They are the community “enforcers” who make sure laws are obeyed. So when a “community parent” aka, enforcers—with guns and tasers, approach a “suspect” they expect compliance. They don’t expect to switch from “show me your driver’s license,” or a civil response to a few questions, to chasing someone, either on foot, on a bicycle, or in a car.
A special warning to “black and brown” runners, namely, African Americans and Hispanics. If policemen are community parents, you are the community children who are the most likely to be suspected of “doing something wrong.” Remember how some children in the house got all the whippings? And some children “got away with stuff.” When I was growing up “light skinned” kids got away with stuff and dark skinned kids got the worst punishment. Still going on. White kids can smoke dope and do stuff that black kids get arrested for. Remember the black guy who was arrested for public drunkenness and his head beat outside the restaurant at the Virginia college?” If those cops had wanted to, they could have arrested half the white kids standing outside that bar for public drunkenness. But they don’t do that.
There is a presumption of “guilty of something” that “goes with the turf” in community policing of “certain” neighborhoods. And so community parents, namely cops, with guns and tasers, go after the presumptively bad (dark skinned) children more than they do the “light skinned” white kids.” And, if one of the black and brown community children decides to run, white cops “go ballistics.” It’s now being dubbed “felony fleeing.” If a black man will be arrested for “WWB” “walking while black” or “JWB, “jogging while black,” or SOAPBWB, “sitting on a park bench while black,” what do you think will happen if you are seen “RWB” “running while black? To a cop, running after any type of “IPC,” “initial police contact,” is a sign of defiance. And a cop’s attitude can quickly turn to one of “How dare you defy me—how dare you “resist” me and a cop “going ballistic.” And, going ballistics can mean a beating or some other type of physical abuse inside a police car, or somewhere out of a camera’s view—and guess who will lie about what really happened and get away with it? Example, East Cleveland Ohio where police fired 137 shots into a fleeing car, inside black male and black female—both killed. One cop is currently on trial for jumping onto the hood of the car after the chase ended and firing 15 shots directly into the windshield after the chase ended. He claims he can’t remember shooting his gun. Bonnie and Clyde robbed bank after bank, then ran from a whole slew of policemen, but they did not die with the same amount of force being used to kill black and brown people who run. Never run from a cop.
Question: And why do “they run?” Answer: “The U. S. “prison industrial complex” and a judicial system that feeds off black and brown citizens. A judicial system that has six out of ten black men under some type of probation or already in prison. And those on probation are one cop-stop away from having their probation or parole revoked and doing a long sentence—so they run to avoid long incarcerations for minor infractions. When a local government signs a contract with Corrections Corporation of America, the largest private prison system in the world, guaranteeing 80 percent occupancy for prisons built in their jurisdiction; this is “the beast” being fed. Someone has dubbed it “the New Jim Crow.” So, again, if you are black and brown, don’t run from a cop. You will only get a “felony fleeing,” or “resisting arrest” charge added to whatever status you already have. Or, you will end up dead like Freddie Gray and Walter Scott who was shot in the back seven times after running from a South Carolina cop. Again, never run from a cop.
Copyright 2015 – L. Arthalia Cravin. All rights Reserved. No part of this commentary may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission from the author.