Baltimore, MD — In a comment that is sure to make waves in the department, a Baltimore cop dished out some heavy handed honesty.
Puja Patel, from the Concourse, interviewed two of the riot police officers on the scene in Baltimore Tuesday. What they had to say was quite candid and something that many of us already know. However, hearing it from the source is considerably more powerful.
Patel asked the officers “if what happened yesterday was possibly instigated by the mere presence of the police at Mondawmin Mall.”
One officer explained how they gather intel on individuals through spying on people with fake social media accounts. The reason they were at the Mondawmin Mall Monday, according to police, was in response to a meme going around on social media that called for a “purge.”
Re the high school "purge," this is the IG post I've seen circulating pic.twitter.com/OzmTggq0YL
— Carrie Wells (@cwellssun) April 27, 2015
The officer responded to the question by saying,
[The police department] follows people on social media. They have fake Twitter accounts and fake Instagram accounts, they know to watch certain trends, so they saw that and it’s heated. They are going to make sure that’s watched.
Another officer held no punches as he described why the people are angry.
I blame the department and let me tell you why. They praise rookie officers. They’ll go around making a 100 arrests a month, and they’ll praise them. These rookie officers will do anything to get an arrest because they want more praise, you know what I’m saying? This is the result of it. They arrested Gray for some bullshit. That arrest was the weakest thing I’ve seen in my life. They do things like that and then what we see happening now happens. They can say anything to anyone to lock them up because they want an arrest. I don’t think they hurt him or messed him up, that’s what I truly think, but I do think they should have called a medic.
While this cop didn’t blame his fellow officers for Gray’s death, his honesty about the ridiculous nature of police harassment confirms something that those of us in the police accountability movement know all too well.
Cops prey on the poor through the enforcement of victimless crimes to fund the system.
The reality of this situation is that #FreddieGray was a mathematical certainty. It wasn’t a matter of if it was going to happen, but when.
Cops in America have killed thousands of men, women and children over non-crimes. The people are fed up with watching their family members fall victim to trigger-happy police officers. Even this officer knows it!
Poor people in America are kept in an almost perpetual state of decline by this system. This decline continues in spite of the plethora of government programs ostensibly in place to help the poor while in reality they do far more harm than good.
Contrary to the political myth of the welfare state, poor people do pay taxes. The poor in America serve as the host to a parasitic system designed to generate revenue through the extraction of wealth.
The poorest fifth of Americans pay 16 percent of their incomes in taxes (including federal, state, and local). One in six dollars they earn goes straight to the government. For a family living at the margin, those taxes can be the difference between food on the table and hungry children.
Instead of having a choice of where to spend their own money, this potential investment revenue becomes eaten up by mandatory programs like Social Security. Add taxes to the citations for “poor people crimes” like vehicle inspection stickers, window tint, failure to have insurance, etc. and the average poor is constantly teetering on the verge of homelessness.
The cycle continues as young entrepreneurs turn to the black market created by the state’s immoral war on drugs, to support themselves and their families. They sell marijuana to feed their children or to pay their rent, and the state kidnaps, cages and kills them over the sale of this plant.
The state targets the poor and minorities as they have little recourse and no means of legally fighting back. Fathers are torn from families and thrown into corporatist prisons that constantly demand more prisoners to be filled to capacity. Children grow up in broken families as they watch their dads beaten down and hauled off to prison.
The system then leaves these young men and women growing up with struggling mothers barely able to make ends meat, and they’re left with very few options; join the military or go to prison.
The cycle feeds on itself, creating a dependency on the very paradigm that is keeping people in perpetual plight through extortion and minimal handouts.
Generation after generation has been growing up in the welfare-warfare state and it has slowly become the norm. When the people in the community get angry enough to take to the streets their misplaced aggression is taken out on the very thing that could actually free them from this cycle, local commerce.
This just anger is then obfuscated and used to create further divide as the media portrays it as animalistic and based in racist hate. Sadly this disinformation becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy and people begin to believe the lies as truth. Poverty is blamed on the rich by the state while the politicians silently vote themselves into the 1%.
The haves are angry at the have-nots for ostensibly benefitting from their own extortion while the have-nots resent the overt government-created class privilege. In the meantime, both sides refuse to acknowledge the elephant in the room causing this entire debacle, the state.
This enthusiasm for radical change simply needs to be redirected to creating, rather than destroying. There is no shortage of proposed peaceful solutions to the police state. Simply take a look through our #Solutions archive if you are looking for somewhere to start.
The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new. ~ Dan Millman Way