This chief has already cost the tax payers millions in settlements for hundreds of civil rights violations, and now he supposed to lead a committee to stop civil rights violations?
Washington D.C. – This week, President Obama gave a speech about police militarization, in light of the recent unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, and formed a committee that will supposedly be working to address police corruption and police brutality. However, one of his lead figures in this committee is Philadelphia Police Chief Charles Ramsey, a crooked cop who is notorious for using excessive force and making false arrests.
“If the president’s idea of reforming policing practices includes mass false arrests, brutality, and the eviscerating of civil rights, then Ramsey’s his man. That’s Charles Ramsey’s legacy in D.C. Obama should immediately rescind his appointment of Commissioner Ramsey, who is a mass violator of civil rights and civil liberties,” Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, Executive Director of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund(PCJF), said in a recent statement.
Before his stay in Philadelphia, Ramsey was the Police Chief in D.C. for a number of years, where he oversaw many violent arrests and mass detainments during the regularly occurring protests that take place in the city.
Police accountability activists have had a number of strong criticisms about Obama’s remarks this week, namely his refusal to curtail the Pentagon’s highly unpopular “1033 program”, which has armed local police departments with expensive high-tech military gear.
Instead of taking money and equipment away from these agencies, the government is now seeking to grant them larger budgets, as a so-called solution to the problem of police brutality.
Press Secretary Josh Earnest said this week that the programs have been useful for the government, especially last year in the Boston lock-down, which followed the marathon bombing. The press secretary said that instead of getting rid of the police militarization programs altogether, the administration decided that the situation would be handled through “oversight and training.”
Overall, the comments from the White House this week about this case are just promising more of the same, and no major change in policy in regards to the militarization of police.
The only decent news to come out of the string of press conferences this week, is that it seems like police-worn body cameras are going to become more widely implemented. This could give a more objective look into police encounters, so long as there is some form of decentralized oversight with the footage.
Among the hundreds of millions of dollars worth of equipment that the federal government will be sending to police nationwide after the Ferguson ruling, they will also reportedly be sending $75 million for police-worn body cameras.
John Vibes is an author, researcher and investigative journalist who takes a special interest in the counter culture and the drug war. In addition to his writing and activist work he is also the owner of a successful music promotion company. In 2013, he became one of the organizers of the Free Your Mind Conference, which features top caliber speakers and whistle-blowers from all over the world. You can contact him and stay connected to his work at his Facebook page. You can find his 65 chapter Book entitled “Alchemy of the Timeless Renaissance” at bookpatch.com.