police brutality

Will the "police body camera" bill ever make it to the NCGA floor?

The Magic 8-Ball sez, "Don't hold your breath."

Members of the Legislative Black Caucus said Wednesday that they expect a bill to be filed when the General Assembly reconvenes in January that would require some, if not all, law enforcement officers in North Carolina to wear body cameras on duty.

The Legislative Black Caucus also plans to file anti-profiling legislation next year, said Rep. Rodney Moore, D-Mecklenburg.

Two major challenges to getting such legislation enacted: 1) Many GOP Legislators refuse to believe racial profiling even occurs, and 2) Most of those who would acknowledge it's happening believe it's not just okay, it's good police work. As such, the anti-profiling bill is dead on arrival, destined to collect dust in one committee or another, and the police body camera bill will probably do likewise, until some Republican writes a different one that merely "studies" the practice, possibly choosing as a test case some Mayberry-ish town with a one-bullet deputy sporting a camera. Prove me wrong, please.

Reflections on the "post-racial" South

The dangers of coming home from school while black:

Stacy Tyler said she had left her home unlocked because she knew her foster son, DeShawn Currie, would be arriving home from school. When neighbors spotted Currie, who is black, entering the Tyler residence, they immediately called police.

When they arrived, they ordered Currie to put his hands on the door. “For what?” he said he replied. “This is my house. Why are y’all here?” Officers then pointed to a photograph on the mantel of the Tyler’s natural born children, all of whom are white, at which point Currie became angry. After a brief argument, officers pepper-sprayed Currie in the face.

This story makes me angry for several reasons: First off, either the neighbors who called the police didn't know the family had a black foster child, which makes me angry the foster parents hadn't taken steps to shield DeShawn from possible (likely?) confusion like this. Or the neighbors did know, and they did this out of malice towards a family who brought a black kid into the neighborhood. Of course I'm angry at the cops for pepper-spraying the kid, but I'm also a little angry at DeShawn himself for not reacting calmly, and maybe showing the cops his bedroom (which should have proven he was supposed to be there). But above all, I'm angry that we live in a society where all these elements come into play.


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