Policing the police: How to make them accountable for overstepping bounds, or acting above the limits of what the law warrants

My thoughts on such are: they’re needed to keep order to a degree, & to keep chaos & anarchy in check. However, not all are bad, but not all are good either. So, the key of the matter is to weed out the bad ones who stain the rest. Those that believe that they’re above the letter of the law – & because they are protected by the badge – that they can do whatever they feel on their whims (disregarding justice). What we are witnessing right now (history in the making), is a change that’s long overdue.

GOD WILLING, we see positive change soon before more unnecessary lives are taken to soon.

I remember my police brutality moment, where I was choked (literally), for not incriminating myself of a situation, & that was after being maced in the face, knocked down to the ground & handcuffed. This was all because I laughed at one of the two officers, dude put his hands around my throat and literally choked me, up to the moment I was about to pass out.

I was fortunate enough that his partner came back to where we were and stopped him (good cop/bad cop). The one who choked me, he does not need to be in a position of an authoritative figure. It’s individuals like this that black the eyes of the rest. To you, cops, you know your colleagues better than we do. You’re aware of who stains what you stand for, and who stands for real justice. Every brother, ain’t really a brother, unless he proves such. So, the way I view such, y’all that claim to stand for right (justice & equality), need to take center stage and do what you swore to do, “TO PROTECT & SERVE” (not your personal agenda, but the community’s agenda).

How many more sacrifices is it going to take for true change to come? Enough is enough. Me, personally, I’m sick & tired, of being sick & tired. It’s getting to that ‘I don’t care’ (attitude) point. Stop killing us! It’s happening so frequently that I’ve lost count. Seems like every other day, another soul is on ice. Change is overdue. Push til you can’t no more (cause/effect), talking is good, but only gets you so far. Action is the vehicle & a means, hopefully to a end. Stay strong & focus my people, if you seek to be equal. My blackness is not a crime! LET ME LIVE!

Sincerely, D. Moyler #1119539, Virginia

POLICE REFORM: Communities

The prospect of police reform has recently become a new topic of debate on the national stage. This movement was sparked by the outrage the George Floyd video caused. The world watched in horror as a Black man was murdered by a White cop who kept his knee on his neck for 8:46. Law enforcement has the authority to deprive American citizens of their life and liberty. After George Floyd, America must now question should anyone be given such a right?

In my book, APOTHEOSIS LORD SERIOUS HAKIM ALLAH’S HABEAS CORPUS APPEAL, I predicted that the problem of police brutality would never be solved until the police were held accountable to the communities that they patrol. Who is policing the police? Who do they answer to? If it is not the community that they serve, then why do you expect them not to abuse their power? Especially, when White cops patrolling impoverished Black communities have an ‘us vs. them’ mentality every time they put on their uniform. They do not see the members of my community as their fellow neighbors. They do not have enough respect for us as their fellow citizens to respect our rights. When they arrest us, we are not promised to live long enough to even make it to a courtroom to have our day in court. Too often, White police officers play the role of judge, jury, and executioner for the unarmed Black man.

So, I think society needs to take the power out of the police union’s hands and give the power of oversight of the American police force back to the communities that these officers patrol. They need to make filing a complaint against an offending officers easier. Citizens should be able to file complaints online. They shouldn’t be required to drive down to the station, because some of them don’t even have cars.

I also want to see state legislatures to pass laws that will keep track of how many people are shot by police. The FBI keeps track of all crime, however, they do not keep track of how many unarmed Black men are being killed by police. And they also need to make laws that specifically define what excessive force is, and when it is appropriate to use. When the laws are too ambiguous, this is what allows offending officers to avoid being held accountable.

I think all officers on the scene should also be required to intervene when another officer is using excessive force. With these changes, the police can be better regulated and controlled. Peace.

Lord Serious Hakim Allah / J. Boughton Jr., Chesapeake, VA #1404741

Take a Stand for What’s Right

It is a tragedy that many lives have been taken in the same way that George Floyd’s life was taken. In fact, it’s by the very ones who have the responsibility of protecting the lives of everyone in society. This is not an issue that has only occured once or twice, but has happened so often throughout the past, that it has a pattern of resurfacing whenever the time is right. Although these officers are the ones who are to blame for the lives that were taken, we as a society have opened the doors for things like this to happen. I’m not saying that we do not deserve better treatment, but what I am saying is that if we took responsibility for our own well being and the well being of those around us rather than waiting for someone to give us what is rightfully ours anyway, law enforcement would only be used when it was appropriate in situations like the ones we face today… where lives are taken by the authorities for no reason at all, the one who committed the murder would be facing the same punishment any civilian would face for the exact same crimes.

The only thing that I see fit for the times that we live in is that everyone gain their independence. What I mean by this is each and every one of us is in a much better position to carry out justice by educating ourselves and encouraging others. We shouldn’t continue to depend on the same ones who are threatening our livelihood day after day for protection. Everyone who decides to take a stand for what is right, prevents things like this from happening again.

My name is Shaveek Pittman and I am currently behind the walls of LVCC Lawrenceville, Va and I hope that all who read this are encouraged to keep striving for a brighter future.

– Shaveek Pittman

Prompt: ‘Criminal Cop’ Justice Reform

The conceptual lines that formed the basis for the childhood game of cops and robbers has been destroyed.

Though many of us knew of the ambiguity associated with criminals and law enforcement projected in mob movies by the depiction of the crooked cop, and ambiguity through the vicious images of cops’ mistreatment of black lives captured during the civil rights movement, the idea hasn’t been accepted on such a mainstream scale as easily as it has today. That’s with good reason I suppose: law enforcement’s intricate roll in the operation of society. Many would love to maintain the illusion of a perfect system (a perfect cop), rather than accept the fact that the system is finite and many people lose their lives at the present of its inconsistencies. So the back draft of the collective societal thought passes the blame on to the less essential. They will say: “Why are the cops killing black people? They must be doing something wrong…” But the presence of social media, free of expert commentators, leaves no room for harsh realities to be ignore any longer. The truth is becoming clearer – the ones sent to serve and protect have done so, not so much with communities in mind, but serving in the further corruption of their departments and unions, protecting shady cops from prosecution for their crimes of mishandling lives in their charge.

The term ‘criminal justice reform’ has taken on a new skin… in the matter of less than a year. This reform is now focused on the policing of cops… a funny idea if I should say so myself. The administrators of policy and law still have to administer laws, even if they’re new ones, right? That thought itself gives me goosebumps… as I’m not sure exactly how to ‘police’ police better. Honestly, I thought the implementation of the body cams would suffice for effective policing of police, and yet others have lost their lives with mysteriously no body cam footage of the account… only civil bystanders armed with phone mounted cameras, capturing truths that would of otherwise been buried in mounds of disinformation and political jargon – aimed at furthering the decades old agenda of being “tough on crime…”

Writing Prompt Assignment:
What further can we do as a society to make sure that lives like George Floyd’s aren’t taken without healthy fear of prosecution?

Write your experiences with criminal cops. Write your ideas (if any) for changing the way cop are held to the letter of the law. Write between 2-5 paragraphs, if possible.

Make sure you add your name and any other information you might want people to know about you.

– Q. Patterson, Creator, Organizer, Writer, VADOC #1392272

Editor’s Note: If you or someone you know (incarcerated or formerly incarcerated) wants to write on this prompt this month and be featured on BrillianceBehindBars.com, send an email to yourlovedoneq@gmail.com with the essay and bio to review, or we can add inmate numbers to our Brilliance Behind Bars JPay to allow them to contact us directly.