Society

Black Ex-Police Officer Claims Black People Call Black Cops 'Traitors'

| by Michael Allen

After two grand juries chose not to prosecute two white police officers for the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, anti-police brutality protests sprung up across the country.

USA Today reported earlier this year that numbers from the FBI showed that almost two black men were killed every week by white police officers from 2005 to 2012.

However, black police officers feel they are caught between their race and job.

"We're called things like Uncle Toms and traitors to our community, in spite of the fact that we sympathize or we agree with the anger that our community holds, because we feel that same anger," Noel Leader, a former NYPD sergeant, recently told the Associated Press.

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"I feel like you have to prove yourself on every level," added Jorge Ferreira, a sheriff's deputy in Alameda County, California. "You have to prove yourself to the black community, you have to prove yourself to all of your co-workers, you have to prove yourself to society."

"A lot of us have sons, and we want to make sure our colleagues are treating our young boys with dignity and respect," said Oakland Police Lt. LeRonne Armstrong.

The public may not realize that some black police officers face the danger of being killed by a white cop.

NYPD Officer Omar Edwards, who was black, died in 2009 after being shot by a white police officer, Andrew Dunton. The New York Daily News reported in 2012 that Officer Dunton had been promoted.

"I understand that when I am given directions from the police, I am very cautious and careful to comply with their demands or commands until it could be understood what is really going on," stated Michael Williams, a black officer and president of the Memphis Police Association, which represents cops. "We have to take responsibility for our actions, even in the black community, and we can avoid a whole lot of this."

"I believe that some of these incidents could have been prevented if you comply with the law," added Williams. "If someone says put your hands up, put your hands up."

Police often use noncompliance as a reason to assault and kill people in the U.S.

According to Aljazeera.com:

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of similar examples in which noncompliance led to violence. Ersula Ore, a black woman in Arizona refused to hand over her ID and was flung to the ground. A drunk woman in Skokie, Illinois, didn’t look into the camera when being booked, so the police threw her onto a bench, breaking her face. They claimed she was resisting arrest.

...Ethan Saylor, a 26-year-old with Down syndrome, was told to get out of his seat at a movie theater in Frederick, Maryland, because he hadn’t paid for his ticket. He refused and swore at the off-duty deputies who were moonlighting as mall security. They grabbed him and wrestled him to the ground. He was asphyxiated.

Sources: USA Today, Associated Press, Aljazeera.com, New York Daily News
Image Credit: Daniel Schwen