A Brief History of Slavery and the Origins of American Policing
Written by Victor E. Kappeler, Ph.D., Eastern Kentucky University
The birth and development of the American police can be traced to a multitude of historical, legal and political-economic conditions. The institution of slavery and the control of minorities, however, were two of the more formidable historic features of American society shaping early policing. Slave patrols and Night Watches, which later became modern police departments, were both designed to control the behaviors of minorities. For example, New England settlers appointed Indian Constables to police Native Americans (National Constable Association, 1995), the St. Louis police were founded to protect residents from Native Americans in that frontier city, and many southern police departments began as slave patrols.
In 1704, the colony of Carolina developed the nation’s first slave patrol. Slave patrols helped to maintain the economic order and to assist the wealthy landowners in recovering and punishing slaves who essentially were considered property. Continue reading →
“And with this knowledge we can change the world, if first we change ourselves.”
— Dr. John Henrik Clarke
First off, let me say that I applaud the zeal and dedication of those who organize juneteenth celebrations around the country. It is a commendable effort to educate our people about this aspect of our history in America. Having said, and at the risk of receiving universal condemnation from the Afrikan community, I humbly declare that these juneteenth celebrations are mis-guided and are based on false historical premises!
Juneteenth is a holiday in the state of Texas in recognition of the receipt by enslaved Afrikans who were the last to receive word on June 19, 1865, that they were allegedly freed via President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation signed January 1, 1863. There were approximately4 million enslaved Afrikans in America at the time. Since that time, Afrikans in Texas have allegedly celebrated Juneteenth, and it is now becoming a national celebration. However, this is a false celebration since there were still “approximately four million slaves (Afrikan Captives) in America” on January 2, 1864, one full year after Lincoln’s proclamation, according to courageous author and historian, Lerone Bennett, Jr., “Forced Into Glory: Abraham Lincoln’s White Dream.” Continue reading →
Police detective: Misleading narrative presented to Freddie Gray grand jury
By Justin Fenton, June 25 2016
The lead Baltimore police detective in the Freddie Gray investigation said she reluctantly read to grand jurors a summary of evidence provided by prosecutors that she believed was misleading, according to police records reviewed by The Baltimore Sun. Hours later, the grand jurors issued criminal indictments against six police officers in the arrest and death of Gray.
Detective Dawnyell Taylor said in a daily log of case notes on the investigation that a prosecutor handed her a four-page, typed narrative at the courthouse just before she appeared before the grand jury. “As I read over the narrative it had several things that I found to be inconsistent with our investigation,” Taylor wrote, adding: “I thought the statements in the narrative were misquoted.”
But, she wrote, she was “conflicted” about challenging the state’s attorney on the narrative in the courtroom. “With great conflict I was sworn in and read the narrative provided,” she said in her notes. When the jurors asked questions, including whether Gray’s arrest was legal, Taylor wrote that prosecutors intervened before she could give an answer that would conflict with their assessment. Continue reading →
‘Rough Rides’ and the Challenges of Improving Police Culture
By David A. Graham, Apr 27, 2015
A rough ride. Bringing them up front. A screen test. A cowboy ride. A nickel ride.
Police say that intentionally banging a suspect around in the back of a van isn’t common practice. But the range of slang terms to describe the practice suggests it’s more common that anyone would hope—and a roster of cases show that Freddie Gray is hardly the first person whose serious injuries allegedly occurred while in police transit. Citizens have accused police of using aggressive driving to rough suspects up for decades in jurisdictions across the country. Though experts don’t think it’s a widespread practice, rough rides have injured many people, frayed relationships, and cost taxpayers, including Baltimore’s, millions of dollars in damages.
Gray’s funeral was Monday, eight days after he died and two weeks after he was arrested by Baltimore police under murky circumstances. President Obama sent three aides, including the chair of his My Brother’s Keeper task force, to the burial. Protests have roiled the streets of Baltimore ever since Gray died, forcing the city to reckon with a troubled police department and its fraught relationship with black citizens. Continue reading →
Timeline: Freddie Gray’s arrest, death and the aftermath From Baltimore Sun
April 12, 2015
Four officers on bicycles attempted to stop Freddie Gray and another man, who ran after seeing police at the intersection of W. North Avenue and N. Mount Street. “A lieutenant begins pursuing Mr. Gray after making eye contact with two individuals, one of which is Mr. Gray,” Deputy Commissioner Jerry Rodriguez said.
April 12, 2015
Police caught and arrested Gray in the 1700 block of Presbury Street. Police said Gray stopped voluntarily and they did not use any force. An officer took out his Taser but did not use it, police said. “That has been verified by downloading the information on the Taser and also by the physical evidence on Mr. Gray’s body,” Rodriguez said.
One Year Anniversary Of Charleston, SC Church Shooting
Black History: Special Delivery!!
By Blackmail4u, June 17 2016
June 17 marks the one year anniversary when nine members of Mother Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina were murdered during a prayer meeting.
Dylan Roof was arrested for the shooting. He remains in police custody and could face the death penalty. Trial was originally set to start in July 2016 but was delayed until January 2017 to allow additional time for psychiatric evaluation of Dylan Roof.
The one year anniversary was recognized in Charleston honoring the life and legacy of the shooting victims. The one year anniversary reminds us that racism is alive and well in America.