Saturday, September 11, 2021

Police Brutality: Welcome to Taylor!

It's difficult for me to have any sympathy for the Capitol police officers insulted or assaulted during the January 6 attempted coup in Washington D.C. because police officers across this country react so differently to white people and Black people. 
The same Capitol police officers fleeing from armed white rioters or wringing their hands and wondering what to do would have had no problem throwing beatdowns to unarmed Black men in the same situation. Some examples of this phenomenon recently came to light in a not so pleasant little podunk town not too far from me.  
Officer Tyler Peake, 23, is accused of assaulting Brendan Morgan, a 34-year-old Southfield resident, around 1:43 a.m. on April 1, 2020, after police were dispatched to the scene of a reported domestic disturbance involving Morgan and a Taylor woman prosecutors said was his girlfriend at the time.
Peake has been charged with misconduct in office and assault and battery. Misconduct in office, a common-law felony, carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison. Assault and battery is a 93-day misdemeanor. 
Peake approached Morgan, pointed his handgun at him, then instructed him several times to stop his car and get out.

Morgan rolled down his window and raised both hands where they were visible, prosecutors said, before Peake punched Morgan in the face with his right hand through the open window while holding his handgun in his left hand.
The incident was recorded by body cameras and cameras on police vehicles, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said Tuesday. Peake is also accused of striking Morgan multiple times on the ground after he was forcibly removed from his vehicle by other officers.

Additionally the same Police department is accused in a separate case of arresting and assaulting a Black motorist who had lost his temporary license plate tag.
A federal lawsuit alleging excessive force was filed Friday on behalf of a Black motorist and his girlfriend against the city of Taylor and five of its police officers.
The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Detroit on behalf of Imani Ringgold-D'Abell and his girlfriend, La'Shanna Taylor against the city of Taylor and Taylor police officers Jeffrey Adamisin, Nicholas Sellitti, Anthony Paredes, Thomas Haverlock and James Pilchak. 
Ringgold-D'Abell was pulled over as he drove his vehicle on Sept. 13, 2019 with Taylor and the couple's three-year-old daughter, who was in the backseat, on the way to a dentist appointment for the child, according to the lawsuit. 
He had recently moved from Illinois to Michigan to be closer to Taylor’s family, according to the lawsuit, and had recently purchased a used Audi SUV and received a temporary registration permit that was valid for 90 days, through Sept. 27, 2019.
Adamisin, according to the suit, did not ask to see the paper copy of Ringgold-D'Abell driver's license and returned to his patrol vehicle and called for backup. 
Four officers, Sellitti, Paredes, Haverlock and Pilchak arrived and Adamisin decided to arrest Ringgold-D'Abell "even after the officer had already confirmed" what Ringgold-D'Abell had told him. 
During the arrest initiated by Paredes for not having identification, according to the lawsuit, Ringgold-D'Abell was "encircled" by the five police officers and "tased multiple times and suffered blows to his body including an officer's punches to his stomach while another held his torso in place."
Now there are dozens if not hundreds of weekly police encounters where there may be some issue with motorist tags or plates. But it seems that many of the ones that I hear about that include arrest or violence involve Black men.
I'm not saying those are the ONLY ones, just it's "odd" that something that should at worst be a warning or a ticket is escalated when it's a Black male driver. And by "odd" of course, here I mean racist. In both cases the police allegedly initiated and escalated violence against unarmed men and then lied about it, even though they knew that the body cameras and/or other surveillance would reveal what really happened. That shows that they just don't care. 
For police, assaulting Black men is evidently like a law partner or senior corporate officer fudging expense reports to cover some minor personal spending. Yeah, it's technically wrong, but everybody does it. It's not like you're going to lose your job over it or anything.
Although Taylor has a well deserved reputation for being a declasse and less than welcoming area for Black people, I really don't think this is a problem limited by area or class. It's something that happens all over the United States to Black men. Black men need to start making more noise about this and take steps to halt it. Otherwise it will continue as surely as the Sun rises tomorrow.
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