Greetings dear readers!
Trouble in Black paradise shapes catastrophe, impacting all “rainbow” humanity.
Defense attorneys here successfully argued to have the Superior Court halt the Police Commission’s disciplinary action against cops who are implicated in SFPD’s exposed racist/homophobic text exchanges. Now the court itself will make a ruling determining whether or not the Commission can actually take steps in the matter.
The accused claim that because the department actually knew of the emails before they became public—and did nothing before the statute of limitations ran out—they cannot be disciplined. The department says they could do nothing until the Federal investigation (that gave rise to the emails) was completed—it widely overlapped the statute, so the deadline is nullified.
Police Chief Greg Suhr recommends that 7 cops be fired.
While September 3rd is the next scheduled Court hearing this case receives no attention from a screeching Donald Trump, or the sensationalist national media hounds yelping at his heels, reveling in Trump’s fallout.
Trump pounced quickly on the July 1st tragedy befalling a local white woman, 32-year-old Kathryn Steinle. In a horrendous incident Steinle was shot to death at Pier 14, allegedly by Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, an undocumented Mexican immigrant. It happened in the immediate wake of Presidential candidate Trump grabbing national headlines, accusing most Mexican immigrants of being rapists and criminals.
Shown is that Trump (or at least his aids) peruse national stories, particularly to bolster his charged accusations. Of course national reaction and debate have spun around this incident, challenging the pros and cons of immigrant “Sanctuary” laws adopted by several cities, including San Francisco.
Steinle deserves absolute justice, especially preventative (regarding general public safety). Like all legislation Sanctuary laws should be continuously refined to insure constructive, healthy results for all involved—both citizens and immigrant “sanction” seekers (not limited to Central Americans which gets clouded in the sensation). Adopting cities all claim the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) cannot be trusted to fairly deal with immigrants seeking valid, critical asylum.
Trump obviously wants Sanctuary laws to be totally eliminated with no middle ground, shoring up his accusatory (and inflammatory) right wing “popularity position.”
An interesting thing screams here though: following suite with zilch response to the SF cop text scandal “candidate” Trump has made one Black Lives Matter response that I know of: “We have to give strength and power back to the police…” and this regarding the questionable arrests and runaway murders of unarmed Blacks by white police officers (perpetrators who are not immigrants)—incidents surfacing in epidemic proportion.
While Steinle’s death occurred 4 months after the texts were revealed tragedies befalling unarmed Blacks surround her incident—shocking escalation undeterred:
On September 14, 2013 (a year before Michael Brown’s Ferguson, MO death) 24-year-old Jonathan Ferrell was allegedly shot dead in Charlotte, NC by white officer Randall “Wes” kerrick. Ferrell, a former Florida A&M football player, had knocked on the door of Sarah McCartney (a white woman) seeking help after his terrible early morning car crash. 911 tapes reveal McCartney freaked out, calling it a burglary and screaming, “he’s a Black man!” Three officers arrive (2 Black and 1 white). A clean cut, T-shirt wearing Ferrell walks down the street—obviously no weapon visible. Only Kerrick draws his gun, trailing its laser on Ferrell’s chest. Ferrell bolts. Reportedly Kerrick fells him with a shot and as Ferrell crawls he’s shot 9 more times. Kerrick’s voluntary manslaughter trial which could draw an 11 year sentence began this week.
28-year-old Sandra Bland was arrested last July 10th in Hempstead, TX by white Texas Trooper Brian Encinia for failure to make a lane change signal. The video shows Encinia intensely escalated the situation when Bland refused to extinguish her cigarette. Encinia opens Bland’s door when she refuses to exit it, sticks his taser in her face (indicating no fear for his life) and screams, “I will light you up!” Encinia takes Bland out of his video’s range to the side of the road and further escalation can be heard. A second video captures Bland face down on the ground, straddled by Encinia—she screams in agony complaining of brutal treatment and loss of limb sensation. 3 days later Bland is found dead in her jail cell. The ruled suicide is hotly contested by her family, as Bland was overjoyed scoring a greatly desired new job.
Soon on July 19th 43-year-old Samuel DuBose was shot to death by a University of Cincinnati officer after a routine traffic stop for a missing license plate. Ray Tensing had claimed in his report (initially backed by other officers) that he was dragged and almost run over by a fleeing DuBose, forcing him to shoot. But Tensing’s body camera contradicts this, showing DuBose being shot point blank in the head as Tensing tries to open the door—the car then coasts down the road (no Tensing hanging on) and crashes to a halt. Tensing is fired, charged with murder and voluntary manslaughter. Prosecutor Joseph Deters called it, “the most asinine act I’ve ever seen a police officer make.” Subsequently, witnessing officers recanted on claiming they saw Tensing being dragged—thus far none have been charged themselves.
Both Trump and the national media have strange bedfellows locally with regards to their silence on particularly those shameful texts. White gay reps offer no sound. Numerous churches dot blocks all over San Francisco, but not a peep can be heard publically from Black preachers and congregants—almost not a peep.
When Police Chief Greg Suhr addressed SF’s text scandal and District Attorney George Gascon announced his newly formed task force, a Black preacher stood by their side: the Reverend Amos Brown, also president of The City’s NAACP chapter. Brown, a former SF Supervisor, has long spoken out and is no stranger to taking conventionally unpopular stands. In 2008 when California passed anti gay marriage Prop 8 Brown’s fiery, soul rousing rhetoric rained down from the pro gay rally stage at City Hall—brazenly supporting gay rights.
As a result Brown took fiery chastisement from his own pulpit soldiers—Deacons of his historic Third Baptist Church—but firmly held his ground.
Another greatly unsung rainbow coalition beats SF’s pavements seemingly forever. The Black led Healing Circle for the Soul Support Group, founded by Mattie Scott and George Jurand, serves as care givers for family “survivors” of homicide (like themselves) the people left behind and forgotten after loved ones are buried—their murders overwhelmingly unsolved.
The Circle, based at Paradise Missionary Baptist Church, keeps visible pressure on City Hall and officials to solve these runaway homicides, determining that inner city crimes draw far less priority for solving. Members have also joined Castro sponsored rallies, advocating for gay bash victims, when little or no gay presence (beside myself) attended their campaigns.
Of course the venerable Rev. Cecil Williams and his wife Janice Mirikatani of Glide Memorial Church must make the equation. Feeding the poor and advocating social justice for decades Williams is a hero featured more extensively in my book “Trouble In Black Paradise.”
Rev. Brown, Circle members and Rev. Williams all profess a common sentiment: huge frustration that so few congregations offer involvement—knowing it would make a hugely impacting, positive difference.
The sentiment echoes a weary Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The late Dr. King relentlessly kept to the streets with miniscule Black Church involvement compared to the whole. King was especially abandoned by major Black associates when making the obvious connection between Civil Rights at home and U.S. “foreign policy.”
King’s assassination drew sentimental wailing in churches from coast to coast, but no major force or coalition stepped in to carry the mantle—only piecemeal symbols of street protest for varying “incidents.” Even the mega million dollar gospel music congregations remain shuddered in self-content.
On the general Republican candidate scene the only African-American runner there, Dr. Ben Carson, was asked in the recent debate how he would repair race relations. His response in essence said that people were shocked to discover he “didn’t talk about race much.” Translation: Carson’s resolution is to ignore that major white supremacist based conflict exists—as long as he’s successful.
In this regard it behooves folks to read former NBA player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s open letter to presidential candidates. Unlike most (especially young) Black entertainers these days who’ve remained absolutely muted—preoccupied with their own self-centered success—Abdul-Jabbar steps from the pack, caring not to be “silent.”