By Lavern Merriweather
A viral video of a cop misusing his authority and being a low level street thug is making the rounds on the web. On WorldStarHipHop, as well as elsewhere, there is a video of a black woman crossing the street who is soon accosted by a California Highway Patrolman. Marlene Pinnock, who lives in the state and is a 51 year-old great-grandmother – though I thought she was much younger – was crossing the freeway medians in her bare feet. If that is why the cop approached then proceeded to beat the shit out of her, then the California state patrol needs to find something better to do with their damn time! And if it sounds like I’m heated at the sight of this travesty, then shit yeah I am.
Cops, for the longest of times, have been way out of control with their power when it comes to black folks. This latest incident is just proof positive that they want either a return to Jim Crow or Nazi Gestapo Europe. My guess is the Jim Crow South. Last time I checked, walking around the streets of LA with no shoes on wasn’t a crime, and if he believed her to be mentally unbalanced, then why come at her like she was the female equivalent of John Wayne Gacy. He didn’t approach with any kind of dignity or compassion. It was the typical whoop-their-ass-now-and-don’t-have-to-apologize-later-because-it’s-a-Negro-woman-which-is-the-lowest-form-of-life-on-the-totem-pole-according-to-American-society-law-of-mindset police action. And it’s precisely why this prick felt that he could tackle her like he was Otis Wilson from the Chicago Bears and she was quarterback Joe Montana. Then, the punk decided to rain brutal blows on her head as she lay on the ground screaming while covering her face to protect herself.
I was extremely surprised that most of the cable news pundits were chastising this cop as they should be. Usually, when something like this happens, the media is ready, willing and able to be the police force’s biggest cheerleaders. Not this time, however. I don’t see how anyone. even the most adamant defender of law enforcement. can rationalize what this scumbwad did to that woman. And she is a woman, by the way, incapable of fighting back when another person who is twice her size and has 70 pounds on her is pummeling her into submission.
As difficult as it was to watch, I’m very gratified that a bystander with a camcorder chose to film the cop’s disgraceful actions. He even described the punches as “lights out” type hits, which I gather can only mean that cop was trying to inflict as much bodily harm as he could, regardless of her age, gender or mental state. If he thought that she needed a good old fashioned beatdown, then that’s exactly what she got.
The cop at the center of all this is taking the typical asshole route by saying that he sees nothing wrong with what he did and that his actions were procedural. Of course, you see nothing wrong with it, asshole, because you obviously haven’t seen the tape yet! What I saw was a sadistic abuse of power by a bullying sack of shit that probably gets a kick out of hitting women in any situation you have with them. It wouldn’t shock me if this pig has a record of violations filed against him a mile long.
The frequency of cops getting overly physical and assaulting black citizens lately is reaching frightening levels, to the point where many black people on the blogworld have expressed a desire to carry firearms themselves so they can take on the criminal justice patrol if they ever get harassed. And I’m more than inclined to agree with them. Shit like this ain’t new, not by a longshot. Yet, the lesson never gets learned by the LAPD or in any major city where we have a large population of black folks and cops who treat them like shit. Neither, apparently, does the message become clear that if you continue you to allow your employees to run roughshod over innocent residents. They won’t take it lying down forever.
That’s not a threat. That’s just an insight into what seems a likely possibility.
The higher-ups in law enforcement have done nothing to curb this problem that they created, besides wring hands and give phony promises of reprimands that never materialize. I, for one, don’t plan on waiting for them to get their shit together. This should have been handled 40-some years ago after the first riots in LA from the fucking 60’s. Cops must have more important things to worry about than trying to mend fences and create harmony with those they claim to care about just as much as the rich white folks they really serve and protect.
Speaking of which, even some white folks aren’t immune from the bad acts of angry cops. Kelly Thomas, a 37 year-old white homeless man from Fullerton, which is also in California, was beaten so bad that he was put into a months long coma and later died from his injuries in 2011. There is also a video of Mr. Thomas where you can hear him cry out for his father in the last moments of his life. I was heartbroken and sickened all at the same time, seeing that tragedy unfold before my eyes. I can’t imagine how desperate a place you have to be when you are a grown adult and still call out for the protective caring of a parent.
The cops who beat Kelly to death were put, once again, on a mock trial meant to satisfy the masses. And in typical fashion, all three were acquitted of wrongdoing. Kelly’s father, whom he gutwrenchingly screamed for, held a press conference after the verdict. I’m guessing he’d be the last person to believe that justice was truly served that day.
Plus, there is the incident involving another homeless white male named James Boyd. Boyd actually was mentally ill and had recently been released from an overcrowded institution also in California (smh!). Boyd suffered from schizophrenia and depression. He was living in the wooded park area to be, as he said, ‘closer to his grizzly friends’. The cops were called to remove him by, I would imagine, park officials since none of the resident near the park ever complained about his presence. And he didn’t appear to be a danger to anyone, including the cops themselves because they shot him in the back. Yet, three cops later stated that he was a ‘threat’ to their safety, despite the fact that he had his back turned to them and wasn’t resisting arrest. Quite the opposite. He was walking away from them, yet still got shot and like Mr. Thomas, later died from his injuries.
There have even been a growing number of times where a family’s dog who posed no terror whatsoever to a cop was still murdered by their gunfire, although I understand that these instances pale very much in comparison to the countless incidents concerning black folks, but still. Reckless behavior from those in charge where there is no recourse or accountability causes more chaos and trauma. And lawsuits, which Ms. Pinnock’s family has filed, don’t seem to do shit to curb the problem either. It starts from within. And must conclude that the solution must come from there too.