Police Brutality: Not Just a Black Problem

Officer Tyler Brockman claims Samantha Ramsey, 19, ran over his foot and was speeding away as he clung for his life to the hood of her car. He shot four times, puncturing her lungs and rupturing her spleen and heart.

Dashcam evidence, the location of bullet casings, and the testimony of multiple eyewitnesses conflict with the official story. Yet Boone County Sheriff’s Deputy Brockman won’t face criminal charges. He will keep his job and face no disciplinary action. His colleagues gathered evidence and presented their case to a grand jury. All of this has provoked widespread outrage in the greater Cincinnati area, where the shooting took place. It has also generated sensational media attention internationally.

Many wonder why the national media has kept so silent.

(Raw dashcam footage from Brockman’s cruiser. He waves a car through with little scrutiny at 2:12:45 (2:02 on the YouTube video). At 2:13:10, Brockman is seen walking toward Ramsey’s Subaru as it heads behind the cruiser and out of view. At 2:13:55, 45 seconds later, the cam shows a cloud of smoke to the left of the camera.

Brockman claims Ramsey was accelerating fast while he shot her from the hood. In a panic, all within just a few seconds. So how does that explain why Ramsey’s car went into reverse, and back into view of the dashcam she supposedly was speeding away from? How does it explain why a bystander casually strolls into view, as if nothing significant has happened, 15 seconds later, between 2:13:20 and 2:13:25? Only at 2:13:35, a full 25 seconds later, does a driver in the dashcam’s view show signs of agitation, staring and pointing toward where Ramsey’s car left view of the dashcam.

Just after 2:14:00, almost a minute later, Samantha’s passengers begin crawling out, crying, rocking back and forth, bent over the ground and holding their heads in obvious grief. Brockman strolls into view, with no evidence of a foot injury, and points his gun at the passengers and the driver of another, uninvolved, car on the opposite side of the road. None of them appear to pose any threat to Brockman. He continues holstering, unholstering, and waving around his service pistol until a second deputy arrives about four minutes later. Could the benzodiazepines, tranquilizers such as Valium and Xanax used to treat anxiety, in Brockman’s system explain such erratic behavior?

An audio recording of the incident might reveal what actually happened. Yet police claim the dashcam’s mic mysteriously malfunctioned.)

(Multiple eyewitnesses say Brockman jumped on the car when it puttered forward a few feet and stopped. He then held his gun up to the windshield and shot Ramsey execution-style. The position of the car, as indicated by the shell casings, and the tight pattern of the four bullet holes, perpendicular to the windshield, support their case. How could he have shot so perfectly, from an impossible angle, while supposedly injured and perched on the hood of an accelerating vehicle? Brockman’s shots endangered Ramsey’s three passengers. One of them sat directly behind her.)

Part I: Distorted Media Coverage of Race and Police Brutality Provokes Racial Tension and Reinforces the Status Quo

Ramsey was shot in 2014. That same year saturation media coverage of the police killings of Eric Garner, Tamir Rice and Michael Brown inspired the growth of the Black Lives Matter movement. Yet, as that group’s name suggests, is police brutality mainly an issue affecting African-Americans? Ramsey, who was white, remains as mute testimony otherwise.

Sadly, she is far from an isolated case. Troy Goode, a 30 year old husband, father and asthmatic, died of asphyxiation while hogtied under police custody. An official autopsy claims Goode died of a “complications from LSD use.” Overdose deaths from LSD are unheard of. James McWhorter euxplores plenty of similar horror stories of police cover-up, misconduct and violence toward whites in a July, 2016 Time magazine article.

There are no official statistics for police shootings of civilians. That alone says a lot about law enforcement priorities. Yet the Washington Post has kept unofficial figures since the beginning of 2015. They show police kill nearly twice as many whites as blacks. Police killed 732 whites, 381 blacks and 382 people of other, or unknown, races from January 1, 2015 through the first six months of 2016.

It’s impossible to know how many of the homicides were justified.

(Humans aren’t the only victims of police violence. Unofficial estimates show police shoot 25 dogs every day. As with other shootings by police, there are no official statistics.

We expect letter carriers, door-to-door salesmen, meter inspectors and political canvassers to use their wits and judgement before resorting to deadly force against the many strange dogs they encounter daily. Police alone enjoy the privilege of shooting dogs with near impunity, typically in populated areas where a stray bullet might harm an innocent downrange. Such shootings have become so commonplace they are now known by the term “puppycide.” There is no known case of a dog killing an officer.

Police, BrutalitySome blame racism, by police and whites in general, for the disproportionality of police killings of blacks, just 13 percent of the U.S. population. Others point to disproportionate criminality in African-American communities. Both sides contain an element of truth, but why choose sides? Does pointing the finger of blame at either whites or blacks do anything to solve the problem of out-of-control police and the system that coddles them?

Pew Research polling just after the Ferguson shooting shows a stark racial divide in attitudes:

  • Only 37 percent of whites compared to 80 percent of blacks felt “the shooting of Michael Brown raises important racial issues that need to be discussed.”
  • 52 percent of whites compared to only 18 percent of blacks had either a “great deal” or a “fair amount” of confidence in the police to investigate Brown’s shooting.
  • Only 25 percent of whites compared to 54 percent of blacks followed the Ferguson story closely.

A 2014 CBS poll shows only 28 percent of whites compared to 74 percent of blacks felt police are generally “too quick to use lethal force.” An NBC/Marist poll from the same year finds that over four times as many blacks as whites, 33 percent to 7 percent, felt very little confidence for “police in (their) community to not use excessive force on suspects.”

***WARNING, DISTURBING CONTENT AND STRONG LANGUAGE. NOT FOR CHILDREN*** (In the wake of police shooting Sylville Smith, a 23 year old black man, protests and riots erupted in Milwaukee. Raw video footage shows rioters targeting white people for violence.) ***WARNING, DISTURBING CONTENT AND STRONG LANGUAGE. NOT FOR CHILDREN***

As mass media continue to ignore white victims and sensationalize the brutalization by police of one black person after another, is it any wonder all too many whites dismiss it all as “just a black problem?” Is it also any wonder that some blacks lash out, in turn, against both police and white people in general, as witnessed tragically in the 2016 race riots of Milwaukee and Charlotte, and the assassinations of police in Dallas and Baton Rouge? And is it any wonder that scared whites react by dismissing black grievances and siding with police all the more?

Non-Hispanic whites comprise 63 percent of the U.S. population. There can be no progress in the fight against police brutality without the support of white people.

“We must live together as brothers or perish together as fools.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Part II: Defining the Problem and Finding Solutions…

Related content:

The Tale of Two Police Officers

BLM Spokesperson, We Need to Disarm the Police

Illegal Police Actions Condoned by SCOTUS Majority

Chicago Police Intentionally Damaged Dashcams, Microphones

Images from Pixabay.

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