With the latest rash of killings of African Americans by law enforcement, and with Jeronimo Yanez’s acquittal for the murder of Philandro Castile I feel the time is now that I share my experiences in working closely with law enforcement and dealing with them personally.
I have worked closely with law enforcement for 7 and a half years, and I have worked with all types of law enforcement agencies. Let me also preface this by saying I think the United States Constitution was invalid from the second it was drafted. I don’t care how many amendments have been implemented since it’s passing. The bottom line is the constitution was written only for white males and you can’t remove its foundation no matter how many build outs or additions to make to it.
This is why we see egregious practices from our government which lets those that were the architects of the housing crisis walk around with their freedoms unencumbered and their pockets still aligned in profits.
Contrast that to Charleena Lyles, a pregnant African American woman with a history of mental health issues, calling 911 to report her home getting burglarized and the consequences for her were getting gunned down as the officers saw her put knives in her hand and said “get ready, motherfuckers”, which was a death sentence since the officers were not carrying a tasers on them.
This is why I think the constitution and the laws enforced behind it need to be set on fire and from their ashes a new society is born.
My interactions with law enforcement are complicated, and as you read this you may say I am talking out of both sides of my mouth. “Guilty as charged” I say to you, law enforcement has been a complicated part of my life I have had my ups and had my downs with it. But at the end of the day I don’t think the system is broken, how can it be broken when it was never put together properly in the first place? And when something is broken one can imply you may be able to repair it.
My first memorable account with law enforcement came when I was 16 years old. It was a weekend night and my friend was with his girlfriend at a gas station and he called me to come get them since she locked her keys in the car.
When I arrived to the gas station two DuPage County Deputy Sheriffs were already at the scene. I got out of the car while I noticed one of the Deputies was trying to get the car unlocked, and the other Deputy immediately asked me what I was doing here. I stated to him that I was here to give my friends a ride if the car could not be opened.
The Deputy went back to his car and got on his radio. Once he was off the radio he came up to me and told me I fit the description of a wanted fugitive that was caught trespassing in a public pool that was down the street and I needed to come with then. He told me if I cooperated he wouldn’t handcuff me in front of my friends. I remember my friend baffled by the turn of events and asked the Deputies “is this some kind of joke?”
So there I was that evening, in the back of the Sheriff’s car with two Deputies that were racing to the public pool thinking they had their wanted fugitive with them.
When we arrived at the public pool the Deputies had me get out of the car and stand in the parking lot. Once I did this several sets of car headlights shined their brights on me and then I heard a Deputy’s voice in the distance say, “no, that’s not the guy.”
Several Deputies came up to me and explained the story and showed me a picture of the wanted fugitive so I could see how much I resembled him. Here’s the thing. I didn’t at all. I was 16 years old, he was around 30 years old; I had bleached blonde hair, he had rescinding brown hair; I had my wallet with my identification on me; the Deputies had his wallet with his identification; and then the kicker… I was fully clothed with no handcuffs, he was running around naked with handcuffs on because when they arrested him they left the back window of their car slightly open and he managed to escape.
It was at this point I knew those Deputies had nothing better to do than to fuck with me at that gas station. And for what? It was a Saturday night and out of all the crazy things teenagers do on Saturday nights here I was at a gas station helping my friends out. I was a little traumatized from the incident, but this pales in comparison to what black and brown people all over this country deal with on a daily basis.
This brings me to the point where I am going to talk out of both sides of my mouth now. In my seven and a half years in the investigative field I have worked closely with Criminal Investigators, and the results have been not as negative as one may think from the Special Agents and Detectives I worked along side with.
I saw mostly good and some bad, but not the bad you see or read about on the news. My bad that I saw were Special Agents or Detectives that were in way over their heads and had no business being in their position. I also ran across a hand full that had inflated egos due to them carrying a badge and gun which led me to believe that one day they could contribute to the bad I see in the news if a situation played out a certain way.
But I got to know a lot of these people in the law enforcement field and some of them dare I say… even confided in me. Some of them I really enjoyed working with and became friends with.
This brings me to a great quote by Upton Sinclair in which he states, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”
A lot of the Agents and Detectives got into the profession with good intentions. They truly want to make a difference in society and serve a community but are failing to see how the system works from above because their salary depends on them not auditing our system. Others see the system for what it is and are trying to make small changes in their agency because they feel “hoodwinked”. They don’t feel like they are serving a community or making a positive difference in society anymore.
This is just what I have seen from Criminal Investigators and not the uniformed officers out on the streets patrolling that are making all the headlines. I don’t have any experience working closely with them. But I want to give you a glimpse into why I think we have these horrible events playing out year after year.
One Detective told me about the hiring process, specifically when it came time for him to go to take a polygraph test for the hiring process. He admitted to me that prior to becoming a Detective he smoked marijuana 300 plus times and even sold it up to a year before he applied for the job. He stated his partner used to steal cars before starting a career in law enforcement. He said the key to beating the polygraph test was that he first established a rapport with the tester before the test and was able to convince himself he wasn’t lying while taking the test. In other words… he showed no remorse for lying.
And this is what I took away from that exchange. Individuals that can lie and show no remorse for lying or uphold the lie no matter what can move on to the next phase of the hiring process. Now you wonder why we are seeing so many problems with street cops decade after decade? And you also start to wonder if the polygraph test isn’t solely about lying, it’s about maintaining the lie no matter what.
So I ask those in that I have worked with in law enforcement that feel hoodwinked it’s long overdue for you to speak up and rebell against this form of enforcement. Staying silent or even complicit is putting innocent lives at risk, including the lives of the very people you work with. Law enforcement’s approval rating may have started to recover from the lowest rating it received in the past 22 years, but more Americans are becoming disgusted with these murders by the day. More Americans are also getting tired of asking nicely to create a new system of law enforcement in this country.
For those in law enforcement that have I have worked with that got into the profession with good intentions, which is the majority that I have come across, think about this… police officer fatalities are up an overall 26% this year which includes at 21% increase in death by gunfire. So if Blue Lives and All Lives Matter then it’s time to challenge the system to get to the root of this increase and figure who needs the serving and who needs the protecting. It’s not who you think it is, but the bigger point is… it’s not why you think either.