Monday, January 01, 2007

My Love Ain't Blind.

Am I being unfair to this Darklaw guy?

Certainly, his statement that the accused deserve a fair trial is valid. I'm not sure, though, why he feels the need to point out something that is, by and large, obvious and undisputed. If all officers truly adhere to his hypothesis that "We are one NOPD," are we, the citizens of New Orleans, to believe that these seven officers have every officer's support regardless of their innocence or guilt? To go a step further, are we to subscribe to the notion that they are above the law they've sworn to protect and uphold? If Darklaw is serious about his post, rather than ranting in a heated moment, what are we as citizens to do? What would be the advantage of blindly following these men - for us? Why does Darklaw feel entitled to dictate what we should and should not believe, what we should and should not advocate? Does he speak for the entire department; does the department know it is being represented in this manner? In his subsequent comments, he amends his stance, writing that "I want everyone to adhere to the constitutional fact that they are innocent until PROVEN guilty, which I somehow doubt will happen." Meanwhile, Darklaw refers to the victims as "armed renegades" minus any official proof that they were, in fact, armed. But I guess it's okay to assume their guilt.

I have tried and been subsequently discouraged from working with NOPD, a tactic that enables this organization to claim they're misunderstood, misrepresented, etc., which for them is preferable to the truth leaking out. Last spring, and summer, and fall, I contacted NOPD representative Bambi Hall - albeit only after being given a series of wrong numbers both over the phone and at NOPD's MLK division - to set up a ridealong and interview some officers regarding the realities of law enforcement post-apocalypse, as well the lack of support they receive from the brass, as alleged at the also-anonymous cop site, [This site says the cops MUST be acquitted - again, their guilt or innocence seems a moot point.] After being told that ridealongs were suspended indefinitely "due to Katrina," I was given the small-time runaround - told, for instance, that I had to call at certain times, calling at those times, and receiving Ms. Hall's voicemail. I cracked the wall of silence erected by New York Governor Pataki when I was 20, so I can assure you of my persistence and patience - but, after months, it became pointless to channel any more energy into this endeavor. If I worked for the good ol' Times Picayune or the prestigious New York Times, I would have had the privilege of running the brass' stock quotes.

I also received no response from Darklaw when I attempted to draw him out via email and after some initially encouraging dialogue, Signal 26 dropped off my radar. Self-fulfilling prophecies re: "the liberal media" can be fun; now that I've spoken out against the above hyperbole, I can be dismissed as having had "an agenda" when my only agenda has been to uncover and tell the truth in order to maybe, just maybe, make life a little better here in the oligarchy, a job I am certainly not paid for as an independent writer - I mean, talk about low salaries.

Now, Darklaw's girlfriend has posted her own call for citizens to show up and support the Seven when they turn themselves in tomorrow, a luxury most defendants, incidentally, are not afforded - at least not poor, non-politically connected defendants. Twilight Mermaid also urges the readers of this community not to make the murders a racial issue despite her boyfriend's comments regarding how the D.A., Eddie Jordan, discriminates against whites - i.e., despite her boyfriend playing the race card. This latter phrase can be tricky because people throw it around so often, sometimes to discredit people who, like me, feel the need to point out that blacks, particularly in the South, are discrimated against on a massive institutional level. I also believe prejudice is something everyone is capable of and that there are instances, certainly, of blacks in power overruling whites by virtue of their race or blaming everything on race in an absurd and malicious manner, a la the New Orleans School Board back in the day. I most certainly do not believe that, historically or percentage-wise, whites are the major victims of institutional racism, especially compared with blacks.

It seems to me that if these posters were truly offended by racism and corruption, as they claim they are, they would raise their voices on behalf of victims or potential victims outside their own clique. Neither have yet to write a word about Ronald Madison, the mentally handicapped man shot in the back and killed, or the other victims, or the frightening and dangerous precedent set by allowing unchecked aggression and zero accountability to flourish. It's an m.o. that creates criminals and encourages crime. The reason I left New Orleans for Katrina is because I did not want to be trapped - literally - between men with guns, both those labeled criminals and those branded righteous. The cops stuck between these two groups, Serpico-style, have my deepest sympathy - I know several who left both the force and this city after witnessing both in-house corruption and what went on during the aftermath of the storm, as do a lot of residents.

According to twilight mermaid, however, love for one's city and the men facing trial are one and the same, a la her ultimatum that, IF YOU LOVE THIS CITY, BE AT SOUTH BROAD AND TULANE AVENUE TOMORROW BETWEEN 9-9:30 AM AND SHOW YOUR SUPPORT FOR THESE MEN.

I love this city, but I can assure you that if I attend this event, it will not be to show my support for these men because I do not believe these men represent the best that NOPD has to offer, the best this city can offer us, or the interests of citizens trying to survive post-apocalypse.


Blogger John Doheny said...

You've said pretty much everything I'd have to say about this, and said it better.

It's weird how some people are with cops. It's a creepy, jock-sniffing kind of thing that doesn't seem to happen with other civil servants. When I lived in Toronto in the 80s there was a series of shootings of unarmed young black men by police. Rather than demand a proper investigation, a white citizens group organized an "Our Cops Are Tops" group and sold t-shirts, and offered mealy-mouthed rationalizations like "well, that one guy was in a stolen car." As if the penalty for auto theft had suddenly become street execution.

Strangely, when someone was killed in a subway accident and evidence suggested negligence on the part of the conductor, no one organized an "Our Subway Guys Are Tops" group. Go figure.

I'll turn out for the NOPD when they organize a march for Curtis Kyles.

4:16 PM  

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