Policing: ceaseless brutality

Content warning: mention of violent sexual assault, police brutality

In New York City’s Union Square on Oct. 3, a statue of George Floyd — which had just been unveiled days earlier — was vandalized. This was the statue’s second defacing, the first being five days after its original unveiling on Juneteenth in Brooklyn. The disgust I have for whatever soulless individuals took it upon themselves to tack these frivolous yet hateful acts onto the already criminal, already loathsome fabric of evil that allowed for Floyd’s death to even occur in the first place is unspeakable. 

  On Sept. 30, the same day of the Floyd statue’s second unveiling, a British police officer was sentenced to life in prison for abusing his power to falsely “arrest” 33-year-old Sarah Everard, for supposedly violating COVID-19 regulations, snatching her on her walk home from work and raping and murdering her. He stole her last breaths on this Earth with his police belt. He had been accused of several accounts of indecent exposure prior to Everard’s murder, one of which occured mere days before her death. 

At a vigil in Everard’s memory, police greeted mourners with handcuffs, their crime: breaking COVID regulations — the same lie that led Everard to her death. 

I would like to at least be comforted by the knowledge that her murderer will rot in prison, but the criminal justice system that determined his sentencing is the same system that allowed her to die in the first place, and, across the pond but united in ideology, the same system that killed George Floyd. 

I do not mean to juxtapose these two unjust deaths as though their particular situations were entirely identical, as Floyd’s murder was clearly motivated by racism and Everard’s by sexism, nor have I selected these two cases for any meaningful reason outside of being recent and high-profile; there is a painfully large compendium of similar cruelties within the godless history of police brutality, all of which are equally nauseating to anyone who possesses the most minute mote of human empathy. 

The connection between these cases is this: police officers regularly and grossly abuse their authority, shamelessly and publicly show little to no regard for human life and somehow escape accountability, time and time again. I could probably think of about 1,312 names of individuals who have been senselessly killed by police, just in this country, just in my relatively short lifetime, just off the top of my head. 

In a world plagued by this ceaselessly abhorrent, violent and oppressive dominion of militaristic policing, their supporters and all associated brutality, it is really f*cking hard to stay optimistic. The next time I hear someone promote voting as the proper channel for enacting substantial change in the criminal justice system, I just might rip my hair out of my skull. The notion is beyond absurd; it is nothing short of insane, fueled by the deliberate and constant propagandizing on the part of every bootlicking idiot who either is involved in policing or has some delusional rationale for supporting what should be universally regarded as domestic terrorism. 

Floyd’s murder spurred nationwide protests, demonstrations and riots, as well as many important conversations about the nature and wrongs of the American police force, but what it obviously did not spur was actual reform. This is not the fault of any of the many activists, organizers and others who contributed to voicing the grief, fear, disgust and unrest that reverberated throughout the country last summer. 

It is the fault of the cops who cannot seem to keep their fingers off of their triggers, their knees off of innocent necks and their hands unsullied by blood. It is the fault of every politician who refuses to take real action to make this world less violent, less hostile to the possibility of safety and peace. It is the fault of the system that refuses to call killers killers, that lets these bastard cops off with a slap on the wrist for taking lives, that sustains itself on the foundation of centuries of bloodied corpses. 

I do not know why I am writing this, other than to selfishly try to make sense of my frustration, disgust and anger and maintain my own sanity in the face of overwhelming death, death, death on every television screen, every social media newsfeed, every face of the millions affected by the atrocities and traumas inflicted by these godforsaken heartless “boys in blue” who, after less than a couple dozen weeks of “training,” are given license to kill, often without any repercussions, so long as they look real contrite on the stand while they regurgitate that same old lie about protecting and serving.

Meadville PD, I am talking about you too. Public Safety, I am looking at you too, despite the fact that you are not real cops, for you, too, parade about under the same ugly pretenses, wearing the same ugly regalia of centuries of oppression and brutality under the flimsy, transparent pretense of public service. Quit your jobs, throw out your badges, and do something more human with this one precious life you have been given. To participate is to bear responsibility.