Reality Check:
Who to Believe on Police—
Obama? Or Your Lying Eyes?

July 23, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


In the wake of the police murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, and the shootings of police in Dallas and Baton Rouge, President Obama held town hall meetings, called press conferences, and wrote an open letter to “our Nation’s law enforcement community.” These all hammer at the theme that the police make “ or death” decisions and risk their lives to protect us; they deserve people’s “full-throated” support, and they and the community are on the same side and need to work together.

But here’s what’s been going on in the real world in just the few days since Obama said this:

N. Miami Police Shoot Unarmed Black Man Caring For Autistic Patient

* Cops in North Miami, Florida, shot Charles Kinsey, a Black man and a behavior therapist, who was trying to calm a young autistic man in his care who had wandered away from his group home. Seeing the police, Kinsey immediately got down on the ground with his hands up. And while continuing to try and calm his patient and get him to lie down as well, he shouted to the police that there was no need for guns and that the young man was holding a toy truck.

Kinsey’s words are clearly audible on cell phone video, and the toy truck is plainly a toy truck. And it turns out that another man also approached the police line to tell them the same thing. Yet the cops shot Kinsey anyway, and then handcuffed him and left him in the street that way waiting for an ambulance. A few days later, in an apparent attempt to calm public outrage, the police union claimed the cop was not trying to shoot Kinsey—he was trying to shoot the young autistic man!

Austin Cop Violently Slams Teacher

* Video recently surfaced of Breaion King, a young Black woman and second-grade teacher, being attacked by police in Austin, Texas, in 2015. In the video, a pig confronts King as she gets out of her car in a parking lot and claims she was speeding. He orders her back into her car. King complies, then he orders her back out. But before she can comply, he reaches in and grabs her, shouting “stop resisting!” He pulls King (who weighs just 120 pounds) out of the car and throws her violently to the ground. When she gets up, he slams her to the ground again. He threatens to tase her, handcuffs her hands behind her back, then yanks her to her feet by her wrists. All the while King is crying out, “Why are you doing this, I didn’t do anything.” You can hear the terror in her voice.

In the police car, King asks the cops why they attacked her and if racism is involved. One of them replies that police treat Black people like this because Black people have “violent tendencies.”

* In the seven days between Obama’s July 18 letter to the nation’s cops and this writing, police killed at least nine more people around the U.S. (

What do these outrages, on top of the daily stream of equally or even more horrific outrages, tell you? What does it say when...

...a Black professional, helping a patient in the middle of the day on a quiet street, sees the police and immediately knows his life and that of his patient are in grave danger and that they’d better lie down in the street with their hands up? Or that, when Philando Castile was fatally shot in front of his fiancée, Diamond Reynolds, she was able to maintain her composure while an angry, screaming cop pointed a gun at her—and knew that she had to keep her hands on the steering wheel, maintain a calm tone of voice, and continue to call Philando’s murderer “sir” if she was going to survive the situation? And that when she finally broke down in tears, her four-year-old daughter felt that she had to step up and calm her mother, saying, “It’s OK... I’m right here with you”?

...a Black cop (Freddie Vincent Jr., a 22-year veteran of the Cincinnati police) feels compelled to go on Facebook to warn other Black people that “white officers are looking for a reason to kill a black man,” and to warn Black people to “always keep your hands in the air”? Or that he says, “I’m so tired of cops using those famous words ‘I was in fear of my life’”? And what does it tell you that Vincent—not the white pigs—was then investigated by the police department?

...the President of the United States repeats a dressed-up, double-talk version of the same “I feared for my life and had a split-second to act” standard excuse the pigs use for murdering people day in and day out?

Police murder... and the murderous logic of this system's election game.

It tells you that police murder and terror has been recognized by all Black people in the U.S. as something that could happen any day and at any time to them, regardless of who they are or what they are doing—and that this is something they have to have survival strategy for. And that tells you, as Bob Avakian (BA) sharply points out, that the job of the police is not to protect people, it is to protect the system that oppresses us, by murdering and terrorizing Black and other oppressed people.

So no, Obama, we do NOT need to “come together” with the police, we do NOT need to “appreciate” the police, and we do NOT even need to “reform” the police. We need to overthrow—at the soonest possible time—the system that needs, unleashes and supports their brutal police, causing endless terror and suffering among the people, day in and day out!



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