2000-02-26 / Columnists

From The G-Man...by Gary Toms

From The G-Man

The Diallo Verdict: Nobody Wins!

Hey people! By the time this edition hits the streets, a decision may have been rendered in the Amadou Diallo case. There will be many different reactions to the verdict, and I want to take this opportunity to ask the African-American community, in Rockaway and abroad, to remain calm if the officers are not convicted. Many, especially the young hot heads out there, will not accept the verdict, and they may want to seek some type of revenge. Please think twice about your actions, and try to find a positive outlet, like church or family, to help you deal with your anger. If the spirit moves you, then go ahead and cry.

I believe that no matter what the decision is, no one wins in this case. If the officers are not convicted, people will say the police, mayor, commissioner and the establishment will be victorious, and it will be viewed as another example of how the minority community gets crapped on. Well, they don’t win because a larger wedge will be driven between police and those in minority communities, and whatever trust that existed between the two will all but vanish. All of the good cops out there will suffer.

Fear of law enforcement officials will grip this city and others, especially if you’re Black or Latino, and all that will do is help ignite the fuse to an existing powder keg. So even if these guys win, they lose in a huge way and the entire nation will suffer.

If the officers are convicted, there are going to be many, many pissed off police officers across the country, and the possibility of police brutality cases skyrocketing would not be a far fetched idea. I’m not saying that every cop will start beating the crap out of whoever they see "slinking" in a doorway, but you’d have to be a complete moron to think that the racists cops, who have infiltrated departments across the country, would not want to get some measure of revenge. Sure, we tend to believe that cops, for the most part, are good and will do the right thing, but there are many cases on record that clearly show that many cross the line, and this is attributed to their anger, hatred and racist attitudes toward people in minority communities. If people are so quick to say that really bad people live in the projects, or minority areas, then they should be just as willing to state that some of the police officers patrolling these neighborhoods are really bad people. Let’s stop being cowards, pointing fingers and making excuses, and let’s start dealing with the issue of race in this country and correcting these damn problems before the keg explodes.

People are going to be really upset with me for what I’m about to say, but that’s just too bad! I’ll take my chances. I blame the death of Amadou Diallo on the people at the top of the current New York City administration. Mayor "Ghouliani" and Safir could have prevented this horrible incident from occurring, but as usual, he gave citizens his middle finger and did what he wanted. Yes, they had a right to formulate an aggressive policing policy, but the citizens within the five boroughs had a right to know what these policies were going to consist of. Think about this for a minute. What if a mandate had come down from the mayor’s office, and in that mandate, it listed all of the correct procedures and policies that were going to be part of his aggressive policing program. This would be distributed throughout the five boroughs as a method of informing the people and taking a proactive approach. Also, at the same time, why not have NYC police departments distribute a citizen's guide detailing exactly what is to be done when you are stopped or being pursued by the police? If such a guide exists, then it needs to be more accessible to the public. I know many people, young and old, who don’t have a clue as to what they are supposed to do. Having cops speak at schools is okay, but now something needs to be done on a greater scale. If these initiatives had been taken by those at the top, maybe Amadou Diallo would still be alive.

Senator Bill Bradley hit the nail on the head when he said that race should be the most important issue facing us in the next century. If the economy is booming, unemployment is down, the deficit is reduced and our foreign relations are good, why not start taking care of home! I love this man’s message, and he is the only one with the "testicular fortitude" to challenge this nation on the issue. I wish more people would support him, but "Gore the Bore" has many bolting for his campaign and his agenda. I really think that’s sad because we need more people like Bradley in the world. He knows, like so many others, that racial issues are coming to the forefront, and they could rip this country apart; as they did in the 60’s. Whatever the verdict is, the issue of race is going to become a major factor in the lives of many in this country.

You can reach me at

GeeMan1025@aol.com if you need to talk.

See you next week!

 

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