THE NEW BEER SUMMIT: Obama Taps Ramsey To Lead Soon To Be Forgotten Or Ignored Task Force To Reform The Nationwide ‘Shoot Blacks First/Ask Questions Later” Standard Operating Cop Procedure

Shepard Fairey Police Brutality


CBS: President Barrack Obama is calling on Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey to lead a national task force, which has the mission to come up with ideas on better policing amid the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri. Tensions are high in the wake of a grand jury’s decision not to indict officer Darren Wilson for the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in the St. Louis suburb in August. Obama spent most of Monday discussing ways to prevent the situation in Ferguson from happening elsewhere in the future. The president met with Commissioner Ramsey and other police officials, along with community leaders and clergy for nearly three hours to talk about Ferguson and other racially charged law enforcement confrontations. “This is not a problem simply of Ferguson, Missouri,” Obama said during a press conference at the White House. “This is a problem that is national.” The panel is slated to tackle various law enforcement issues, especially in communities where the thick cloud of distrust covers those communities and the cops who serve them. “That’s all part of the learning process, that’s all part of the education process,” Ramsey said. “Getting a better understand and getting a two-way dialogue around these issues. I see no reason why we can’t overcome these challenges we have today.” MORE

RELATED: The fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teen, by a white police officer in Ferguson Mo. is not only tragic, but is charged with tension because of the inconsistency of witness testimony and the history of real and perceived racial bias in the area. I’m not pleased with the Grand Jury’s decision not to indict Darren Wilson, I have seen no compelling evidence that he needed to kill Brown to save his own life. I am relieved that proceedings have been more transparent than usual, with the evidence presented to the Grand Jury being shared with the public. This is a complex case, and the result, like it or not, was achieved through the justice system. However, I think there is insidious bias within our society, and our justice system that would have yielded a very different result if the roles were reversed. Imagine if Michael Brown had shot an unarmed Darren Wilson in the middle of the street and claimed it was self-defense. I think Brown would be facing life in prison. In my experience (I’ve been beaten up by police on a few occasions with my only provocation being that I put up art without permission), the police are often as cavalier about rules and laws as the criminals they despise. Regardless of the details in question in Ferguson, abuse of authority by those meant to “serve and protect” is far too common. I know some really cool cops, but what about the ones who are abusive? Who polices the police? I understand why many people of color feel frustrated and vulnerable to police abuse. I disagree with rioting and looting, because authorities always use unrest to justify their oppressive tactics, but I understand how feelings of powerlessness and frustration manifest in some sort of destructive retaliation from those who feel wronged. — SHEPARD FAIREY