By Scotty Reid – About a week ago the Black Talk Radio Network’s twitter account was tweeted a flyer from the Detroit 300 about a community outreach event with the Detroit Police. I learned of this group about a year or so ago and have never supported them because of one reason and one reason alone which is their partnership with the Detroit Police department. The Detroit 300, which may or may not be named after the movie 300, which is about the ancient white warrior nation state Sparta, is mainly comprised of Black men. Do not get me wrong, I am all for the Black community policing its own, one of the reasons the Black Panther Party for Self Defense was started was to be attend to the needs of the Black community and one of those glaring needs was protection from the brutality of racist cops and their proxies. They also addressed crime in the neighborhoods they had a presence in and for the most part, had a positive impact in helping to reduce crime. Not once did they look to work with the police.
Because of my sensitivity to the ongoing problem of police brutality and extra-judicial killings along with other corruption nationwide, I can not get down with partnering with cops or those who do, especially those like the Detroit Police department which has a long history of abusing the people of Detroit which has led to them currently being under a federal consent decree where they are monitored by a representative of the federal government.
The Detroit Police are trying to have the federal monitor removed ahead of the July date when the consent decree is slated to end but may be extended as it has been in the past. However, local activists say they are not sure the culture has changed within the department.
Ron Scott, with the Coalition Against Police Brutality, said there needs to be a concise assessment of whether there has been a cultural change in the department.
“We are still receiving complaints about incidences of police brutality and moreover finding that, in many cases, individuals are being discouraged from reporting these incidents, or worse, harassed by law enforcement if they do report,”.
How any self respecting community minded Black man can partner with the Detroit police is beyond my comprehension unless looked at in the context of white supremacy and the non-profit industrial complex. The Black Panther Party was respected in the community because they addressed the community needs without siding with an oppressive force in the community. This gave them “street cred” and they were successful in turning many gangs towards political activism instead of drug dealing and other crimes. What the Detroit 300 is doing is creating animosity and division in the community instead of helping it to heal its wounds.