Detroit Raw by Sam Riddle
By Sam Riddle
Special to the Michigan Citizen
Everyone with a smart phone is now positioned to be a techno-eye witness. You can back up what you thought you saw and heard with the clarity of video from your smart-cam. An editorial bonus: You are now a supreme formulator of opinion and jury shaping; “did you see the video?” The work of newscast producers is given a helping hand — no white balance required. Parents if you equipped your child with a smart phone, make sure they teach you how to use your video feature.
But video or not, autopsy or not, toxicology report or not; be clear that victim assassination will go down, as the real perpetrators formulate defenses that basically say the victim deserved to die. It happened to Trayvon; is happening to Renisha, and now they will attempt to further destroy the human being, Mckenzie Cochran, with a toxicology/behavioral report that can never justify the taking of life. There is no death penalty for having anything in your system or being mentally challenged, despite efforts of security guards, racist white vigilantes, and those covering up inexplicable deaths such as that of KJ Johnson (whose body was found in a rolled up gym mat — KJ’s face unrecognizable). It is wrong that survivors seeking justice for victims must battle against those engaged in victim character assassination.
The mayor and police chief of Southfield held a press conference to discuss the death of Mckenzie Cochran at Northland Mall. This press conference may have been as much about a congressional race as a death-in-Northland investigation. Again, there is no death penalty for whatever a toxicology report reveals. Thanks to the techno-eye witness, we do know a Black man screamed for help to breathe. Black life is not valued the same as white life in America. That’s how white privilege rolls.
Without a spotlight on the issue do you really believe this public discussion would go down? So much more is to be done on this issue throughout the nation with the proliferation of private security forces with no standards of conduct or penalties for inhumane actions. Security guards are a threat to our children and community unless properly trained, adequately paid and humane.
The scales of justice tip unjustly as we see a rich, young, white boy walk after killing four while driving rich and white — “affluenza” enters our vocabulary.
In Detroit, a security guard who may have needed psychological screening after emails reveal the narcissistic macho fantasy world of this security guard who was body slammed by a high school student at Cass Tech. At Marquette Middle School a security guard body slams a girl — what happens? Security guards have gone wild as justice is indeed blindfolded and education takes a backseat to it all.
We applaud efforts of State Representative Thomas Stallworth to legislatively address issues concerning security guards even as we grapple with Lansing-hate realities. The Republican legislature doesn’t mind Gestapo-mindset minimum wage security forces embracing profit margin over human life. Until we have standards of conduct and know the psychological makeup of those who patrol our schools, maybe the National Action Network (NAN) should issue a NAN Travel Advisory for Detroit Public Schools to go with the Don’t Shop Northland Mall because you are in danger.
Belle Isle security is in the hands of the Michigan State Police now. The demographics of #Detroit should make Belle Isle a challenging patrol for a very white MSP. Two Black Michigan state troopers recently won a $5.2 million dollars due to MSP racial discrimination. Wonder if they do ride-alongs?
We must never let haters cause us to lose hope or dislike ourselves and never let haters make you weak in your faith. Keep the faith. Stay on the battlefield.
Sam Riddle is political director for Michigan National Action Network. Follow him on Facebook at facebook.com/sam.riddle or Twitter at twitter.com/samriddle.