Op-ed by Rajesh Barnabas
If I hear one more critic of the newly formed Police Accountability Board mention “performance goals” I am going to storm their Trump2024 zoom session. This is beyond the beyond…And I have heard it repeatedly from mainstream journalists and former. You mean to tell me that a ragtag outfit given $5 million is supposed to somehow set up camp and oppose an army of Red Coats lush with cash at the near $90 million mark and growing. So the PAB should already be on firm footing in 1 year when confronting an institution that has a 150 year head start of JIM CROW colonial entrenchment?
US Police kill as many people in a month as British police have killed in 25 years.[i] Who are the Redcoats now? So a new public institution that garnered a landslide approval of 75% of voters, representing the masses – the Police Accountability Board (PAB), trying to bring ACTUAL PROTECTION from the most violent domestic terror group in the US (the RPD and its affiliates) is not going to have some torment at its inception, given the traumatic hyper imperialist cop coddling white supremacist environment it is birthed in? We are talking the opposite of the NICU (Neonatal intensive Care Unit).
By all means necessary, the mainstream press (City News and the D&C) so far serving as the PR firm for the police, will be trying to drop and bash this baby any chance they get. And they have a gazillion cop shows streaming into living rooms everywhere to model their behavior after and indoctrinate the colonial occupying class who make loads of money off of mass incarceration.
Don’t forget that the press and the police are in partnership to preserve inequalities, that is their core function. Don’t be fooled by their shiny chargers and their high horse, German Shepard and pony show. Look under the hood, do your research, read anything by Kristian Williams, Michelle Alexander, or Angela Davis and you will understand the true nature of the institution of policing in America.
“We need to think about them not in terms of law enforcement or crime-fighting or Public Safety but instead look at the existing distribution of power in the society and in general the police behave in ways that tend to preserve existing inequalities especially hierarchies based on race and class.” (Kristian Williams, Our Enemies in Blue https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=laLi5hcYBmc)
Do you really believe this terror outfit that promotes officers, who have been federally indicted for police brutality, to leadership positions of the Locust Club,[ii] is going to somehow be out maneuvered by crumbs of money Rochester City Council throws at PAB? According to Campaign Zero, $5 million is the bare minimum amount of funding level necessary for effective police oversight.[iii] Meanwhile, in the summer of 2020, in the midst of the greatest mass protests in American history[iv], demanding to DEFUND THE POLICE, current Mayor Malik Evans, then a member of city council and all of his colleagues (except for Council member Mary Lupien) decided to punt on the historical moment and pass a $100 million budget that retained 98% of the colonial army’s typical funding. Again, even George Washington would have had little luck against these modern-day Redcoats (now donning blue fatigues), with this kind of lop-sided financing.
But when this occupying colonial army doesn’t meet their internal goals, 21% clearance rate last year for all crimes[v], you can hear a pin drop regarding “performance targets”. The police failed to solve crimes 80% of the time. As public defender Dee Ponder has pointed out, if you were a student and you only got 21% you would get an F, and be considered a flunky!!! Instead these mass incarcerators from the suburbs (85% live outside of the city and 85% are white in a city where 62% of the population is non-white.) were given recently an extra $1.3 million for fancy new gas guzzling charger police cars, by Mighty Malik and his minions on City Council. (Two revolutionary council members broke ranks with their cowardly colleagues to vote against it.)
So don’t come at the PAB with any of this “performance indicators” nonsense or transparency issues Gino Fanelli of City Newspaper. May I remind you that you are tasked with being a muckraker not a muck-noser, spreading horse shit for the mounted police. Fanelli was just copying and pasting press releases by the Locust Club at one point for his Twitter feed.
Fanelli posted on May 13 via Twitter:
Frankly, I’m just a tad frustrated that the Police Accountability Board, an organization with a stated mission of creating transparency and accountability in city police, has declined to provide any information on why they put their executive director on administrative leave.
Note to Fanelli, the PAB’s charge is to be transparent regarding public facing matters, meaning police and civilian cases, not internal matters. Meaning they don’t have to tell you shit reporters for the mainstream press.
What is transparent is that mainstream corporate journalists, these fly-by-night interpreters for the capitalist class, have their nose so deep into the mounted cop horse’s arse. And the residue forms a glaze over their head they can’t see straight. The journalist then adds some sugary tidbits, maybe some powder and sprinkles and serves up the favored meal of the occupying army. That is what the press equates to today, a donut with a blue badge in the middle!
[i] Kristian Williams, Our Enemies in Blue https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=laLi5hcYBmc
[ii] Dredging Up the Past on Police Union President Mike Mazzeo