Rev. Daughtry's weekly article that appears in the NY Daily Challenge every Wednesday and Friday.
More Hearings on Police Brutality – Part III
The business community did help us in establishing the Randolph Evans Scholarship Fund. Saturday past we held our 5th scholarship awards ceremony and awarded our 53rd $1,500.00 scholarship. We give ten each year.
Also, a Randolph Evans Crisis Fund was established to assist persons in an emergency. Nearly 500 persons have been given in grants and loans to the needy. A youth training and an employment program was also implemented, but even the corporations and business community could not bring killer cops to justice.
BUF, frustrated with the continued killings and brutalization of Blacks and Latinos, and the refusal of state and/or federal authorities to act, carried our appeals to international quarters.
On December 11, 1980, International Human Rights Day, BUF appealed to the United Nations for assistance. BUF also appealed to the Organization of African Unity for help.
His Excellency Dramane Outarra, OAU Ambassador to the United Nations, issued a sharp statement comparing Arthur Miller’s killing to Steve Biko’s in South Africa.
I can state without flinching that 99 9/10th of Blacks in New York believe that police misconduct toward Blacks and Latinos is a reality. No one in the Black community argues the question anymore. It is believed that the abuse of police power is not an isolated act, committed here and there, by a few policemen in clear and unmistakable violation of their superiors’ wishes and directives. But, it is deep, pervasive and increasing and is indirectly encouraged by the absence of strong, assertive, moral no nonsense, leadership from the mayor of the City.
To illustrate, we met with the Mayor in January 1978, also in July of the same year. We also had a series of meetings with the police commissioner. On every occasion, we emphasized the necessity of addressing police misconduct toward Blacks and Latinos. On every occasion, we offered recommendations for better relationships - all to no avail.
One recommendation we made was for a task force of community leaders to meet monthly with the commissioner and his staff. This recommendation, although simple and ought to occur in the normal flow of a democratic society, was agreed to, but was never implemented.
On May 5, 1979, I wrote the commissioner urging him to start the community/commissioner’s meetings. He never did.
So, we welcome you to the Big Apple. Tragically, it is an apple with a lot of worms in it. The biggest, ugliest, most conspicuous worm is the police department. Unfortunately, there are those who condemn your presence. But their children, husbands, fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters have not been killed or brutalized by members of the New York City Police Department. They write their editorials, do their politicizing, take care of their business, walk their streets and enjoy their homes secure in their white skins. Police have not killed white teenagers, women and men without provocation.
Why should so conservative and constitutional act as a congressional Hearing into one of the systems within a society, drive people to whip up racial antagonism and anxieties and raise the question of political expediency? The impartial observer is forced to ask – “What are they hiding? What is behind this hysteria?”
Congressional Hearing, Blue Ribbon Commissions and special state and federal investigations have been implemented to investigate police corruption. These endeavors are generally enthusiastically praised by all the respectable citizens. But when the investigation is directed toward police violence toward Black citizens, these same people become hysterical. Are our leading citizens saying to us that in their estimation, policemen stealing money is more important than policemen taking lives?
To be continued
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