George Floyd was murdered by a man who had so little value for the life he was snuffing out that he casually put his hand in his pocket as he waited for Mr. Floyd to die. Renegade cops do not start dehumanizing people by murdering people. No. A murderer starts with small, seemingly inconsequential, acts of genocide against the people they are paid to protect and serve. With the trajectory of current events, it appears what was once renegade law enforcement is swiftly becoming just law enforcement. The police officer who murdered Mr. Floyd was no different. Acts like:
- Pulling over a Black person for no reason.
- Making Black people sit on curbs, in full display of neighbors, family, and friends to shame them.
- Using excessive and unnecessarily hostile language when speaking to a Black woman with her children.
- Deploying 25 officers in squad cars, like a gang, for a call that a Black person is in possession of a firearm IN AN OPEN CARRY STATE.
- Unleashing dogs on Black people suffering from mental distress or young, Black, 16-year-old girls.
- Handcuffing a 15 year old Black boy because he was wearing a red hoodie.
If this renegade cop was paid by citizens of North Carolina, we would not have the right to know how many other people he dehumanized and degraded. We would not have the right to know how many others he terrorized over the course of his “career.” We are not allowed to know the names of those he used to build up his courage, to escalate his racism and hate, until he was capable of casually murdering a man while keeping his hand in his pocket. North Carolina, like almost every state in America, creates laws that protect murderers in training.
North Carolina General Statute § 160A-168, Privacy of employee personnel records is the North Carolina law that protects renegade cops by making it illegal for taxpayers to know how many grievances have been filed against them or how many times they have used excessive force. The very people who pay the salaries of law enforcement officers are not allowed to know if their dollars are paying for those who display brutality, aggression, and racism.
If the public had access to this information, then at least we would know which law enforcement officers were potential murderers in training. We would know who is showing signs of being a menace to society. We could put up “Be On The Lookout” warnings for officers who fit the description of someone who has no respect for the lives of Black people. The people would have the necessary tools and information to protect our families and community from state-sanctioned murderers.
Emancipate NC’s Call to Action
- File grievances against law enforcement officers who do not act professionally. We all need to create a paper trail for bad law enforcement officers. If a law enforcement officer speaks to you harshly, dehumanizes you, makes you feel frightened…file a grievance. If you don’t know how to do that, call Emancipate NC at (919) 682-1149 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We will help you through the process or connect you with local advocates who can help, like one of our Raleigh partners, Save Our Sons, or our Fayetteville partner, Fayetteville Police Accountability Community Taskforce.
- Repeal laws that protect murderers in training. Call your legislators and let them know that you want the personnel records of law enforcement officers to be public record. We have a right to know who is policing us.
- Police the police. Law enforcement have shown us time and again that Black and brown communities cannot trust them to treat us with dignity and respect. We must form our own community watch clubs, much like the Black Panther Party for Self Defense established. We need armies of citizens, trained to know the law and the rights of the people, in our communities to identify and assist when a law enforcement officer is abusing his power.