Police Brutality | Bettina Network's Blog

Archive for the ‘Police Brutality’ Category

Some Parallels – the KKK and the Police at Dr. Bennett’s House!

Wednesday, March 18th, 2020

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Before we start this article I would like to leave a note as to Robert Bennett and how he is doing. It was very concerning to me after visiting to see how he is treated. My husband is not used to be called “cutie”, “hi, handsome,” “oh, isn’t he cute” and more. He is talked to as though he has a hearing problem which he does not and talking to him in his room as though he can’t read or write. He is accustomed to be addressed as Rev. Bennett and he needs to be respected enough to call him by his name. He does not lose his identity because the police have put him into this situation and the powers that are attempting to rip off the aged puts them in this ‘lock up’ so that can proceed with things put in place needed for that to happen.”

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I had a phone call today from a friend of over 70 years ago.

Friends from your growing up days may get lost through the years as you do other things, but you don’t forget them and you think of them off and on while you move ahead doing what you think is so important. But really, when the chips are down good friends are life’s gold, silver, diamonds and more

I grew up in this circle of friends in New Orleans, LA. We all went to Central Congregational Church, which was a church vey important in the civil rights movement of the 1960’s and beyond. St. Luke’s, at that time was the society church. My great-grandfather was an Episcopal priest – the Rev. Dr. Taylor. He was rector at St. Luke’s in NOLA – half Black Feet Indian, married to a woman who was French and didn’t hide her race, joining and being active in the exclusive tennis club in NOLA – for white’s only and then only for a very upper class white. Don’t know what that was about so don’t ask. Don’t know how it happened – I have pictures of her and her daughter in their tennis clothes, some pictures in front of the club and while she was very white, her daughter was fairly dark skinned so they could not have been a part of that tennis club “passing.”

Rev. Nicholas Hood was the pastor at Central during my time there. His son is now pastor of a church in Detroit, Michigan where his father moved from New Orleans and where they built a tremendous congregation of caring people. I read the lessons he sends out every week from Plymouth United Church of Christ in Detroit where he pastors the Church his father and now he, following in his father’s footsteps, is building.

Besides Walter and Andrew, another friend from those early days called today and said “Cookie, get out of yourself and look around. What do you see? What similarities are there between where you are now and where you were then.”

We used to get into all kinds of civil rights battles. Going home from school I would throw the signs out the window of the bus which said “for colored patrons only.” Nobody bothered me for doing that then because they knew my grandfather – co-founder of the Louisiana Weekly and all around upsetter of the racist status quo and builder with George Schuyler of the Pittsburgh Courier. The first office of the Pittsburgh Courier in NOLA was our living room. Sure wish he was here now.

My mind went back to what happened to us when the police invaded our house; demanded that Robert leave with them; refused to give me a copy of the paper giving them the right to take my husband out of our house by force. It was so familiar. And then it hit – the KKK took on this persona and its mission to scare N*****s with their white sheets and pointy hats to scare blacks into doing whatever they demanded. Sit, stand, talk, shut up, and more which was much worse. Whenever they found a Negro who wasn’t bowing to them and showing them “respect” – shining their shoes, doing whatever they bid, they turned up at his home and wrecked havoc. On horseback with torches and most times much more.

Wow! It hit me. The police being sent to our house was the same thing only in 20th century garb. Folks have been trying to make Robert and I heel for decades. We just keep on keeping on and ignore the insults, the jabs, the hurtful actions. This time it was so in your face that it was impossible to ignore. The new neighbor high up in the medical profession who made complaints against us and wound up trying to stomp on my toes on the sidewalk, who was stopped in the act by Robert he came walking fast around the corner because he had seen what was happening from the window where we sit and have coffee most days. – At least where we used to sit and have coffee before this attempt to destroy our lives together.

My mind started clearing further when I called Medicare and they spelled out what Medicare Fraud was about and when they told me about forcing someone to get services fraudulently, mistreating that person in the process. Wow! That is exactly what we have experienced. That wallop from the past is another part which defines this experience. When my friends from days past started calling on the same day with the same message – Thank you, Jesus, I know from whence that has come!

No one we have ever talked to has ever heard of anyone being forced into a hospital with policemen forcing them from their home with EMS/EMT’s with a Court Order allowing the police to break down doors and don’t worry about the damage being done in the house if you have to go in to find Robert Bennett as long as you drag that black man out of his house, scare the life out of him, bring him back and lock him up. There are many ways to incarcerate a Black Man. It doesn’t have to be in jail because he committed a crime. It can be all of these other ways you have to engage, especially when he has done nothing wrong. I don’t know many people being forced into the hospital for medical treatments they don’t want, being classed as indigent by a judge who had no idea what he was doing and apparently didn’t care. I have met a couple women to whom that happened, but they were not called “indigent” they were classed as “homeless” when they lived in very nice homes – and of course were African Americans.

I guess we forget the big money made on slavery was made in this New England part of the country.

We forget that you do not have to accept medical treatment, medicines or anything like that. It is your choice to go to a hospital. It is your choice to see a doctor. l It is your choice to take medicines some people think might be good for you. If you choose yes, that’s fine then that is the way you go. If you choose no and to go in another direction that is your choice and should be respected by everyone – police, attorneys, judges, people of all colors, religions, descriptions, etc.

I wonder what it takes to have someone disbarred. That would certainly be something I would consider attempting around someone like O’Sullivan who, they say, was the attorney who has this relationship with the Court which would allow him to get these Court orders for the police to appear and for a hearing at which he presents what he wants and makes sure the other side is not informed so nothing counter to his presentation would be seen by the judge. I don’t know that, but I have certainly heard a lot about him since this started. We will have to do a Bettina investigation to see what’s up and publish what we find.

In that hearing, at which Robert was the topic but the judge refused to have notice served on Robert so he could present his side of what was being claimed – not the first such extreme miscarriage of justice. Apparently, documents to disprove what was being said were withheld from the Court. And so many other mistakes and intentional twisting of the facts happened. The judge was apparently happy for that kind of Court hearing. What are the penalties, if any for such abuses and for so ruining the lives of people.

I always hearken back to the black woman who was awarded $10 million dollars in damages by the Court because of how she was mistreated by Cambridge people in charge. The Courts don’t normally award black women anything and you can be sure whatever the award to a black woman it is peanuts compared to what she suffered and what happened that she was awarded anything.. You can be as damaged as possible and any award you get as a black woman will be minimal. What must they have done to have caused those kind of damages. And what happened that the award received so little coverage in the press. Hardly anyone knows about this. Because of the tax payers money that has had to cover those damages you would think every Cambridge taxpayer would know all the details.

Having experienced some of the kind of damage of which they are capable I can do a little more than imagine what that woman suffered.

To hear from Walter Young with his brother Andrew Young it brought back so many good memories. Of going to Andrew’s wedding; of singing in the Jr. Choir at Church; of playing the organ with friends who crowded into the first pew when I played the organ because I played in my bare feet – it was how I could best feel the pedals at that age and the teasing after the service could be merciless.

It was a relief from what is going on today. Didn’t ever think I would experience eight (8) policemen coming to my door with one just as happy as he could be showing me his cell phone with the Court Order and refusing to give me the actual order. Using his ‘power over’ at that point to draw himself up and make himself ‘better than’. Dusting off his identity to try to make it larger and closer to that of the local White Supremacist ( if he wasn’t already one.) What an ugly sight that was. It was not as bad as this, but do you remember Skip Gates and the police?

That must be illegal and the people who did it need to have to pay the price.

What should also be illegal is bringing someone into Court for the same thing over and over again with dire results for the person. Robert was brought in twice in the same week. Twice within four days on a section 12. It was removed by Mass General Hospital people who examine people under those circumstances. Robert was brought in again by the police on a section 12 – identical – just two days after Mass General discharged him from the first one with no medicine prescribed; normal blood pressure and other such markers in the normal area. What happened when the attorney for Somerville Cambridge Elder Affairs presented that to the Court. Did the Court decide it should be done again and jeopardize the health of a man shortly out of the hospital from a real problem? Or did the Court not care and simply do what it was asked by someone who does this on a regular basis.

And first off, Jim O’Sullivan needs to be removed if indeed he is the person who moved ahead that Court and police business KKK style. He should come under serious questions even if he was the one who sent someone else to do this dirty work.

But in the meantime, my husband is still in Massachusetts General Hospital and the Hospital needs to take an action to stop allowing itself to be used in such vicious ways. They can’t cure beautifully on the one hand and let others destroy what they have done on the other. There is a ground point where a part of the responsibility for this falls on the Hospital.

Thank you, Walter. Give Andrew a big hug for me and God bless Raljean.

Robert and I have always looked out for each other and I will continue to look out for him. I know he will also do the same for me. I also know he would not want me to grovel or demean myself anymore than I have already been demeaned and disrespected with this attempt to destroy our lives together. Why! Because someone wants our assets?

They weaponized my daughter against me and I will never forget that. I live in a universe, however, in which my God is a just God and a God with a memory that does not fail.

This to shall pass – the sun will shine on all of it and God’s justice will roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

______________________________________________-

A Solution to Police Violence

Friday, July 8th, 2016

“When you sow the wind, you reap the whirlwind.”  That is truth and a quote from some fount of wisdom.

Back in the 1970’s when I lived in Minneapolis I was on the board of the Minneapolis Urban Coalition.  We worked hard to attempt to establish Civilian Review Boards which would work with the police to oversee their work.  Boards where complaints against the police would be brought and worked through by the Civilian Review Board.

The people who were intransigently against these review boards were none other than the police.

WHY?  Because they had sympathy for one another.  They wanted to be ‘reviewed’ by their peers.  They talked about no one else knowing the problems on the job and what they went through and etc.  In reality, what they were saying is that when they saw a brother cop in trouble because he lost his temper; let his biases dictate his actions; messed up in ways that said his emotions had taken over his job, they understood that and if that happened to them – which, because of the stress and tensions of the job it very well could –  they wanted to be brought before a group of their peers who knew that – there, but for the grace of God – goes I.

The talks, negotiations, pleadings, and more fell on deaf ears because no one wanted civilians poking around where the police had messed up or where they appeared to have messed up.

Would the installation of Civilian Review Boards have prevented these recent killings?  And prevented many of the problems which have surfaced over the decades?  I won’t pretend to read the tea leaves, but common sense, experience, knowledge, sensitivity to the human condition says – yes, the establishment of civilian review boards would have gone a long way to entirely preventing the problems we have experienced and seen or they would have gone a long way to mitigating what happens when human beings whose emotions get out of control when they are in the power seat against other human beings and just needed to reach inches for a gun – a taser – a night stick wouldn’t.

The time has come to put this ‘brotherhood” behind and to open the door, windows, passageways which are now blocked to Civilian Review Boards.  Every city needs to immediately establish such and the Civilian Review Boards so established should have real power.  The power to investigate and also to protect whistle blowers in police departments who are experiencing problems because they have brought something that they feel needs fixing to the management and more.

That will make the police forces around this country more effective, not less.  That will give them credibility and a better and stronger trust level in many communities – especially if community members can approach the Civilian Review Board with their complaints, observations, etc. to attempt to make the police force what it is supposed to be.  Perfection  does not exist.  Moving closer to working together brings an understanding and clarity of vision which does not now exist.

Without the killings in Dallas, we were headed for some real heat during this summer.  Anger, grief, bigotry, and more were being unleashed by police across the country and it was only a question of time before all of that anger, grief, bigotry and more unleashed itself and resulted in the killing of police.  A line has now been crossed and there will be no going back until some basic changes are made.  We are, after all, only human and we reach our limits quickly.

Media talkers in the cat bird seat on television are already beginning to say things like “this just doesn’t feel right”.  And so begins the attempt to blame what happened in Dallas on Middle Eastern terrorists.  Or some other group of terrorists who inserted themselves into this community business.  All we need now, to create an unimaginable horror, are great pronouncements from the Don.  Hopefully, this bloody upheaval is not the beginning of his campaign to get himself elected President.  He has certainly set the stage for this to happen.

There didn’t need to be Middle Eastern terrorists intervening.  I know how I felt all day yesterday.  I could not stop crying.  If I had not had such an upbringing with Jesus, Mary, Joseph, the Christ, God and all of God’s angels threatening me if I took a life I could have easily taken knives and cut police into little pieces, throwing the pieces to the flesh eating fish and felt good about it.

Middle Eastern terrorists may have their issues, but African Americans raised in the deep South during Jim Crow have anger issues which run deep.  Creole women have tempers like none you have seen before and all of that unleashed can reek unbelievable havoc. We didn’t need “foreign immigrants” to act on our behalf.

What is amazing about those comments on television that the media were spewing out this morning is that in the middle of talking about a racially charged issue they introduced their own racism.  The print running at the bottom of the screen could have read – Blacks don’t have the guts, the know how, the drive to do what those shooters did in Dallas – so this just doesn’t ‘feel’ right.  There must be some other explanation other than shootings by the protest groups.

It is way past the time to come to our senses and establish panels to air racial grievances, but we need to take three huge steps back and do exactly that.  And not panels staffed with Blacks and other minorities who the prevailing White Male power structure knows will “be nice.”  We need to establish truth panels, where there are no penalties for speaking truth and some kind of recompense for those who experienced the negative side of the truth being spoken.  We need truth panels where people in the community can go to air their past grievances with the police and a panel which seeks to bring justice out of that truth telling.  Justice, not judgment.

It is also crucially important – even more than truth panels – to establish Civilian Review Boards.

Our normal method of operating is back away from the truth.  It isn’t “nice”.  We have to smile and make nice.  We have to pretend that all is well because we don’t want to offend anyone.  When we reach that point we need to ask ourselves –  how can the truth offend?

It is time to offend.  To offend in love.  It is kind and good.   Truth helps us grow into that space where our lives can be full of unconditional love.

I go to a Church, where in some corners of the building, love and sex are equated.  That is not the kind of love I am talking about and I think most of you know the difference.

I was raised to speak truth to power.  It wasn’t until my old age that I began to realize power doesn’t want to hear truth and will destroy you for attempting to speak the truth because power judges harshly and will eliminate you for being anything other than gracious to it, turning a blind eye to its transgressions.  Power will destroy you and blame you for the destruction.

Love doesn’t judge, bur love does live in the light of truth and forces us to live in that same bright, beautiful light.  Would that all of us could sit in unconditional love for just minutes a day.  Our lives would totally change as we became accustomed to something which  answers our insecurities, our racism, our sexism, our classism, all of the needs we have to be better than; to be more powerful than; to be in the spotlight most of the time; to be prettier than; to have more of the material things in life than; to have someone who we can make the scapegoat for all of our missteps and negative things we do; on whom we can dump everything and then force over the cliff.  Love is what a good life is all about.  Not happiness, not joy, not any of the things we normally seek.  With love everything else comes to order.

Let’s get busy.  The work is huge and the time is short. Make those contacts – set up those Civilian Review Boards – get those Truth Panels going, soonest.  Even if you have to be the shadow where you can’t gain access to be an integral part of, – try it.  Even if you have to set up Truth Panels on street corners – do it.

South Africans had great experience with Truth and Reconciliation Panels.  Are we too arrogant to be that humble?  Does our side have to be right and the others wrong?  We are intelligent human beings.  Notice I didn’t write – educated, because formal, institutional education may be a part of the problem.  Intelligent, sensitive to others, needing to reach out, feeling uncomfortable where you are cast as better than.  Get all of that together and get to work.

___________________________________________________________________________

Learn More About How We Use Your Donation!

[give_form id=”3763″]

________________________________________________________

Everything talked about in this blog and in any other blog in the Bettina Network, inc. is the opinion of the person who wrote the blog and does not necessarily represent the opinions of Bettina Network, inc. It is the property of Bettina Network, inc. and/or the person who wrote the original blog.

Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net


Subscribe to receive an email notice when a new item is posted