So let me get this straight, a black female Police Officer Nakia Jones is outraged about a video her son showed her on the murder of Alton Sterling at the hands of law enforcement and publicly expresses her feeling on Facebook Live. She gets suspended for speaking the truth. The two white Baton Rouge police officers who actually killed Alton Sterling, Howie Lake II and Blane Salamoni, who have previous “use of force” complaints against them, get placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation. Is this what passes for justice in the United States of America now?
“It bothers me when I hear people say, ‘Y’all police officers this, y’all police officers that. They put us in this negative category when I’m saying to myself, ‘I’m not that type of police officer.’ I know officers that are like me that would give their life for other people. So I’m looking at it, and it tore me up because I got to see what you all see. If I wasn’t a police officer and I wasn’t on the inside, I would be saying, ‘Look at this racist stuff. Look at this.’ And it hurt me.” Officer Jones shared on Facebook Live.
The result for her speaking the truth: Warrensville Heights Police Officer Nakia Jones was placed on leave for her Facebook Live video that went viral this week. Nakia is seen crying and says she has no clue when she will be able to return to work after meeting with her supervisor yesterday. Check out the full interview with WKYC as she shares below.
I’m just saying people are walking around perplexed like they can not understand why so many have no love or trust for law enforcement? Why young blacks do not have any trust in a system that they have seen fail them all their lives. A system their elders have told them time and time again to let handle things, but they have yet to see said system handle anything concerning their peers across the country being shot and killed by law enforcement. A system that tell them to speak up when they see something wrong and turn away from their no-snitching ways. Well what do you tell them when they see a black police officer who has a young son their age speak up and get suspended for telling the truth.
The question that needs to be asked is was the suspension of officer Jones a message to all other black cops from breaking th Blue Wall of Silence from the police commissioner.
Damon K. Jones, Publisher of Black Westchester and NY Rep of Blacks In law Enforcement of America stated in a recent Lohud op-ed:
To be faithful to the sayings “Black Lives Matter,” “Blue Lives Matter” or “All Lives Matter,” our community leaders, elected officials, and police management have to work harder to destroy the “us against them” attitude in law enforcement and the community.
If police want the community to stop the “Stop Snitching” response, then the police must tear down the “Blue Wall of Silence.”
In the new 38-second recording, Sterling is already on the ground, on his back. One officer is kneeling to Sterling’s left. The other officer appears to be straddling Sterling’s legs. Sterling can be seen from the chest up and his lower legs are also visible. His left arms and hands are not visible; his right arm is by his side. After gunshots are heard, the camera pans to the right then back to Sterling, who has a large blood stain on his chest. The officer who was on his legs now lies on the pavement above Sterling’s head, his gun pointed.
“This is emblematic of how law enforcement treats the black community, and black males,” Joel Porter, a lawyer who represents the store owner who witnessed the shooting said. “They don’t treat us in a respectful manner.” Joel Porter, a lawyer who represents the store owner who witnessed the shooting, tells the Huffington Post, “treat us like we’re second-class citizens.”
Coincidentally, Jones’ viral video was posted moments before video of another officer-related deadly shooting occurred in Falcon Heights, Minnesota. One day after Louisiana cops shot and killed Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, a police officer has reportedly killed a black man named Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota. A woman (Diamond Reynolds) and child were also in the car and she broadcasted the aftermath of the shooting on Facebook Live.
Just a few days earlier in the week in East New York, Brooklyn 37-year-old Delron Dempsey was shot and killed by an off-duty NYPD officer early Monday morning during a traffic dispute.
Again I find myself doing radio interviews all week explaining why the black youth are so angry and distrust the police so much or explaining the deadly consequences of being black to white people. When we turn the TV, we see the murders Eric Garner, Freddie Grey, Mike Brown, Trayvon Martin, Akai Gurley and too many others at the hands of the police officers who patrol our neighborhood and we are told they are they to protect and serve us, but we never got the memo who do we turn to us when those in out neighborhood we are supposed to look to protect us are the very ones we need protection from.
Let’s not let these national tragedies ever forget those local killed by police whose families are still fighting for justice, like Ramarley Graham, Kenneth Chamberlain Sr, DJ Henry, Dario Tena just to name a few, who wounds never totally heal like that paper-cut that keeps opening and opening until its became a big gash.
What bothered me most when I came home and saw officer Nakia Jones press conference after she was suspended, is that is what we have been crying for from police officers nationwide. When we finally have an officer who is still on the job (most to fight for justice and speak the truth are retired officers) who calls out her peers in law enforcement, her superiors suspend her. What message does that send not just to other black and white officers who might want to speak the truth but to the communities the officers serve.
Martin Luther King Jr said an injustice anywhere is an injustice everywhere. We have been saying on BW and PBP Radio that the silence of the good offices comes off as agreement when you do not speak up. We need to stand up for those bold enough to break the blue wall of silence.
Update: Mayor Brad Sellers has released a statement confirming that Officer Jones is not fired, not suspended and is still a full-time officer. He stated that she did not violate social media policy by making the now viral video. I believe they are backtracking and after the media fallout they realized it was not a good look and rescinded her suspension. Either way she should have never been suspended in the first place for speaking the truth. REAL TALK!