This morning I went off on an angry rant on the twitter machine when reading about the killing of Daunte Wright, and discovered that the cops pulled him over for fucking expired tags. Basically, it is my belief that cops who pull people over for shit like expired tags, not being able to see a second license plate, air freshener hanging from the mirror, or other bullshit like that, are in essence online trolls in real life. And the cities and communities that have their cops out doing this are doing so for several reasons:
1.) To raise money to fund the government so taxcut Jesus won’t get a sad.
2.) To harass and keep minority communities in “their place”
3.) To maintain a militaristic carceral state
Who, exactly, is safer in that Minnesota community because a couple of bored cops decided to fuck with a black kid with expired tags? Who is safer in Virginia because a bunch of bored cops decided to fuck with an Army LT because they couldn’t see his second license plate? No one.
It’s the same god damned thing that went on in Baltimore and NYC with the street level harassment of fucking with people sitting on their stoop listening to music and having a beer. It’s the same bullshit as roughing people up and breaking down doors because you smelled weed smoke. It’s the same fucking thing that was discussed in the detailed Ferguson report in 2015 when we last had a functioning DOJ.
And, it doesn’t just happen to minorities. It happens at a far greater rate of occurrence for minority communities and is far deadlier for them, but the same shit happens to poor white people here in West Virginia and elsewhere. There aren’t enough black people to fund the government here, so you gotta fuck with other “undesirables.”
And it makes life a living hell for everyone. People lose their ability to drive over bullshit because they can not pay the cascading fines or take off to make all the court dates, and shit spirals out of control and before they know it they owe thousands of dollars for a fucking nine dollar license plate tag, have lost their car, lost their job because they can’t get there, and are further mired in poverty and hopelessness. It’s the same fucking thing credit card companies do to trap people in indebtedness. Why do many poor people drink to excess and do drugs? Because we have made their lives fucking unbearable without them.
And this is not new. We all know this. It has been happening long enough that we all are aware this goes on. I’d also posit that it has been going on so long that people who like to abuse people are drawn to policing, because it gives them a license to bully and hurt people. So, at this point, if you are not actively working to try to fundamentally reform policing and government, you are part of the problem.