Mayor Andy Berke is so out of touch with the operations of his own police department that he does not see its continuing acidic dealings with the people of Chattanooga, especially blacks.
Mr. Berke rebukes challenger Larry Grohn for discussing at a Realtors association forum the harassment of gang members by police.
By David Tulis / Noogaradio 1240 AM 101.1 FM
I had earlier pressed Mr. Grohn to accept a broader assertion of harassment of people generally, and he limited his usage to police’s pestering of young black males identified as gang members or affiliates.
Mr. Grohn repeated his assertions about harassment of gangs. But Mr. Berke turns these comments into a pretended attack on police that Mr. Grohn is far from making, as he, too, is pro-cop. Says the mayor:
My opponent says our police officers harass gang members. That demonstrates that he is out of touch and has no idea what sacrifices our officers make every day to keep our streets safe. If you are in a gang and you commit a crime — you should go to jail. Period. I don’t call this harassment. I call it the law.
Our officers put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe and they need a mayor who has their back. Over the next four years, I’ll support our police department by putting more officers on the streets and equip them with the tools they need to keep us safe and get guns out of the hands of gang members.
Mr. Berke’s position is standard issue pro-police indicating he is out of touch to the phenomenon we have reported and about which even Franklin McCallie, the humanist interracial peacemaker with his black-white dinners, is concerned.
Mr. Berke pretends that the biggest danger to the average citizen is private crime. Law enforcement is more dangerous to the average homeowner or user of the public right of way than gangs, private criminality or terrorism. Mr. Berke wants to add to the general harassment of the citizenry by police by adding to their numbers, largely in the guise of fighting gangs.
The mayor’s office has said nothing about the lawless prosecutions of Rochelle Gelpin and Hanson Melvin, whose distresses came to our attention in 2016. These cases are typical of police harassment and overreach that are SYSTEMIC.
Acting without probable cause is the main sin of cops. To cover their violations of constitutionally protected rights, they commit perjury, kidnapping (stealing a person from his place without lawful authority and for that person’s harm) and abuse of process. Police also exercise lawlessly when they kill under the continuum of force rules accepted by state law.
4 steps to saving innocent lives
In his term of office Mayor Berke has done nothing to demilitarize police and ordain de-escalation and peacekeeping training.
To avoid killing people who have not committed a capital offense, police should be trained to use four key elements to save innocent lives, those of people acting irrationally, armed perhaps with brick, back, club or knife. These safety valves to save innocent lives from execution:
➤ Time. Cops
East Ridge city employee Daniel Sephenson, an armed man wearing a blue uniform, imposed a death sentence on a plumber, Todd Browning. Sheriff Jim Hammond and district attorney Neal Pinkston blessed the slaying as lawful.
They do that because they are trained in military fashion to exercise proprietary control over the citizens (ownership interest). That means that if a citizen does not lie down on the ground or jump out of his car with hands up in the air as commanded or stop walking as commanded he could be tased, tackled or slain by executive action.
Berke accepts black humiliation by police
Mr. Berke is part of this picture and he does not complain about it and does not make the slightest effort to reform policing in Chattanooga. His violence reduction initiative against gangs is his major effort, but gives debatable results. Chief Fred Fletcher’s program to have trainees get to know gays, blacks, Hispanics and one other group may give understanding and empathy, but is not an antidote to the typical training program whose main thrust is to make sure the officer gets home at the end of the day and the making of snap judgments in risk suppression (see Atlantic Monthly’s important story at the link).
To be pro-police is to be anti-black. That sounds like an extraordinary assertion. But blacks, often being poor, are out of step with the neat requirements of regulatory government, with its papers, tags, permissions, court dates, probation deadlines, child support payment schedules, permits, licenses and the like.
Blacks as a population are disproportionately consumed by the police and judicial-industrial complex that feeds off of their ignorance of their rights and a plantation mentality. That mentality sees police as an unknowable mighty force that is incomprehensible, as unstoppable as the Tennessee River, as fixed as a legal border or a mountain. Police hold blacks in low regard for their indifference to laws and law enforcement, for their fear and contempt of police and the state and city corporation that police represent.
To be for policing is to be implicitly for the continuing degradation of the black man by the state and its agents in municipal corporations such as City of Chattanooga. For a mayor to favor the people he serves, he has to work to protect them from his own office, whose agents, the police, represent the state as against the people.
Mayors have executive authority. Candidates should not pretend that police departments are somehow independent. Mayors should save American lives, and demand draconian reforms in the direction of peacekeeping.