Protest organizers in Chattanooga are seeking to channel the vibrant energy and marching sweat of hundreds of people to alter the political landscape so that Mayor Andy Berke next cop outbreak will be less damaging to public order as police kill, beat, tase or misuse the people who pay their wages.
Hip hop artist William “C-Grimy” Williams offers a list Wednesday of demands, with the leading one targeting the hefty tax bill squeezed from the citizenry.
➤ “Defund the police.” By taking F$25 million to F$40 million out of the budget.
Cops are city government’s biggest outlay. In the 2019 fiscal year, the city spent F$70.81 million, despite a budget that put the cost at F$73.4 million, according to the city’s annual comprehensive financial report.
The cost of general government was F$49.2 million, fire F$45.6 million, public works F$35.7 million, family and youth development F$11.7 million, and transportation F$8.8 million. The city’s fire and police pension slush fund has liabilities of F$214.7 million. Police retirement rates are calculated as follows: “Age 55 with 10 years of service or any age with 25 years of service (30 years if hired after July 1, 2014),” P. B-7, CAFR. [The “F” refers to Federal Reserve System fiat currency, in which governments keep their books, as they will not enforce lawful coin and currency under Article 1, section 8.]
The iffy side: The second part of the demand is “invest in the people.” Is money seized from taxpayers a real “investment”? The money saved from the cop department would not be returned to the people in lower taxes. It would go for municipal social programs. Mr. Williams remains confident in collectivism and statism. People on government payroll are qualified to perform works of charity, mercy, education — this myth appears indestructible and is a pillar of policing itself.
➤ Abolish cash bail. This system is a rich vein of business for fractional-reserve guarantors of bonds whose service and fees are too rich for many poor defendants, who are so numerous they constitute two-thirds of the people in the county jail today. Sixty-six percent.
The iffy side: The sheriff will find people who fail to show in court, or put out warrants on people who fail to appear, adding to that department’s duties. Businessmen will lose their livings putting up their names as bond agents. But the poor will benefit — no real iffy side on this one.
➤ Abolish ICE. This agency seizes “undocumented” people and sends them to remote detention centers hundreds of miles away before deportation.
The iffy side: It’s a federal agency, subject to President Trump and the executive branch of the federal power.
➤ “Probation and parole reform now.” Little detail is offered, but this demand attacks the post-prison restoration of people wrecked by idled years behind bars. Activists are closing in on the only genuine reform: Abolition of prison. The state department of correction in fiscal 2019 spent F$1.005 billion, according to the CAFR, the state’s financial report.
Prison is ungodly, dehumanizing, nonrestorative, state-centric and anti-Christian, violating God’s jurisprudence as outlined in the Old Testament which is lococentric, restorative, equitable and victim-centric. Equity and justice are not served by prison whatsoever. God’s law, as taught in scripture, starts with the victim. Justice restores him as much as possible with judge-ordered restitution. It ordains the perpetrator — whether in public crime or private tort — make good personally and locally to the victim. No vast bureaucracy, no punishment in remote prison, no blighted record, no memory of past wrongs that have been set aright by compensation under the doctrine of lex talionis or equal treatment (eye for eye, tooth for tooth, stripe for stripe, wound for wound).
The iffy side: Focusing on prison per se — and its abolition — would be more useful. See Victim’s Rights by Gary North for a blueprint of how a prison-free society would work, a project that local churches might organize to undertake.
➤ “Free all of our brothers and sisters who are nonviolent and victimless crime convicts or alleged criminals.” This demand goes in the proper direction, taking a stab at crimes against the state, in which the state pretends to be a victim come though there is no victim at all. The state that makes itself victim of every crime has declared itself to be God. A key area of reform is for Mayor Berke to declare the city will obey the limited scope of the transportation-shipping-hauling-trucking law and no longer enforce commercial “driving” regulation on private users of the road. Mr. Berke rejects ending this vital pillar of Jim Crow practice in the city because the courts uphold the practice.
➤ “Legalize it now.” This is a demand to end the criminalization of agricultural product use, such as that of marijuana. President Richard Nixson launched the drug war to harass the peace movement and black activists, according to Harper’s magazine.
➤ “Deprivatized CCA-Silverdale.” It is proper to restore the punitive ministry of state, if one is to exist, to the state, and not to profit- and rent-seeking corporations such as Nashville-based CoreCivic, which we have reported repeatedly is graft-friendly and duplicitous in dealings with the department of correction.
➤ “We don’t ever, we don’t ever ever want to see a brother or sister die like George Lloyd for Eric Garner ever again. Make the chokehold illegal.” The city’s 2016 “use of force” manual gives no instructions of chokeholds, so it appears they are not permitted among CPD. Chief Roddy says the department “does not teach any type of ‘neck restraint.’ Any complaint of improper use of force or excessive use of force is investigated completely and thoroughly and Officers are disciplined accordingly. Unauthorized use of deadly force is not tolerated.”
5th night demanding cop control
For a fifth night in Chattanooga, people in their 20s and 30s, 75 percent white, crowd the streets to protest police violence and abuse, much of it stemming from the ritual disregard of two bodies of law.
As many as 700 people took part in a walk that offered not a single reported angry encounter with police — unless one can count angry bellowing and blood vessel-bursting shouting as “angry encounters.”
Officers took endless obscene gestures, accusations, hateful looks, angry growlings and expressions of contempt from demonstrators as they passed their parked light-flashing cruisers.
In one encounter on Carter street, the road was blocked my four cruisers with their doors open and officers standing in them. Protesters demanded that the officers “take the knee,” but none found it proper to do so.
Police chief David Roddy, responding to a Noogatoday inquiry, says no officers have quit over his resignation challenge. “I can’t assure the community that there aren’t ‘bad actors’ in this department. But= I can assure our community that all CPD Officers receive extensive training.”
Chief Roddy continues: “In some cases, a bad decision is made that violates policy and/or a person is subjected to unreasonable, excessive force. These are the officers that should be investigated. This is why I encourage community members to file complaints with the CPD Internal Affairs Unit. I expect our community members to help hold their officers accountable. And I encourage and expect community members to engage with officers who are working in their neighborhoods on a daily basis.”
In a developing story, two officers in the gang unit are being investigated for criminal violations of federal law. They are Jacob Lee and Jonathan Bradley.