It appears quite likely that the Minneapolis power structure is going to throw the Somali police officer Mohamed Noor ,who allegedly shot and killed Justine Ruszczyk Damond, under the bus. People have been making that assessment all over the country and they are right, but it would be a mistake to stop there, or give some kind of moral support to Noor because he is Black. Right is right and wrong and is wrong! Noor took sides when he put on the uniform, and it wasn’t the side of the people.
It’s also important to note that the corporate press and power structure has portrayed Noor in a positive light, (just as they have Damond) as one of the “good ones.” They have written of the mayor’s support for him and interviewed family friends and even youth painting a picture of Noor as a “role model.”
As in the more recent case of Philando Castile, whose killer Jeronimo Yanez was likely charged (when other White officers historically had avoided that fate) because he was Latino. However he was still seen by the jury as a honorary White and as “believable” and therefore was exonerated. We can speculate with lots of history to support us, that Noor will be prosecuted because he is Black, Somali and Muslim.
Recently in New York,the Chinese population was up in arms because Peter Liang who is Asian,was convicted of manslaughter in the death of Akai Gurley who he killed in 2014 when he accidentally discharged his weapon in a tenement stairway.
Gurley’s character was smeared and scandalized in the Big Business press ( as they usually do victims of police violence), especially Black victims of police brutality. And they prosecuted the Asian cop which of course is something that seldom happens when Blacks (and just about everybody who isn’t rich) are victimized by the police. He was charged with the highest crime the system could throw at him, and was subsequently convicted and of course then let off by the system, which refused to give him jail time!
But it was obvious he had been the victim of a double standard and was simply easier for a racist and brutal system to scapegoat him.
Unfortunately the Asian community organized by the thousands to protest the verdict, rather than supporting the call for justice for Akai, saying Liang was scapegoated. No doubt he was, but he was not innocent and just as importantly, he in essence wasn’t really one of them. The relationship between the Black and Asian communities in New York still suffers as a result of this wrongheaded defense of the cop.
However a brave and justice minded group of young Asian Americans made a point of standing with the Gurley family and the Black community and others who demanded justice in the case.They were never tricked into defending the Chinese cop because he was Asian like them. They correctly saw Liang as a cop, who serves a fundamentally racist, classist and unjust system.
It would behoove everyone to also see this for what it is. Yes acknowledge that it’s going to be easier to prosecute Noor in a racist society, if it turns out that he indeed was the shooter. No doubt it could be worse than speculation has so far concluded, it is possible that Noor wasn’t the trigger man and is being entirely set up as the fall guy.
But it is also important to acknowledge that if indeed Noor shot Ruszczyk Damond, that is WRONG and he should be held accountable.
Since policing is such a problem in the US, its time that we face the truth about the role of the police. The cops serve and protect the interests of the power structure: period. Despite all the propaganda, they are not our friends no matter what color, sex or nationality. When a person puts on that uniform their allegiance is to that uniform, not their race sex or nationality. In fact the police serve to reinforce the stereotypes in our society which is why they over police in Communities of Color and why they brutalize and kill youth, women, immigrants and the LGBTQ community.
The cops hit folks with their sticks to remind them of their place in this society, which is why White people (who are not rich) are victimized as well . They unequally enforce the law, while enforcing laws that are fundamentally unjust and biased.
It is imperative that we are clear and refuse to fall for the tricks of the system. A White cop is a cop. A Black cop is a cop. A woman cop is a cop. An LGBTQ cop is a cop. A Somali cop is a cop. A Latinx cop is a cop. An Asian cop is a cop. A Somali cop is a cop!
Incidentally, I don’t recall the Black community ever as a group supporting that which is morally and fundamentally wrong.
Some have spoke of callously refusing to support the call for justice for the blonde White woman in this case, because they feel White folks haven’t been supportive of others calls for justice. But that is inconsistent with the history of Black folks in this country. Black humanity despite being enslaved, dehumanized and oppressed always managed to identify with the suffering of others and other struggles against oppression. Black folks always maintained their humanity.
This system has taken a lot from Black folks it but it shouldn’t be allowed to take away that which has distinguished them as a race in this American experiment:their humanity!
justice then peace