Friday, May 23, 2008
A Civil Rights Leader Gets It Right In His Jail Cell Visit With A Victim Of Police Brutality
We here at "PHNN" (Parallel Hood News Network) pride ourselves at got to where the news is so that we might keep you abreast of what is going on in the world that is important to our key demographic - the Black American news consumer who keeps having to smack his palm on his head and say "This world is going insane. None of this stuff can be true." Sadly folks - while it might not necessarily all be true what we report - neither is MSNBC's commentary but hey - at least it pays the bills and keeps your interest. The truth is not too far away from fiction anyway.
We are here at the PHNN have a scoop on a story that is breaking out of Cleveland city jail. We are bringing to you live a meeting between the venerable civil rights activist Rev Leroy Biggs and Clarence Jackson - one of the 2 beating police victims that made national headlines. It seems that a Black man is not safe on the streets these days with the gang in Blue patrolling the streets and enforcing their brand of law and order. Rev Biggs has been at the forefront in seeking to nip these police attacks on Black men who get their asses kicked prior to being arrested.
This is a private meeting as requested by Rev Biggs and thus there is no official press coverage allowed. If you know PHNN we never let the rules restrain us. A police choke hold, maybe, but not the rules. We arrived 30 minutes before Rev. Biggs and bribed Mr. Jackson $50 to wear a microphone so that we could listen in on the conversation. In jail $50 goes a long way. It will buy several packs of cigarettes. Menthol at that. You know how much Black folks like to smoke menthols.
There goes Rev Biggs into the private meeting room for the conference with Clarence Jackson. Again Clarence Jackson is one of the two Black men who got their asses kicked by the Cleveland police officers who are now under investigation for police brutality. Jackson and his accomplice fired a gun into a crowd of Black people and then lead the police on a high speed chase, almost killing a Black mother who was rolling her 3 month old daughter through the intersection just as the car that Jackson was driving passed through. Tinisha Jones was not injured as she pushed her daughter forward and then dove out of the way. The police, who are bound to the concept of public safety was forced to call off the chase because it was too dangerous to the general public. Jackson, who had no such bond, kept on going and thus he was able to get away. Fortunately he was caught later when his car ran out of gas and he stopped at a gas station in the hood but did not know the zip code to type into the gas pump for the credit card that he stole and then tried to use. This extra hassle implemented at ghetto neighborhood gas stations paid off. Soon after the police showed up to the gas station and then wailed upon Mr. Jackson and his accomplice Rasheed Davis. The police tactics were caught on the gas station surveilance camera. The same camera system that was installed weeks earlier by the store owner who was tired of having gas thieves sneak up to the cars of paying customers who went inside of his store to purchase coffee while their cars filled up outside. These thieves would bring gas containers and fill up their own stash unbeknown to the customer. When customers with 17 gallon tanks were complaining to the owner about being charged for 24 gallons of gasoline the store owner Sunder Patel installed the camera system to catch people in the act. The police were ensnared in the midst of kicking the asses of Mr. Jackson and Mr. Davis by this same system.
Here is the audio from Rev Biggs and Mr. Jackson. Please forgive the static in the background. The steel in the reinforced concrete interferes with the transmission of the audio. It does a hell of a job keeping the prisoners from breaking through the walls so we will just have to live with the static.
Biggs: How are you Clarence?
Jackson: Good, good. With everything considered. They beat me pretty bad you know. Beat me like an animal. There was no call for it. These cops think that they can get away with anything, like they own the streets. They saw a Black man and they figured that they can disrespect US. I am just glad that you are going to stand up for my rights. I feel much better now knowing that you have my back.
Biggs: You know Clarence - that's what I came here to talk to you about. "Having your back".
Jackson: I know that you have been through this whole thing several times and all around the country. What is next? Do you appoint me an attorney from one on your list of "pre-qualified" lawyers who donated to your organization? I know that this case is a potential multi-million dollar case. Me getting my ass kicked on camera was a God send. Good is indeed good...."all the time".
Biggs: That is exactly what I came here to talk to you about Clarence. My role with regards to your case.
Biggs: Clarence do you know that this jail is about 70 years old? I can't count the number of times that I have been put in hear, locked up after a peaceful protest. I did this in the name of justice. I knew that the sacrifices of my freedom today which was back then would lead to a time in the future, which is now, in which Black males like you would not have to be locked up due to injustices.
Jackson: As I said before THEY see us Black men as animals. We are predestined to end up locked up in their cages if they had it their way.
Biggs: Clarence. Indeed the benefit of the video technology allows those of us who were not there to have an eye cast on the series of events that have lead up to controversial situations that me and other Black leaders who are fighting for justice respond to. Indeed Clarence I saw the video at the gas station and indeed the police were out of control. They need to be dealt with for they acted beyond the rules that dictate their behavior.
Jackson YEAH. This is why I wanted you as my spokesperson. Say that same thing at my press conference later. Thank you Rev. Biggs.
Biggs: Clarence. Yes technology is wonderful. I have to tell you - I also saw the police mounted camera that recorded the entire police chase. I saw all of the red lights that you sped through without regard for life and property, only your own behind. I saw that there are at least 6 other Black people who will not be able to drive their cars to work tomorrow because of your own actions. In order to avoid hitting you they swerved and hit other cars. Clarence do you realize that there are at least 3 people in the hospital with neck injuries due to your actions?
Jackson: But, but Rev Biggs. What are you saying? You are on my side right? You saw what the cops do to Black people? I was scared.
Biggs: Yes Clarence. I am fully aware of what cops are capable of. I also realize that cops are humans. They have emotions as humans. Clarence - these cops saw you as you almost ran down Tinisha Jones and her young daughter Ebony. When I saw that video image Clarence I even wanted to put a foot up your ass. I am a man of God so I had to pray to get my actions in line.
Jackson: I blew my horn. Why is she out walking her child that time of night anyway? She should know that it is dangerous. That was on her.
Biggs: Clarence. Ms. Jones is a college student who also works a job to make ends meet. She was returning from her job and taking her child home from her mother's house for the night. She has enough stacked against her success already. You caused her great mental anguish Clarence. Myself and other pastors of the Concerned Black Clergy are visiting her to have her to get over this event that caused her life to flash before her. She is talking about dropping out of school now. We have to work with her to have her regain her confidence that the world is not against her that her struggles are just temporary.
Biggs: Clarence. You shot into the crowd of Black people gathered for a "Community Weekend" celebration. The community is working to stem the tide of violence, drugs and negativity within the community. This event was supposed to be our little "can't we all just get along" event to rebuild the cultural and human level connections among the members of the community. All was going well on the first two days of the event. The one incident that ruined everything for everyone was the fight that you and the other three guys got into. Clarence - tell me. Why?
Jackson: They dissed me Rev Biggs. They called me a punk. They said that this is their block and that I had better 'act like I know'. I originally just pulled out my gun to scare them off. I wasn't intending on shooting anyone. They tried to front on me. They told me that I didn't have the heart to shoot and I shouldn't not have even pulled out my gun. I had to fire the gun Rev Biggs. They dissed me. How can I ever show my face in the neighborhood if they would have chumped me like that? I had no choice. You don't know how it works Rev Biggs.
Biggs: Clarence. Do you realize that your bullets hit an 8 year old boy in the arm and another hit a 62 year old grandmother in the shoulder? How are you going to show your face in this community when you have to deal with them?
Jackson: I'm sorry. I just had to do it. I was aiming at the 3 guys but I missed.
Biggs: Where did you get the gun from Clarence/
Jackson: I bought it on the streets. One of my running buddies said that he could supply me some heat for protection. You know how it goes Rev. Biggs. These are some mean streets.
Biggs: Clarence do you realize that I have been working to keep our streets safe from illegal guns and here you are on the demand side making it worth the while for the gun traffickers to take the risk. You are a bigger problem than they are, I now realize. Without YOU there would be no them.
Biggs: Clarence the video of your shooting into the crowd that was captured on so many people's cellphones and which now are all over You Tube don't look good. They show you as a coward and a fool. I told you about the police cameras regarding your chase and now I want to leave you after we talk about the final segment as far as I am concerned.
Jackson: What's that?
Biggs: The final segment is the one that caused me to have a tremendous turn about regarding my past blind defense of people like you Clarence. You see the gas station surveillance system also showed me how I was a part of your entire situation. That wallet that Rahseed stole out of someone's wallet during the Community gathering the day before? That was MY WALLET. You friend Rahseed robbed me at gun point and then took all of my money and credit cards. I did not realize the connection that I played until the gas pump mounted video camera showed your face and your fingers inserting my credit card into the gas pump and then attempting to guess my zip code. I don't live in your zipcode any longer Clarence. I moved my wife and children away because it is too dangerous.
I now realize from this episode that while indeed I have been a drum soldier for justice......I have also been an enabler of your behavior because I always ask of the police - knowing that they have a command staff to whom they are ultimately accountable to and a set of legal liabilities which the department must pay. As a result I had super-human expectations of these men. Clarence - after seeing all that you and Rahsheed had done leading up to the confrontation with the police - I must say that I would not have been able to turn off my own emotions and treat you with the RESPECT that you did not bother to bestow upon so many other people who you have injured during the series of events that I watched on video tape.
I realized that while I had been holding the police accountable for all that they had done that at the same time I have failed to have any set of expectations for you or the thugs like you who terrorize our community with reckless abandon. Clarence - I will never stop attempting to manage the system, forcing it to make itself better. What I will start doing, however is to enforce certain standards from you and the other young people in my community. I realize now that if I don't ask anything of you that you will live down to my expectations.
It took your friend Rahseed to hit me upside the head with the butt of his gun to jar my brain into full clarity about the situation.
Biggs: Clarence GIVE ME MY DAMNED CREDIT CARD BACK! I am washing my hands of you. I have more faith today that the SYSTEM as is will handle you appropriately. As for me - I have to apologize to the Black community for I was wrong in my dealings with it. I need to try and restore the confidence that was lost in the people who have moved away from the community. It is clear that they tried to tell me of their limits of tolerance. I was intolerant of them as I supported YOU over WHAT YOU AND OTHERS HAVE DONE to hurt our community.
Clarence when you are ready to live up to my expectations per the rules of the system - come talk to me. My door will be open. If you want to be a thug - the prison door will always be open and will only close to lock itself behind you. The choice is yours. Good day sir.