Now that things are starting to unwind from the 2020 presidential election, our attention to the pressing matters confronting this country can’t waver.
Following the death of George Floyd, in one of the largest uprisings in American history, the country and the world were exposed to the inhumane apparatus of U.S. policing. Bred of anti-Black racism, policing is the most vicious system in this country.
No amount of money can save you from it. Just ask Milwaukee Bucks guard Sterling Brown.
Brown was pinned against the freezing concrete in a Walgreens parking lot on Jan. 26, 2018, by Milwaukee Police officers. He was hit with a stun gun.
His crime? He didn’t park in a parking spot.
After suing in June 2018 following the bodycam footage’s release, Brown rejected the city’s first offer of $400,000. He finally settled on $750,000 on Monday.
Brown joins a long list of families compensated for police ineptitude and malice. This summer alone, Breonna Taylor’s family, Sylville Smith’s family, Stephanie Buress, Martice Milliner, Antonie Jones, and Brian Wilson, have all received cash payouts for brutalization by the state.
According to Freedom to Thrive, United States cities spend hundreds of millions of dollars annually on police misconduct settlements. In 2019, New York City alone spent $175.9 million on police wrongdoing.
How broken can an institution get before there is a deep analysis? The mistrust of the state is warranted.
Along with monetary compensation, Brown wants a statement from the city admitting to a constitutional violation and committing to incorporate changes to the police department’s standard operating procedures. The reforms must be implemented within 180 days of the agreement.
The conversation around reform was started decades ago and became a cornerstone of public discourse since the death of Michael Brown. That was in 2014.
At this point, policing in this country has become a trite problem. The cries from Black people have been drowned out.
What structural protocol changes have been implemented?
We now have body cams, dashboard cams, and other recording mechanisms that capture our brutalization and deaths on screen.
It’s desensitizing at this point.
And the most infuriating part is, in the year 2020, the country is still throwing hundreds of millions of dollars at a problem to cloak its foundational issues.
Brown’s victimization by the Milwaukee police and settlement by the city is further proof of that.