Al Sharpton, Sean Bell, and the failure in black communities 

First, it is a tragedy that Nicole Paultre lost her fiance on her wedding day. And it's a sensational story for the media which now has the entire world believing the entire city of New York is enraged and we are living in a state of police fear. Hardly the case!

But an even bigger tragedy is how members of that same black community in the area of Sean Bell's shooting and other surrounding NYPD areas ignore the daily robbings, stabbings, assaults, rape, housing fraud, welfare fraud, immigration fraud and the very often murders, like 2 black mothers shot and killed by stray bullets in front of their kids during a thug shootout that nobody standing around saw. "I ain't gon be no snitch" and hustlers are respected and praised. (rolling eyes) There is a long list of black-on-black crimes that have occurred within just the past week alone! Again, ignored by the black community.

Yet, the NYPD is instantly vilified and characterized as "killing and destroying our black people". Ironically, the majority of law enforcement officers have military backgrounds. Here they love the troops, but hate the cops, many of whom have also served in Iraq. Huh?!

There are bad people in EVERY profession, even the priesthood and education. But to label all cops as bad because of personal feelings and past history is no different from the KKK or white separatists labeling all blacks as inferior persons and treating as such. You have to get to know each person to know what their character is. And you can't approach everyone with a prepared reaction.

I've even talked to other blacks and common responses are "they (general reference to all cops) place no value on black lives", and this from people who don't even place value on black lives themselves to grow better as a community. Some of these people complaining don't even help their own family in need while having an excess of resources. One person claiming others place no value on black lives shops and attends spas while a family member is dying (a male) and has withered down to 129 lbs. But as broke as I am, I have to do all I can to help, and asking them for help like a simple $40 to help feed person for a week, and which is pocket change to them, is like pulling teeth! But again, their belief is that others don't place value on black lives!

The crimes that happen in urban communities are NOT normal. The daily stabbings, robberies, assaults, rapes, shootings, and too often murders that happen in Newark, New Jersey, Livington, New Jersey, Camden, New Jersey, Chicago, East Los Angeles, Miami, Detroit, Houston, Baltimore, Oakland and New York City borroughs ARE NOT normal ways of life. They're abnormal, and it's abnormal behavior that has become not only accepted but glorified with members of the hip-hop community writing continual songs praising thugs and gangsters.

But urban people in their own community have become so accustomed to crime in THEIR OWN COMMUNITY, they turn a blind eye to it and just live with it. The ones who can afford to move away, and never look back. For the ones who remain, many have even adapted the "don't snitch" policy. How do you figure that IN YOUR OWN COMMUNITY?! Getting directly involved in your own community and being diligent about what happens in YOUR OWN COMMUNITY is how it becomes better and there would be less of a police presence and no need for undercover cops to combat the "don't snitch" policy. So "duuuuhhhh" back at cha, Sharpton!

Had someone snitched, undercover officers wouldn't have had to come into the area where Sean Bell was shot in the first place. And undercover, to me, means persons in area are not ethical and honest enough to do the right thing, including preventing organized crime, therefore, undercover cops were present.

Several black people (who weren't present at the shooting) actually had the audacity to tell me, the cops who shot were signaled on a radio by other cops to follow Sean Bell and just shoot him. Or the cops just came out of a strip club and "just started firing". Yeah right!

And yes I know 50 shots were fired. But not by one cop, but a total from 5 cops. There's no protocol for shooting in defense and in fear, just like there's no protocol for anything someone does out of fear, INCLUDING A DRUG DEALER who is more often praised for lighting up a neighborhood with his gun or GUNS. And when you are in a dangerous area and KNOW personally about the "can't wait to die thugs" ever present on the urban streets of NYC that the NYPD deals with daily, there will be fear for one's life, even just walking to your car.

Even uniformed cops are shot. The case of NYPD Det. Russel Timoshenko and Det. Herman Yan still saddens me and I've never forgot about it. Both officers made a simple traffic stop because of a stolen car and Det. Timoshenko was shot point blank in face by one of the three black men in the stolen car. Det. Timoshenko, a young man died a few days later. And Det. Yan was wounded, with scars that will affect him for the rest of his life.

Just last week, on April, 22, 2008, 41-year-old Kenneth Duncan, a black New York City Corrections Officer was gunned down by another black person outside of his own home while off-duty and working on his motorcycle.

Just last year, black rapper Remy Ma opened fire in a public place to settle a beef over money she claimed was stolen from her. Her bullet landed into a black woman just sitting in her car. So there's reckless shooting, but where was the community outrage??? Remy Ma was praised for keeping it real.

And it's not just New York. What about the execution of two black police officers by other blacks while working at their second jobs as security officers? And both were military veterans. Dekalb, Georgia Police Officers Eric Barker and Ricky Bryant.

And what about this case: a black soldier in Iraq is fighting one war, while another one is happening in her home town of Los Angeles: her hard working teenage son who was headed off to an ivy league college, not prison, was shot down by gang members who didn't even give the young man a chance to respond to their question: www.gotdemocracy.net/home/tiki-read_article.php?articleId=17

And all of those shootings happened AFTER the Sean Bell shooting. Where were the black leaders and black community outrage then? Was I the only one crying and saddened about these senseless killings? No one in the black community protested in mass numbers as in the case of Sean Bell, especially for the 2 black mothers shot and killed in front of their kids recently during black on black neighborhood shootouts in Brooklyn, one of which was Nancy Williams just a couple of weeks ago.

I'll bet $500 that if you randomly polled any of the Sean Bell protesters about her name or the other woman's name that I have purposely left out, none of them would know of either or their names!

In the case of the first black mother, Charles Barron was featured on the news begging and pleading to the same black community outraged by the Sean Bell shooting to come forward and stop the "don't snitch" nonsense. It was if there was no value placed upon either of the mother's lives, because everyone became tight-lipped which protects the shooter. Or the response was "oh well, that's just how it is in the hood". WTF?!

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is no doubt grumbling in his grave, pounding his fists wondering what happened. Or do you think Colin Powell or Oprah Winfrey would stand by while living in the hood and allow nonsense like that to continue? To paraphrase comic Sheryl Underwood, Oprah would shut that neighborhood down, lights and all, until they corrected the problem!

However, black on black crimes like those against Nancy Williams, are so common daily throughout urban areas all across the United States, they're basically ignored as if it's an accepted part of day to day life. Yet the crime against Nancy Williams was barbaric and NOT NORMAL! These common crimes don't happen every day in Rye, New York or Greenwich, Connecticut, or even an almost all black affluent area of Fulton County, Georgia.

And Nancy Williams was the second black mother gunned down in front of her own child within a short amount of time in just Brooklyn alone, and both happened AFTER the Sean Bell shooting. Now two black children will grow up without their mother. Will members of the community, or even Sharpton, Charles Barron or the local NAACP help raise the surviving children properly to see that their mother's dreams for them are fulfilled? NOPE.

But how is that a drug dealer can let off round after round in a neighborhood, killing innocent victims in the process of a drug related argument, but no one says anything or claims to have saw anything?! And how is that Jam Master Jay's widow is still suffering in silence and her husband's murderer hasn't been apprehended because no one wants to be "the snitch" including the person standing in the same room while Jam Master Jay was gunned down.

If Sean Bell's car had rammed an armed drug dealer's car, surely all 3 men in the car would have been executed intentionally with extra bullets just to make a statement. Then no one in the neighborhood would have said anything. The dealer in the neighborhood would have been praised for "keeping it real". A rapper would have wrote a song about it. And all the people out in streets claiming the NYPD is corrupt would have the song praising the drug dealer, and now murderer, on their MP3 players.

Think I'm wrong? Well, let's ask 50 Cent!

I still say you need to clean up your own backyard before you go knocking on your neighbor's door. Al Sharpton, the local NAACP, Charles Barron and other black leaders have failed urban black communities miserably.

When I look at this list of the powers that be, fighting over the Sean Bell nonsense makes this list even more unreachable for even persons like Jamiel Shaw, who's now dead:

President of the United States
FBI/CIA Director
World Banking Leader
World Trade Leader
World Media Leader - equivalent to CNN, ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, MSNBC and major motion picture companies. Oprah can only do so much.

How is three drunk people who left a strip club (where there was more than likely teenage strippers as well, plus daily drugs and drug trafficking, illegal weapons and more that neighbors turned a blind eye to), and then somehow got into a situation that involved trying to run down and severely injure persons they claim to have not known were cops an historical moment? NOPE. Back it up. This is not a Rosa Parks moment.

And speaking of Rosa Parks, she was assaulted and robbed in her home of Detroit. Where was the community outrage and massive protests then??? But John Conyers can fly all the way to New York to listen to a case but only from the problem side, and a case involving three drunk men (who made previous life choices that were not beneficial for their own community) and events which escalated to an altercation outside of a strip club that was engaging in illegal activity that no one wanted to snitch about.

But Conyers didn't have time to find out how to find out why there is so much crime daily in urban areas on a daily basis and how to get better people to lead by example. I know he sees constant bars on windows, which aren't ever present on homes in Rye, New York or Greenwich, Connecticut or even an almost all black affluent area of Fulton County, Georgia. Is this Dr. King's dream???

It must have been meant for me to see this, as I never would have living out in Sunnyvale, California, one of the safest cities in the country and being surrounded by software engineers.

Some urban and inner city areas are throwbacks to slave quarters, except slaves behaved with more dignity, self-worth and self-respect IN SPITE of their conditions. Crime runs rampant in urban areas. Again, daily nonstop crime is NOT normal. But Sharpton, the NAACP, Charles Barron and other black leaders ignore the hard core nonstop crimes the NYPD deals with daily by putting their lives on the line, then turn around and scrutinize the NYPD for an "after the fact" issue that arose from problems they chose to ignore in the first place!! Or if the "leaders" do get involved, it's to ask the same type of folks who have sainted Sean Bell to come forward and stop the "don't snitch" policy.

Are urban black leaders and communities saying only they want the monopoly on killing innocent people?! That's what it sounds like to me: the NYPD can't kill us in self defense while one of our community members is committing a crime (drunk driving, attempting to run cop over, threats of violence, etc.), but we can kill our own innocent people and stay quiet about it.

And to call Judge Cooperman a racist is insulting. Here's a judge about to retire and one of the final acts of his entire career is receiving a false label of "racist". Judge Cooperman made the only decision he could have given the credibility and behavior of the witnesses on the stand! Not solely because of their felony criminal convictions, but because the information PRESENTED IN COURT THAT HE HAD TO DECIDE UPON didn't add up! Judge Cooperman was not present at the shooting, he had to decide based upon information PRESENTED TO HIM. Having detailed knowledge before the case WOULD make him prejudiced.

Then I hear from people that the judge used criminal background as a deciding factor, but their background shouldn't have been because it wasn't stamped on Guzman, Benefield or Bell's forehead the night of the shooting. What the judge MEANT was the credibility of THEIR TESTIMONY IN COURT was related to their criminal background WHICH WAS ALSO PRESENTED AS EVIDENCE IN COURT, and not objected to by the prosecution, and thus a factor for a motivation to lie. Plus their stories did not add up.

Guzman also served 5 years in prison for a drug related conviction. One sensational statement of Guzman was that Bell's last words to him were, "I love you", which was deemed not physically possible because his vocal cords had been destroyed. Plus Guzman's behavior on the stand was beyond damaging for the prosecution - arm draped over back of chair area as if chilling in his living room, menacing and confrontational stares directly at officers accused and referring to one of the officers he's accusing as "kid".

Even persons who have had to testify against their rapist show more decorum during judicial proceedings. Not being able to show basic respect in court, to me, confirms Guzman couldn't have possibly showed respect on the streets to someone he claimed he didn't know was a cop. Guzman also doesn't strike me as someone who is non-confrontational. I have yet to meet a choir boy drug dealer. If one is out there, please let me know.

Even the cops who shot are called "racists". But all three were minority: 1 African-American; 1 part African-American, Mexican and Island area heritage; and 1 of Arab descent. Given that, they too may or may not have experienced racism at some point in their lives. Did Sharpton even ask them this before leading the protests which led to labeling them as racists?

Now, Sharpton has leaders flying in from all over to demand justice. But all should have flown in BEFORE the Sean Bell shooting and taken responsibility for the conditions and behaviors of urban areas that lead to daily undercover cops and police actions. You're not supposed to have cops swarming in and out of your home area. Duuuuhhhh!!! Or the leaders should have flown in after the first black mother was shot on the steps of her home because of common shootouts in her area that are just ignored as if part of a daily schedule.

People behave by example. People are afraid by nature and tend to follow what's around them. The black leaders in this area need to go back to school and understand their history AGAIN so they can understand what a better focus would be, which would then help benefit areas failing miserably. Jumping on something that involved a strip club engaging in organized crime which included prostitution, probably even of kids and drunk drivers who should have been more responsible given it was the wedding day for one of them, then ramming the car of someone they claimed they didn't know were cops, and jumping on the wrong side is not a good focus. Perhaps a better focus should have been, "why is there a strip club engaging in organized crime in our community" and why were undercover cops in our community, making him think that more responsibility was needed by community members.

I don't know how I got to be such a rebel and think for myself before jumping on a bandwagon, especially given I was raised in a single family home with an in and out father who was a career criminal and abused us all while he was indulging in heroin.

For some reason I now have the ability to step back and look at the entire situation without jumping on the immediate bandwagon. I guess it relates to people around me - get to know first without forming opinion.

My opinion about the Sean Bell case also stems from what I saw for the first time while living in NYC which was horrendous. In just a few months after a realtor scam (and the realtor was hispanic who also broke multiple laws in civil court), I saw in black and latino areas:

housing fraud, welfare fraud, immigration fraud, massive drug trafficking (crack, cocaine, heroin, meth), assaults, extortion, child rapes, drug dealers who can't wait to kill next person (personally met and was appalled by the fact that they thought they were "the shit" but were just "shit" to me), black teenage strippers, black teenage strippers committing housing fraud and defended/supported by black HPD property owners, drug dealers committing housing and welfare fraud, illegal immigrants committing housing and welfare fraud, illiteracy with pride, domestic violence, child abandonment, vehicle registration fraud including by drug dealers and illegal immigrants, cable theft with profits while living in public housing, the end of a shooting involving a drug dealer and no one wanted to snitch, and a whole lot more - and all of this occurred directly in the area around Al Sharpton's Action Network, which makes me wonder what their definition of "action" is.

And everything I saw, I notified my local law enforcement wherever applicable or took action to resolve, creating a paper trail along the way. My attitude was "oh hell no, not where I live or have to be"! While everyone else who just accepted it said things like, "people gotta do what they gotta do to survive." Well so do I!

And the flip side to the problems I saw, it would take years for agencies to resolve because they are so bogged down with higher priority cases. This is also the reason the NYPD and other agencies are constantly recruiting, but hard to get enough people because there are more thugs wannabe's than cops!

And while I saw all of this, I saw NOT ONE black leader attempting to help or resolve problems. I even called Sharpton's Action Network about what was happening directly around his "action network" as well about a source of funding that would automatically overlook his area when dispensing millions. Their priority: vilifying the NYPD over a fight that escalated from a strip club to the streets. Yeah, that really helps the black community as a whole!

A lot of folks protesting the Sean Bell verdict have had their own self-created run-ins with law enforcement and others have deep seated feelings from the 1960s. However, these are not the same 1960s KKK cops who openly killed blacks. These are NOW men and women who simply took a job to help their communities as well as take care of their families with income. And mind you, NYPD's starting salaries are the lowest in the country, so it certainly isn't the money which attracts them to a career with the NYPD. They are also men and women who bleed and who have the capability of having fear. But folks think cops are without fear and can stand and wait to be shot at, stabbed, run over, assaulted, etc. then rebound like John McClane from Die Hard movies and THEN apprehend the criminal! Yeah right!

And by the way, NYPD cops are daily spit on, shot at, stabbed, run over, assaulted, targeted for murder, and more. Yet, they return back to work the next day, even in spite of the scrutiny from folks who don't even live in the NYPD city limits. Al Sharpton lives in an upscale, cushy and quiet suburban neighborhood and sleeps soundly at night, while the urban area's prime time IS at night with one crime after another throughout the night. The crimes make their residents keep multiple locks on their doors as if in a war zone. People don't keep bats in their home because they love baseball so much!

The saddest thing I heard recently and repeatedly from both a black teen and black young adult was not wanting to choose a career as a cop because cops are considered "bad". The teen who fell into that line of thinking is now ending a year in prison for a felony conviction for following those same beliefs of stupid people going nowhere fast! His only possible option is to join the military which may overlook his first time felony conviction. He doesn't want to fight "the man's problems", yet this is HIS country and he lives here. Now at 19, the rest of his life will now be a struggle with a felony conviction! I wonder if the kid still thinks it's cool to not be a cop because his friends said so?!
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