MC and Run The Jewels co-pilot Killer Mike follows his recent blog post on the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri with a Billboard op-ed in which he calls police to task and offers readers a primer on their 4th and 5th Amendment rights. Mike’s words resonate as he reaches out to a populace of frustrated citizens in Ferguson and those across the country who have rallied in support of the protestors and openly empathized with their plight as they demand justice in the killing of unarmed teen Michael Brown.
Brown’s death last week has prompted a wave of discussion, two presidential addresses and continued conflict in the town outside of St. Louis where he was killed, somewhat ironically, in close proximity to the grave of Dred Scott. Killer Mike has a bone to pick with the lack of humanity shown by the police again and again in their interactions with civilians. He does not mince words in his efforts to decry the horrible policies, questionable decision making skills and use of excessive force, which have often resulted in an unnecessary loss of life.
Though these issues have negatively impacted a largely African-American community in Missouri, Killer Mike is clear that a failure to rectify the problems plaguing the least of us will ultimately erode to the rights of all Americans. Take a look at the text below to read an excerpt from Killer Mike’s latest response. Read the full text of the article via Billboard. Scroll down to watch Killer Mike’s commentary on the ongoing conflict from CNN. Keep an eye on Ferguson.
We trust police with the power of life and death and with that trust comes a greater responsibility to be better than the current standard of policing I see across America everyday. Being a cop must be hard. My dad was one, and never wanted any of his children to follow in his footsteps. Being a cop is often seeing the worst of the human condition and behavior. With all of that said, there is no reason that Mike Brown and also Eric Garner are dead today — except bad policing, excessive force and the hunt-and-capture-prey mentality many thrill-seeking cops have adapted.
This week I have seen tanks, rubber bullets and tear gas used by police against the citizens that pay them. This is not Egypt or Syria or Palestine, but today it feels that way. It feels as if death can come, without reason, from a uniformed government official and, if we do not press back against this Blue Wall of Silence and gang-like mentality of our local police, we all are in danger. Whether it is illegal rd stops & checkpoints, where your rights are being violated — through being forced to answer questions that the 5th Amendment protects you from, or illegal stop-and-frisk that the 4th Amendment is designed to protect you from — all of our rights are violated and in danger when any American’s rights are violated.
I have chimed in about the brutality that killed this child, Michael Brown, and Eric Garner, and so many others. It’s shameful, but these are not simply words to commiserate; these words, I hope, serve as a wake-up call to all Americans. Our rights are being violated by people we pay daily. This must end, or every American has failed.
The police have the power of life and death in their decisions — they need to know that Americans hold them to a higher standard than these examples, of American men laying lifeless like deer. Slaughtered hogs in the street.
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