This week, a story about Chicago police officers escorting young girls without fathers in their lives to a local daddy-daughter dance last Friday has been making it’s way across the internet. Included in the brief NBC Chicago report on the story was this quote from Chicago PD Commander Larry Watson:

They actually get to see us to find out that the police are nothing but people. We just happen to have uniforms on.” 


That’s nice. But guess what? All of the unarmed young black men and women whose lives were, and are continuing to be, taken during confrontations with police officers were “just people” too.

In recent years, Chicago has continuously made news headlines for violent summers and year-round neighborhood turf wars that claim the lives of young black people in mass numbers, so having police officers stand in for absentee fathers not only humanizes cops in the wake of the police war on black lives, it paints a positive picture in the midst of a grim situation on a local level.

But stories painting police officers in a positive light which seem to conveniently surface every time another black life is claimed at the hands of a different police department every other day do not ease the frustration, dull the pain, or restore faith in our justice system for African-Americans. And why should it?

They asked for “peaceful protests” following the Mike Brown murder in Ferguson, only to acquit the Staten Island police officers who choked Eric Garner to death. They asked the people of Baltimore to “heal their community” instead of hurting it following the murder of Freddie Gray, only to acquit the Cleveland police officer who stood on the hood of the car of an unarmed black couple and fired over 100 shots into their windshield after chasing them down when he mistook their car backfire for a gunshot. How are we to continuously depend on a flawed justice system that allows those committing these murders to go free simply because they put on a uniform and wear a badge? We are told to be patient and trust that justice will prevail…but who’s justice? Because it certainly isn’t any that we recognize.

Much like the story about the white police officer that returned to the home of a struggling black mother of 4 to deliver free groceries after he caught her stealing, we applaud these “daddy-daughter dance” officers for giving these little girls irreplaceable memories that will surely last a lifetime. But until our government accepts that the only real solution to begin mending the broken relationship between police officers and the African-American community is to see the remorseless murders parading as “police officers” brought to justice for the increasing number of black lives that we can never get back, change in our attitudes towards law enforcement will cease to exist. We’re not asking for criminals to go free just because they share our skin color, but we are asking that ALL of those who find themselves in confrontations with the law be treated equally.

When police officers stop declaring open season on black lives and lawmakers put policies in place to unequivocally prosecute those who continue to do so anyway, then and only then will our country begin to see they type of healing and peace that we all say we want so desperately.

Photo Credit: NBC5 Chicago

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  • vintage3000

    Thank you for writing this. The proliferation of these cop feel good viral stories are just as disingenuous as those not all Indian men are rapists article you have also posted.

    I called the cops over the weekend on the alcoholic next door, who was blasting music at 1:00 am and became belligerent after I asked him to turn it down. I can fully acknowledge that the 2 white cops who showed up were very courteous and professional to me, and still advocate against the rampant police brutality you have noted here. These stories are part of the fake narrative that all Blacks are criminals, we have no respect for human lives, and that we are all running around yelling eff the cops. Even Al Sharpton, who “they” love to hate, has clarified numerous times that we NEED the police, and the average Black citizen respects law enforcement and the tough jobs they have.

    It’s incredible that these people can twist their minds around enough to promote these awwww look at the white cop hugging a crying Black kid (while snickering to themselves about the whereabouts of the kid’s father), instead of fully realizing Black people as human beings and American citizens who fully deserve to fight for our rights. These past few years have shown so many microagressions these people have come up with, and most of them would adamantly deny if you called their behavior racist. It’s like recognizing us as humans detracts from their own humanity, in their minds. It’s sick.

    • Noirluv45

      Excellent comment, vintage!!!

    • [email protected]

      Preach Sister.

    • Mary Burrell

      Well said Vintage

  • [email protected]

    We won’t be silent.

    For a long time, tons of individuals already know that many police officers are involved in dances, some are
    involved in certain community endeavors, some take care of their families, and
    they are human beings. We are told that all of the time even when we’re kids. The
    overarching point is that the police institution as a whole must clean up its
    house. Its house is filled with corruption and injustice. The Blue Wall of Silence
    must end. When hundreds of people have been killed by the police during this
    year alone, when many police officers murder unarmed human beings with
    impunity, and when token “reforms” come about (which doesn’t solve the problem
    and it certainly doesn’t solve poverty or dilapidated housing), then we know
    what time it is. We have an emergency in America society. We see cops getting away with killing 2 black people in Cleveland. Not one has been charged after a cop killed Tamir Rice. Brothers and Sisters have been unjustly executed in our streets by the police and that’s wrong. It has been caused
    not only by decades of deindustrialization or economic oppression. It has been
    caused by the structural oppressive system that has harmed black people for
    centuries. That’s a fact. Fascistic police violence should not be sensitized or
    minimized at all. History teachers us that someone being a lover of the status
    quo will not work. We must abhor injustice, unify, mobilize, organize (in
    independent social, political, and economic organizations), and fight for the
    rights of our people. As many have talked about, pan-African unity is a
    necessity. Afro-Brazilians, Africans, Afro-Latinos, African Americans, Afrlo-French,
    Afro-British, etc. are one people.

    • Noirluv45

      As always, speak on it, brother truth!!! That’s why I love coming here. There are so many intelligent brothers and sisters on this site who get exactly what’s going on.

    • [email protected]

      Thank you Sister noirluv45. Also, this year represents the 30th year anniversary of the cop attack on the MOVE movement in Philadelphia. This year of 2015 is the year of numerous anniversaries. Yes, many Brothers and Sisters on this site are very intelligent and conscious on numerous issues.

    • Noirluv45

      Wow, is it 30 years already? Not much as changed since then has it truth?

      Clutch is one of the only sites to which adults can have, like you said, intelligent and conscious adult conversations. There some sites out there I used to visit, and I’m telling you, truth, you’d think these adults were teenagers because they act so silly.

    • [email protected]

      Yes, it is a shame that some adults have less maturity than some teenagers in real life. Time is going fast. I remember 1996 like it was yesterday. After 30 years, we still face the same system of oppression and things haven’t much changed. The good news is that we are living and we have the opportunity to do more good in the world. Clutch is a site where people can be grown and express progressive conversations on numerous issues. Many sites in the world just want irrational tensions. You will notice that many of these sites don’t advance real solutions at all.

    • Noirluv45

      Isn’t it a shame? We are supposed to be examples to the younger generation. Yes, thankfully, we do have more opportunity to do good, and it’s great to see them showcased.

      Thirty years has gone by very quickly, hasn’t it? It’s a sad fact that we do face the same situations that we did back then, but the execution by the police is something I never wouldn’t though would be sanctions. I know the history of the police force, but I never thought things like this would be allowed today.

      Clutch is truly that place you described. I agree with you about many other sites as well, truth.

    • [email protected]

      Indeed Sister.

      Thirty years ago, I was close to 2. I was a young’in. LOL. Yes, we should be an example to those of the younger generation. In many ways, the younger generation is the reflection of a lot of the fruit of the older generation. The younger generation has strength, intelligence, and passion while the older generation has experience, intelligence, and great wisdom. The combination of the younger and the older generation can reap great blessings for our community as a whole.

      It is truly sad and a shame that we are dealing with massive police brutality, massive poverty, etc. today just like in 1985. Even when I was growing up, I thought that things would be much better today too. Yet, we still fight for the Dream. We never lose hope for the Dream, but we live in the modern era as a way for us to contribute our talents in helping the world. That is what the Creator would want us to do. The path to liberation will never be totally without adversity, but once the journey is completed, it will feel so much more satisfying. The growth of social consciousness, the eating of the fresh manna of wisdom, and the following of real activism are legitimate actions to execute. If our ancestors can survive the worst experiences in human history, then we can rise and prevail as one black people.

      I agree with your last 2 sentences too. You are dropping a lot of wisdom like usual.

    • Noirluv45

      Awww, you were just a baby. LOL! Whew! Makes me feel old, indeed, truth. :-)))) You know, I appreciate you, truth, because you bring up the positives going in. I was just replying to a post by Kira (whom replied to my comment) about how many of us (including me) tend to focus on the negatives going on, but not the positives. There are so many warriors in this generation, and yes, it does reflect the older generations whom has passed down wisdom, intelligence, strength, etc. I am so proud of these warriors who are willing to stand strong and fight for their communities.

      Yes, truth, we are fighting a huge battle, but I really believe that in the long run, evil will be dealt with by God. I know many will doubt that or even that there is a God because they see what’s going on in the world, but regardless, I believe God sees all, and judgement will follow those who shed innocent blood. I don’t expect all will agree, and that’s okay.

      I really appreciate you and others on this site. Thanks, truth!

    • [email protected]

      Right on Sister.

      Back then, I was a youngster. Lol. We learn from the past and we recognize not only the heroes of the older generation, who paved the way. We acknowledge the modern heroes who are standing up against injustice today. Unity in our people from across generations and across classes makes the racists angry.

      I appreciate you too Sister. Like you, I believe in God. Miracles happening in my life and one relative predicting my future over 10 years ago certainly makes me awareness of the strength of consciousness. Yes, Sister Kira is a sincere Sister and your words to her are so sweet.

      I am not worried about you. You have helped people in real life, you are intelligent, and you’re blessed. We will stay true to our convictions and fight for justice.

    • Mary Burrell

      I appreciate you Noirluv

    • Mary Burrell

      I think some of them are teenagers

    • Noirluv45

      I think you are right, but there’s one site where many of the readers claim to be married and have children in college. I’m floored every time I read the comments.

    • Kira Johnson

      I will be graduating from college this semester and had to intern at an police department. Being that my major is in criminal justice. I went on ride along and they paired me with an officer who is African American like me. Everything was going fine until we actually started walking the streets. People started yelling at us calling us sells outs, uncles toms, and someone even spit on his uniform. What would you do if someone spit on you? Exactly. Are their horrible cops out there you better believe it. I think more needs to be shown at the cops who are making a difference in a positive way. Not just white cops but those of all races. It’s going to take a long time to rebuild the trust to a system that is largely against minorities however when all you see is constant negatively that’s all you will believe. There are a lot of African American cops who sacrifice plenty to show that they are trying to make a change in the system. Even if its small they are trying. You have to start somewhere.

    • Noirluv45

      Kira, thank you for your insight. I agree with you. It goes both ways. Just like in most things the media focuses on, the negatives get the headlines, and the positives don’t. Every once in a while they’ll show us something, but I think it’s used to manipulate us.

      Anyway, I appreciate your bringing to light the challenges as well as the positives.

    • Mary Burrell


  • Mary Burrell

    Ok, That’s nice but i see this as nothing more as a deflection tactic.

  • K.C.

    Why does that picture of the boy and that cop bug me a bit? I think it is because the boy is so desperate and the cop is so heroic. I wish the image was of a heroic black boy holding a cop in need. I don’t know. Just seems out of touch a bit.

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