When to Call (or Not call) the Police Campaign Vote Pad:
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Description of When to Call (or Not call) the Police Campaign Vote: 
citizens are calling the police for a lot more reasons that are not justified in the context of how it effects black citizens.  In over half of the recent incidents, normal everyday citizens, have called 911 (the police), and it ends up with an unarmed black man being shot dead for no reason.  In other words the police did not take action on their own, they were told to come for some reason or an other by normal everyday citizens.  Currently in the national protests of the Michael Brown shooting, we are protesting almost exclusively against the police and government, which is not wrong, we just want to make sure we are looking at ALL possible components of the problem.  Obviously we all know the police are responsible for these deaths, but realistically they are not the only ones who have some responsibility.  Lets review a few of the more high profile cases starting with Tamir Rice, the  unarmed 12-year old black boy who was shot dead after just 1-2 seconds from when police arrived. 
    First of all, it is 100% legal for a person, albeit 18 or over, to have a gun.  Let me repeat, it is 100% legal for someone to have a gun, but when it is a black man, or black boy in this case, the cops shoot to kill with no other consideration.    Additionally it also seems that in our country that only white people can have guns, they can publicly display them in stores and malls across america, and have even pointed them at cops and not gotten shot.  Yet if your black, it doesn't matter if you have a gun, a toy gun, or are unarmed, you still get shot dead by cops.  Check out this video if you want a little bit of evidence: http://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2014/06/dash_cam_footage_from_open_car.html
    So back to Tamir Rice.   The boy was playing in the park, and an onlooker "sitting in the gazebo", in the same gazebo where the boy was eventually shot dead, the onlooker could see Tamir close by, and called 911 to report a boy playing in the park "with a gun".  First of all, obviously the 911 caller had no concern, was sitting within "range" of the boy playing.  If the 911 caller truly feared for their life, they would have been running away from the park.  Yet instead the caller, most likely an african american women, was sitting near by the boy when making the call. Furthermore the 911 operator failed to mention to the police officers that went to the scene that the caller said that the gun may be fake.  In the end it is up to the police to consider the environment and scene before taking action, especially violent action, but we also must remember that the role of the 911 operator, as well as the caller are also involved in the polices decision making at the scene.  In this situation you have a classic case of a story being distorted.  The original observer miss-interpreted what they saw, called 911 and escalated a seemingly harmless situation, and then the 911 caller further escalated the situation by not mentioning to the officer that the caller said the gun may be fake.  By the time the interpretation gets to the officer it has already been hugely exaggerated, and then the officer themselves can already be imagining terrible outcomes of a gunman on the loose in a neighborhood park and further escalates the situation to the point where the boy is shot within 1-2 seconds of the officers getting on scene.  If we truly want to change our system, we must change each and every part of how the situation escalates, maybe officers should have immediate and direct access to listen to 911 caller recordings so there is NO possible miss information between the caller and the operator in how it is relayed (if there is time for the police officer to listen on their driv
e to the scene.)  Lastly it is important to note that the officers who came to the scene initially lied when they stated that they got out of their car and reviewed the situation and saw the boy pull the gun out of his pants and point it at them before they shot.  The video released after their reporting shows that they lied and shot the boy dead within 1-2 second of arriving and left him there to die for 4.5 minutes before an FBI agent came to administer first aid. Here's a link for more info on Tamir's killing: http://gawker.com/the-smear-campaign-against-12-year-old-killed-by-cops-h-1664355755
    Now lets look at the case of John Crawford III, who was shot in a ohio wall mart while holding an unloaded bebe gun that he was considering purchasing from the shelves of the store.  In this case a 911 caller named Ronald Ritchie, (white) said that a black man was "pointing" a gun at shoppers.  We can already assume what the 911 operator relayed to the police and what the police officer assumed when they came on the scene and shot the black man within seconds of entering the Walmart.  Yet again we have the same situation where the official police report says that the black man was "reaching for the gun and turning in an aggressive way".  But because Walmart had video of the entire event, and it is clear that the man did not reach for his gun, or turn towards the officer before they started shooting.  Additionally there is video evidence that the man did not ever point the gun at anyone in the store.  The question really comes down to weather or not the 911 caller, Ronald Richie may also have some liability in John Crawford III's death, along with the inability of the 911 operator to consider that the caller was not relaying the whole story, and the officer who did not review the scene and understand the situation for himself before just shooting to kill. Links to more info: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/30/police-officer-shot-john-crawford-walmart-lied-victims-mother-says
    Now lets go to the Michael Brown case where no one would have died if a customer within a convince store had not called 911 and reported a "robbery".  In almost every news report of the Michael Brown shooting, the media reports that before he was shot dead by Daren Wilson, he robbed a connivence store of some swisher sweets.  To have committed a crime you MUST have been charged with a crime and convicted of that crime.  Michael Brown not only was not convicted of robbery, he was never charged with robbery.  Additionally the worker of the convenience store NEVER even accused Michael Brown of robbing his store. In fact there are some people who believe the video evidence even shows the two men paying for the swisher sweets before they left, and it was the store clerk who first made contact against the man in the video before being pushed back.  Additionally some people even say that wasn't Michael Brown in the video.  Anyway you look at it, it is all very odd that everyone says that Michael Brown robbed a store and the store clerk never reported a robbery.  So how did the cops even find out, an other citizen in the store, not the clerk, called 911 and reported what they thought was a robbery.  Was it actually a robbery? Well by all legal accounts of a robbery, it 100% was not a robbery in any way, because there is NO report from the store that anything was ever robbed, and still to this day the store will state they can not confirm a robbery or that it was even Michael Brown.  If you ask any insurance company or lawyer if you can make a legal claim that you were robed and want legal insurance from your losses, you will get NOTHING unless you file a report of the robbery itself.  You can not prove a robbery happened if nothing was ever reported as robbed.  Even if Michael Brown did steel from the convenience store, is that any reason to shoot an unarmed black man, no way.  Based on the other two stories, we can already figure that Daren Wilson's account of the shoo
ting is at least embellished if not a lie, just like the other two police reports.  The only difference is that there is NO video evidence this time, but 90% of the eyewitness testimony all goes against Daren Wilson's story.  Here is a graphic of all the eyewitness testimony, and you can see that 90% of the eyewitnesses stated that Michael Brown had his hands up, which directly contradicts Daren Wilson.  http://www.vox.com/xpress/2014/11/26/7295595/eyewitnesses-ferguson-grand-jury?utm_medium=social&utm_source=email&utm_campaign=vox&utm_content=article-share-top
    So what these 3 stories tell us is that we have a systematic disconnect between reality and the process of citizens calling 911, that information being relayed to police officers, and then police officers taking correct action is not possible.  To top all that off, we have a system where there is NO need what-so-ever for police officers to tell the truth in their reporting, and at the same time we have a system that systematically believes police testimony and reporting over any citizen eyewitnesses.  The only way that citizens have anyway of protecting themselves is video recordings, and police do everything they can to prevent legal recordings by citizens.  Yet even when there is video evidence, the system still gives the benefit of the doubt to the police officers.  We all know that in court that all citizen eyewitness accounts can be completely ignored and easily discredited, especially when an officer account is in conflict. So then why do 911 operators and police believe whatever a citizen says when calling 911, and then exaggerate it further themselves beyond what is said if a black man is involved?  What we need is a system where police officers are NOT told to believe exactly what is going on according to witnesses, and to objectively evaluate the scene when they arrive and report back before making rash decisions.  Furthermore we need to encourage citizens to actively consider the outcomes of their actions, and only call the police if they truly believe that they are in danger, and have no other way to deal with the problem.  Most black people will tell you that they will only call the police as a last resort, most white people have a very different reaction to the police.  We wish that our police system didn't have the flaws it currently has, and that it could deal with the errors made by citizens when calling, but that is currently not the case, so call the police when needed, and lean on the side of safety, but also consider talking to other adults 
nearby and ask them what they think as well.  Sometimes a single persons point of view is biased and it is important to get other peoples perspectives before taking action.  An other way to think about it, is that every time police shoot an unarmed black man, it reduces the ability for 911 emergency services to protect our communities because citizens will choose not to call 911 because of their fear of the police, and the possibility they will just make the situation worse.  This is not good for us, its not good for the police, and its not good for our communities, but it is a reality we must accept, and use that to help catalyze political change.
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