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Cherrell Brown: American Policing ‘Founded on anti-Blackness’

Community organizer Cherrell Brown argued, “no black person in America has reason to believe that they are going to be safe in the midst of police officers,” and US policing “is founded on anti-blackness, on slave patrols” on Saturday’s “Melissa Harris-Perry” on MSNBC.

Brown, in a discussion on the death of Rekia Boyd in Chicago, and the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, stated, “no black person in America has reason to believe that they are going to be safe in the midst of police officers.”

Later, after the discussion had broadened to include to the Tampa Police Department’s citations for bicycle violations, and the fact that Baltimore’s police commissioner and mayor are black she said, “I think that white supremacy is so insidious and ingrained in this institution that you don’t even have to have a white person around, right? To have white supremacy play out.” And “with an institution like American policing, that I believe is founded on anti-blackness, on slave patrols, there are things that are so institutionally ingrained in terms of how we police communities, that are anti-black. They may not say specifically in the language, in the words, that they’ll stop and target black people, but when you do this type of proactive policing, much akin to stop and risk…these disproportionately [effect] black and brown and poor communities. So, these things are not only racist, they are also classist. And this would be almost comical, this story here in Tampa, if it wasn’t so scary. You have 11-year-olds, boys as young as 11 being stopped on their bikes in Tampa. This isn’t building trust, this is introducing children to the criminal justice system at an early age.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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