Over city streets
last breaths of pain and fear, of desolation
gather, accusing the living
of all the peace not sowed,
all the justice not pursued,
the healing still to do
from every Tricia who planted seeds for all to enjoy,
from every Moe who sought to stop retaliations,
from every individual whose end came through violence
fill the air we share, pressing:
Will we inhale these precious molecules, fueling
transformation in the name of the lost,
infusing our blood to act for change overdue?
Or will they drop, unheeded
like more lead,
sent to crush us all?
–December 30, in honor of
Maurice Moe Benton, former Peaceoholic & nephew of Ronald Moten,
and Tricia McCauley, teacher to many
and the too many lost to violence
in Washington DC and around the world
“This is a healing model for us as a community,” said April Goggans, looking out on a candle-lit circle of community members outside Marbury Plaza on November 1. The vigil marked the one-year anniversary of the death of Alonzo (Zo) Fiero Smith, age 27, who died following an encounter with special police officers (SPOs) at the apartment complex, 2300 Good Hope Road….” Read the rest in attached PDF EOTR 11/16— html version coming soon) or on-line at Capital Community News
Beverly Smith, mother of Alonzo, with other “Concerned Mothers”
Gina Best, mother of India Kager, killed by Virginia Beach police, at vigil for Alonzo Smith in DC.
from Coalition of Concerned Mothers (L-R): Bernie McFadden, Darlene Cain, Cynthia DeShola Dawkins, Marion Gray-Hopkins, Rhanda Dormeus
This article is the latest in a series on private policing and #Justice4Zo. Few additional photos here.
My series on policing, with a focus on special (private) police and communities of color, is appearing in East of the River, a Capital Community Newspaper.
Across the US, many individuals with badges, often armed, are accountable to no one except their private employer. Accountability and regulation of private security was found wanting in a report produced for the US Department of Justice in 1971:
Licensing and regulation of private security businesses and employees is, at best, minimal and inconsistent, and, at worst, completely absent. Sanctions are rarely invoked. Moreover current tort, criminal, and constitutional law has not been adequate — substantively or procedurally — to control certain problem areas involving private security activities, such as arrests, use of firearms, and investigations. Finally, current law has not provided adequate remedy for persons injured by actions of private security personnel.
— “Private Police Findings and Recommendations,”
Rand Corporation for the US DOJ, 1971. p. viii (full report link below)
The biggest change in 45 years has been the size of the security industry: estimated at 400,000 in 1971 and closer to two million now.