Defender Associate Editor, Aswad Walker

ARKANSAS ‘GOOD COPS’

Every time a police officer is recorded beating the hell out of (or killing) someone for no reason, and the community demands police reform, the Blue Lives Choir sings its standard tune: “But most cops are good cops. It’s just a few bad apples that give cops a bad name.” Okay, if we extend that logic to Derek Chauvin’s murder of George Floyd, at least three of those four cops who stood by and did nothing were the good cops. Right?

Crawford County (Arkansas) deputies Zack King and Levi White and Mulberry police officer Thell Riddle seen here beating Randal Worcester. The officers have been suspended pending an investigation. Screenshot image.


With Randal Worcester being kicked, kneed, punched a gazillion times, and having his head smashed into the concrete over and over by three Arkansas State Police, “good cop” logic asserts that at least two of them were “good cops,” because “most cops are good cops.” Either that or this idea of “good cops” is a BS copout. Good cops call out crime, even by their brothers and sisters in blue. There’s only been a handful of them. And they all lost their jobs, because I’m assuming all those other “good cops” who could have defended them either caught amnesia or laryngitis.

WHERE YOUR TREASURE IS…

“Put your money where your mouth is.” “Where your treasure is, there your heart is also.” “What we really believe in (love) we invest in.” These three sayings are all teaching us the same lesson: follow the money. Or follow the votes and actions that money buys. Because that will tell you better than folks’ words what they really love. Texas gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke recently tweeted, “Students and teachers are walking back into their classrooms this morning with no laws in this state having changed since Uvalde.”

In other words, all Gov. Greg Abbott’s talk about “thoughts and prayers” for all those Texas mass shooting victims over the years has been nothing but yakkity-doc. NRA money has bought and paid for Abbott’s inactions on gun reform, and our children are less safe because of it. Sitting out the upcoming election is not an option. If we really love our children, voting is just one of many things we must do to truly invest in their safety, regardless of what Abbott does or doesn’t do.

NEW DEFINITIONS

Recently, “Devil’s Advocate” author Andrew Neiderman appearing on “The Beat with Ari Melber,” and said, “What we’re seeing in America today is the standard of behavior has changed. Winning has become the new ‘good,’ and losing has become the new ‘evil.’” The result? Anything goes — lying, denying facts, distorting truths, being a hypocrite—as long as you win. SCOTUS nominees lying to Congress about promising not to touch Roe v. Wade, and then overturning it when in power, is viewed by some not as lying to Congress (which is illegal), but rather as “winning” and thus “good.”

Now, if anyone needs some wins it’s Blackfolk. But I’m not suggesting we adopt the “anything-goes” approach of these devils and their advocates. I’m saying we need to reject the idea that “power” is inherently evil, and realize that “power” is neutral. It depends on who has it and how they use it. Only power, institutional and otherwise, can protect us from folk who will sell “they” mama’s souls to “win” at our expense.