By Rady Ananda
Neither the Dolton Police Dept. nor the Academy for Learning will talk about the criminal brutality that occurred when an Illinois police officer punched Marshawn Pitts in the face several times, then slammed him onto the floor, crushing him beneath his weight. Marshawn suffered a broken nose and immediately transferred out of this school for special needs kids. The beating by the officer, who is three times his size, was punishment for an untucked shirt.
This must be common fare for the school, as the video shows an adult woman walking by the beating without stopping. The “face down take down,” a tactic which has killed at least 20 students in states that report such info, is illegal in eight states, but not in Illinois. Video by cbs2chicago.com:
In Brutalizing Kids: Painful Lessons in the Pedagogy of School Violence, Henry A. Giroux recognizes larger – societal – forces at play:
“The brutalizing behavior exhibited by this unhinged police officer would be better understood as symptomatic of a set of larger forces in American society that are increasingly defining kids through a youth crime complex that touches almost every aspect of their lives – extending from the streets they walk on to the schools and community centers in which they spend most of their time….
“The tragic death of 16-year-old Chicago student, Derrion Albert, captured on video recently; the 34 school age children that have been killed in Chicago this school year; the 290 wounded in 2008; and the fact that one recent study states that 61 percent of all school children are exposed to varying degrees of violence speaks to the culture of violence that young people face everyday both in and out of schools.”
I would add that police brutality has become endemic in our society, to wit: the 2008 National Conventions in Denver and St. Paul of the Democratic and Republican parties, as well as the recent use of sonic weapons against defenseless and lawful protesters at the G20 Summit in Pittsburgh.
The danger we all face from the current brutal regime is ever present – any time any one of us catches the lunatic eye of those in uniform. Yes, people of color face their own brand of brutality, but so does anyone who speaks out against government policy. Tyranny seems to be the New World Order. Yet, We the People are the only ones who can stop this; it is up to us. Megan ‘Verb’ Kargher joins countless others in calling for Non Compliance. And, Bob Koehler recently wrote in Power with, Power over:
“We can make this a different sort of world, and the simplest, perhaps the only, way to begin is by altering our relationship with power, and with each other.”