Yesterday, I had the opportunity to attend the “Millions March” against police brutality with Milton X. Trujillo’s Atlas: DIY organization, and was struck by a number of things. First, the behavior of the cops — while unbelievably arrogant and entitled in the wake of 2 homicides, and possibly murders, for which no one will be held accountable — is quite different from what I was used to.
About a decade ago, I’d attend pretty much every protest in NYC, and was sure to see belligerence, cowardliness, and downright evil from the cops’ direction every time. On Saturday, however, it was clear that much of the status quo had changed. Part of this is due to the cops’ hyper-sensitivity about their image at this point, and part of this came from real concern from the officers, themselves. Lots has been written of the NYC arrest quota system, there’s been exposes, there’s been black cops who are asked to ‘take sides’ (and get bullied and threatened for doing the right thing), and cops, being people, likely hate much of the same bullshit as we do. This is probably why I heard a number of officers give compliments to protesters (away from the ears of other, whiter cops, of course), for only the most deluded of black cops can ever be emotionless in the face of 2014’s slayings.
Anyway, here are the images that we took, and here’s to hoping for something better…and a little fear, where fear belongs.