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Blue Lines, Shaded in Black and Brown: The Diallo Shooting, Race and Politics
Unformatted Document Text:  13 commanders. They said, “I want two cops on patrol from every precinct.” Okay? So what my precinct commander does? I'm a police sergeant. He takes two of the guys from my squad who are the biggest screw-ups and goes, “This is a great opportunity to get rid of these guys.”You know, maybe the majority of commanders said, “Take my two best guys and give them this opportunity.” But the two best guys only had two years on the job. And so you've got two guys who work in Central Park precinct, who've never seen a crime, basically. So I know from personal experience he took the two biggest screw-ups I have. The two biggest, heavy-handed, don't-know-how-to-talk-to-people screw-ups. Who I was always on, always on. So, this happened once, this happens twenty times. So they flood the unit. They flood this unit with people who don't know how to do the work. And very dangerous, very specific work. I won’t address the premise that “getting guns off the streets” is best facilitated by placing white cops in black and Hispanic neighborhoods. Decisions like these beg questions so circular and deep-seated in institutional and perceptual realities that I leave them for another paper. But Sid’s analysis brings together the facts on the ground: a dangerous unit flooded with unprepared personnel and empowered to step outside the bounds of life-valuing policing, all in a context that is highly charged with racial dynamics on both cultural and institutional levels: mix well and you get the deaths of young black and brown men, across the nation, again and again and again. And from those deaths there arises an escalating sense of devaluation of a whole people – President Obama to the contrary notwithstanding. Judging these cases as acts by individuals toward other individuals, the picture so often presented to us, distracts attention from the frame, the underlying, persistent dynamics of racism and militarily construed

Authors: Roy, Beth.
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commanders. They said, “I want two cops on patrol from every 
precinct.” Okay? So what my precinct commander does? I'm a 
police sergeant. He takes two of the guys from my squad who 
are the biggest screw-ups and goes, “This is a great 
opportunity to get rid of these guys.”
You know, maybe the majority of commanders said, “Take my 
two best guys and give them this opportunity.” But the two 
best guys only had two years on the job. And so you've got 
two guys who work in Central Park precinct, who've never 
seen a crime, basically. 
So I know from personal experience he took the two biggest 
screw-ups I have. The two biggest, heavy-handed, don't-know-
how-to-talk-to-people screw-ups. Who I was always on, always 
on. So, this happened once, this happens twenty times. So 
they flood the unit. They flood this unit with people who don't 
know how to do the work. And very dangerous, very specific 
I won’t address the premise that “getting guns off the streets” is best 
facilitated by placing white cops in black and Hispanic neighborhoods. 
Decisions like these beg questions so circular and deep-seated in 
institutional and perceptual realities that I leave them for another paper. But 
Sid’s analysis brings together the facts on the ground: a dangerous unit 
flooded with unprepared personnel and empowered to step outside the 
bounds of life-valuing policing, all in a context that is highly charged with 
racial dynamics on both cultural and institutional levels: mix well and you get 
the deaths of young black and brown men, across the nation, again and 
again and again.  And from those deaths there arises an escalating sense of 
devaluation of a whole people – President Obama to the contrary 
notwithstanding. Judging these cases as acts by individuals toward other 
individuals, the picture so often presented to us, distracts attention from the 
frame, the underlying, persistent dynamics of racism and militarily construed 

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