NJRR Live - Out of Control: Afrika Patrols Cops
Joe or Schmoe August 2021 Edition
Host Brian Powers begins by welcoming comrade and co-host Christian Perez to the stream. Christian is a staple in one of our favorite segments, Joe or Schmoe! We are now 8 months into 2020. What do we have to show for it?
One of Mr. Biden’s most recent moves was to extend the COVID-19 eviction moratorium until October. Although this is ostensibly a good move, it fails to address the root cause of homelessness and mass evictions in this country. Overall, the action amounts to a distraction. Christian reiterates that Biden is a low-energy president who refuses to take large-scale action to improve the lives of everyday Americans.
Another disappointment from Joe the Schmoe as of late is his decision to approve the deployment of bombs in Somalia. Biden has added yet another country to the list of those he’s terrorized. His behavior is directly leading to loss of human life and taking us down a path of global strife. Overall, our second Joe or Schmoe concludes in a firm judgment of Schmoe.
As our government fails us, it can feel like there’s no one to turn to. That’s where your comrades at the grassroots come in. Don’t forget to contribute to independent media if you are able: it helps us produce more and better content. Support us so we can support activism.
Afrika is here with us tonight from Newark, New Jersey. Afrika has been practicing activism in the streets, monitoring police activity by recording video. Brain cues several of these videos, in which we can see police without bodycams, police without uniform, police assaulting civilians on the street, and more disturbing content. “The police are whooping ass in our community,” laments Afrika.
Why is it that the police need patrolling? Community members should feel protected by cops, not that they need to protect themselves against them. And, significantly, at what point does a traffic stop become harassment? One of the videos that Afrika showed depicted a lineup of cops lying strategically in wait to stop people in the street for minor traffic infractions. Afrika reports that local courtrooms in majority-white towns are filled with 70-80% ethnic minorities. Where is the line between appropriate law enforcement and abuse of power? Let’s see what Bennet Zurofsky, Esq. thinks as he joins us tonight.
Bennet Zurofsky, Esq.
Bennet Zurofsky is an attorney who practiced in Newark, New Jersey for many years defending activists and unions in court. He says that some of the work that is done by police at traffic stops is indeed appropriate. The question is whether the cops are being deployed for proper or improper purposes. Bennet concedes that some of these stops likely are perfectly legitimate and lawful examples of law enforcement. However, he also agrees that there are police officers who try to stretch the law too far. An example of an improper purpose, according to Bennet, would be trying to raise money for the town by collecting as much money as they can using things such as ticket quotas.
Police have a stark advantage in court when the only evidence is word-of-mouth testimony. That is a huge part of why body cams, and the type of work that Afrika is doing, are so important. As a lawyer, Bennet says that it is less likely for law professionals to take cases where there is not substantial evidence against police. This is because these legal fights are high risk low reward, often raking up hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees for a potential settlement of a few thousand dollars. The legal system in this country is skewed steeply in the favor of cops.
-Leah Giannantonio, for the Revolution Radio Network
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