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The Police Officer’s Family is the Police Department

Did you have a chance to see this article in the NY Times?  The articles says that the involvement of Police Officer Clarence Habersham in the shooting of Walter Scott in North Charleston, South Carolina interferes with the racial narrative of white police officers brutalizing black civilians.  The narrative, however, is false.  While people of color are overwhelmingly the victims of police abuse, police officers are part of a fraternity and culture that can transcend racial and ethnic identity. A system of ostracization and physical threat against officers who report the misconduct of their fellow officers, or who simply refuse to assist in the cover up, is an old policing story.  The “Blue Wall of Silence” was exposed explosively by Detective Frank Serpico in the early 1970’s, and revealed again just recently when Police Officer Adrian Schoolcraft was picked up at home by police officers and dumped at a psychiatric hospital when he blew the whistle on arrest quotas. Police departments reflect the culture – created over time — of the power structure they serve.  A history of racist policies in City Hall will often be reflected in the actions of police officers regardless of race.  If, as claimed by some, Officer Habersham placed a taser next to Scott’s body to suggest a struggle with Officer Slager, it should come as no surprise; indeed, it is behavior consistent with dominant police culture in the United States.  Police officers must be reminded through training, monitoring, and disciplining that the community they serve is the public, not each other.

Founding partner Leo Glickman has a long track record of holding the powerful accountable and fighting for progressive candidates and causes. Mr. Glickman represents candidates for Statewide and Citywide offices as well as many candidates for local legislative positions.

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