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By now I hope at least some of you have heard of Javier Payne, a 14-year-old black boy from the Bronx who was attacked by the NYPD last weekend as he was walking home from a hookah shop in his neighborhood.
Cops said he was fighting with another boy, a 13-year-old neighbor in the area.
So what do you do when two boys are fighting?
Well, if you’re the NYPD, and the boys in question are black, you throw one of them through a window, puncturing his lung. As he lies there with blood filling his lungs, you handcuff him and refuse to call an ambulance. When you do call an ambulance, you enter the protocol for an adult drunk, instead of a dying child. When the ambulance comes, you refuse to let the paramedics uncuff him. Even as the paramedics explain that this boy is dying, you argue that he’s faking it and that he deserves to die there on the street for fighting with another boy. When you finally do let the paramedics uncuff him and take him to the hospital, you fail to report that you threw him through a glass window despite dozens of eye-witnesses reporting the opposite. When you are called upon by the community to account for your actions, you decide to do an “internal investigation” - therefore being accountable to no one outside your division. You encourage the deregulation of police conduct and refuse to let outsiders investigate how you train your officers.
And what do you do, if you’re a concerned citizen who is tired of seeing this? You write Bill de Blasio and you ask him to start an outside investigation into police brutality. Or at least that’s what I did. And if you want to cosign what I wrote him, you can do that here. And if you want to signal boost that for Javier Payne, you can do that too. You can sign my petition letter here.
NOT OKAY. Police need to held accountable. Not only for their violence in general, but especially for their violence against black boys in particular.