The most recent incident between a police officer and Black, law-abiding citizens took place in Homewood. Two Black men, an educator and a photographer allegedly became victims of a police officer. The educator was arrested and charged and the photographer was mentally if not physically abused.

Are these ongoing, atrocious acts by people with awesome power a coincidence? I think not. Some of my best friends are police officers and I have had many discussions with them over the years, with Black and White officers, and the physiological changes that have taken place varies. Then there are those law abiding gainfully employed citizens living in the suburbs, who believe the police are always right—until it happens to them or theirs.

Over the years the need has existed for me to remind some people who moved up and out to the suburbs about the quote by Malcolm X. Do you remember? “You may have graduated magnum cum laude from Howard or Harvard University, but to some people you are just a smart N——R.”

I remember an occasion that I was riding with Inspector Muggsy Moore and a police officer that was directing traffic, failed to recognize the inspector and cussed him out before he realized who it was. He apologized.

You have heard me say over the years that police have the power to arrest, imprison or to kill and generally with impunity. Police work can be dangerous, but in my estimation more psychological than physical. One of my previous tasks was to help evaluate potential police candidates, and frequently those whom I thought would pass the psychological tests would fail and those I thought would fail would pass. In 2012 I appeared before Pittsburgh City Council with a proposal to make some possible changes in the hiring policy relating to police officers; it was ignored. It is my sincere belief that Pittsburgh should extend the probationary period for the official hiring of a police officer. After police officers have graduated from the police academy and worked on the streets for a year they should be required to take another psychological exam before their position can become permanent.

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