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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Broken Insignia

Clenaure Carter Iraq
  Before I point to the issues of the Dorner and LAPD tragedies. Let me share a personal story one that I rarely share with others outside of my immediate family. I was once a victim of police brutality, never committed a crime a simple case of wrong place, wrong time. In 2004 I was in the United States Air Force and working a late shift at America’s favorite wing spot Buffalo Wild Wings located on Craig Rd in North Las Vegas Nevada. It was midnight the desert air giving way to a beautiful cloudless sky eight miles north of the Las Vegas strip. I arrived home and a close friend of mine asked if he could borrow my keys to take a simple drive to a local corner store. As I looked into his eyes I decided to do the right thing and take him to a store located on Craig Rd. As we arrived to the store we noticed a few friends and we chopped it up for a while. As we walked back to the vehicle, Police Officers arrived and immediately ordered the group of young African Americans to place our hands on the hood of the officers vehicle. What happened over the course of the next 5-10 minutes changed my life forever. 

               A Sergeant for the North Las Vegas Police Department directed me to come over to his side of the vehicle. As I walked over I showed the officer the tall Anglo-Saxon police officer my military issued United States Air Force ID Card and let him know I was unaware of any issues. The officer proceeded to choke me, as I started to gag and blackout from the choking I immediately fought the officer off of my neck. After fighting the officer off he reached for his weapon. Instantly I warned the officer of the grave mistake he was going to make shooting an innocent African American male (Yes I did).  I caught myself realizing the situation and immediately turned around placing my hands on the side of the officer’s vehicle. While facing the vehicle, I noticed the officer from my peripheral preparing to squirt me with mace and moved out of the way at that moment backup officers jumped my back. Beating me to the ground with Batons and Tasers, I was arrested and spent several days in jail awaiting my bail hearing (it was Friday night). Bail was set that Monday morning and by Wednesday night around 11:50 I was released.

Following my release I called internal affairs the charges were bogus and made up. I needed answers like why was the officer there at the scene and treating us like criminals, thugs, pieces of dirt, human scrape meat, dogs without training. I was told officers were responding to an armed robbery. There was no robbery; there were no weapons, no stolen items, there was nothing. Several months later with accommodating letters from my military commander and the help of an excellent supervisor who never once questioned my innocence. Charges were dropped from the case and records sealed.

Christopher Dorner Navy Officer
That day left me with severe back issues that would later lead to a medical retirement from the United States Air Force. After 11yrs of military service tours in Iraq and a Humanitarian Award from Hurricane Katrina I was released into a strange world. With nowhere to turn I enrolled into the Criminal Justice Bachelor of Science program at Herzing University in Atlanta GA. No I didn't want to be a cop or county sheriff. I attended college so I could learn the mind of those officers that beat me that night some six years ago.  Why? Because those officers left me disabled and the beatings left me with Degenerative Disc Disease.

So when Christopher Dorner a Navy military service officer says he was dismissed from the LAPD and the United States military because he reported officer brutality. It strikes memories of that dark Las Vegas night when innocent servicemen and veterans were simply having a conversation at a Shell gas station. This is my story but there are many like it, many that have been mistreated by the local police department. Mistreated by those whose duty is to protect and serve the community. No I don't condone the killings of innocent officers or the hostage taking of women in a cabin. I simply write this because the justice system needs to change. As we discuss gun violence in America lets also discuss the gun violence and brutality of those whose duty is to protect and serve our community. All I wanted to do that night was shake some Buffalo Wings and assist a friend at a local store. All Dorner wanted to do was set the record straight on police brutality in America. Yet Tuesday night February 12th 2013 those same officers who were to protect and serve set fire to a cabin where Dorner was located roasting him to a charred crisp on World Wide television as CNN, FOX, ABC, MSNBC and other media outlets watched and Americans citizens stood in silence.
Baton Welts on Lower Back

My hearts goes out to every family member affected by the tragedy and pray for all the victims of the mindless acts. At the same time let’s not be fooled by the prejudice displayed by those behind the badge in order to eradicate an issue you must first look at the root of the problem. The American Justice system must be fixed, as these incidents of police brutality continue to mount. It's time for a systematic and progressive change in America to fix the broken insignia.





P.S. You can take my back but you can't take my voice.... 

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