Are Black and Latino neighborhoods treated like Occupied Territory?

According to The Call for the 16th Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression, and the Criminalization of a Generation throughout "the U.S., Black, Latino, and poor neighborhoods are treated like occupied territory by increasingly militarized armies of law enforcement. People are criminalized and brutalized for their perceived status – socioeconomic, immigration, mental health, and/or racial, gender, or sexual identity. People living in our communities, especially youth, are routinely stopped, harassed, beaten, and even killed." It lists the following examples:

  • In Chicago, the home of the first Black president, police have shot 44 people so far this year, mostly youth of color, including 13-year-old Jimmell Cannon, who was shot eight times.
  • NYPD continues to stop hundreds of thousands of youth of color every year for the most minimal suspicion, fewer than 10% of which result in arrest, and far fewer in charges or conviction.
  • Police nationwide continue to kill with very little consequence. Twelve Miami cops shot at 22-year-old Raymond Herisse 100 times, then threatened those who recorded the incident, destroying their cellphones. A Tucson SWAT team shot at 26-year-old Iraq War veteran Jose Guerena over 70 times, claiming that he fired at them and then leaving him to bleed to death in his home. Both their allegations of gunfire and drug-dealing were later revealed to be false. In New York and New Jersey, at least 28 people have been killed by police since October 22 of last year, while at least 35 people have been killed by law enforcement in Washington State in the last 12 months. The killing of 22-year old Oscar Grant in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2009 resulted in a rare conviction for the officer who shot him; however, he was freed after mere months in prison, while people protesting the outrageous verdict were met with police violence and mass arrests. In the weeks following that cop’s release, SF cops killed Charles Hill, a 45-year-old homeless man, on a subway platform and 19-year old Kenneth Harding after he supposedly failed to pay a $2 train fare, then left him dying on the pavement in front of dozens of outraged witnesses. 
  • Police routinely abuse the mentally ill and disabled. Fullerton, CA cops beat to death homeless and mentally ill 27-year-old Kelly Thomas, described by many in the community as “a gentle, childlike soul.” In Fresno, CA, 28-year-old Raul Rosas, Jr. died after being tasered by police. His girlfriend said "I didn't call the Fresno County Sheriff to kill him. I called because he needed help with his mental illness.” Raul went into cardiac arrest and was denied access to three medical ambulances that showed up to assist. 
  • Recently enacted anti-immigrant laws have given police in the states of Arizona, Georgia, and Alabama sweeping powers to stop people "suspected" of being undocumented on no other basis than appearance. The hostility and racism stoked by these policies have already culminated in violence, as seen in the killing of 15-year-old Sergio Adrián Hernández Güereka by a border patrol agent and the beating death of 42-year-old Anastasio Hernández Rojas at the hands of La Migra. More than one million have been deported under the Obama administration.
  • Racially targeted mass incarceration exacerbates the criminalization and marginalization of Black people, playing the same role as the Jim Crow laws that sprang from the Virginia slave codes of 1705. In 1954, 90,000 Black people were incarcerated. Now, over 900,000 Black people are imprisoned, a tenfold increase, while the total U.S. Black population has merely doubled in the same period. The U.S. also has the highest incarceration rate worldwide, with 2.4 million people in prison.
  • Young schoolchildren are increasingly labeled and treated as criminals by school security and local police. Eight-year-old Aidan Elliot was peppersprayed and handcuffed by Colorado police, and ten-year-old Sofia Bautista was removed from her elementary school, then taken to a NYPD precinct, handcuffed, and interrogated for hours, while police nationwide continue to use tasers on students as young as six
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Are Black and Latino neighborhoods treated like Occupied Territory?

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