The following report and photo was anonymously sent to It’s Going Down.
As the neoliberal establishment works diligently to fashion Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba as a radical criminal justice reformer, the police state in Jackson, Miss. continues to terrorize, maim and murder residents with impunity. What makes the Jackson Police Department’s brutality especially crude and sadistic is that they practice an extreme level of violence under the guise of protecting and serving residents. 61-year-old George Robinson was brutally beaten and eventually died as a result of injuries sustained at the hands of JPD officers practicing gestapo-like occupation tactics while searching for suspects in connection to the killing of a local preacher that happened earlier in the day.
Local residents fed up with the level of violence continuously exacted on residents took to the side of a building located on West Capitol Street to send an artistic and strong message to the police state in Jackson that many who are harassed and harrowed by them may feel, but have yet to express publicly. Messages such as “Fuck the police”, “down with pigs” and “R.I.P. George Robinson” adorn the white wall located next door to Stew Pot.
Recently, local media outlets have given an inordinate amount of media coverage to acts of violence and other forms of anti-social behavior leading many residents into a frenzy of fear, distrust of one another and isolation. The climate of sensationalism around crime and violence in Jackson has led some to believe that the police state holds the answer to bringing a halt to anti-social behavior and victimization. However, we know that the institution of policing only exists as an institution of social control and domination to ensure that violence does not spill over into and disturb the more affluent parts of Jackson. This is why we say fuck the pigs.
The death of George Robinson illustrates how the origins of violence and criminality is rooted in policing institutions and governing institutions themselves. Police cannot and will not stop violence. They can only perpetuate violence as seen in the manner that Jackson police officers have killed residents with impunity only to have their identities covered up by the government who claims to serve the people.
It is the police and governing apparatus that maintains the status quo that holds a monopoly on crime and violence while operating under the false pretense of protecting and serving. The only thing that police protect and serve is the illegitimate power of those who rule over us. This power is illegitimate because it robs the people of self-determination while feigning that it represents the interests of people. It represents the consolidation of power and resources in the hands of the few to the detriment of the many.
There must be a redefinition of violence. Impoverishing and economically exploiting members of the community is violent. Allowing people to starve and go with housing is violence. Psychologically crippling people through mis-education, false propaganda and social indoctrination is violence. We believe that cutting programs like recycling that aid in preserving our environment is violence. We believe that caging people and violating their human rights is violence. All of these forms of violence are overseen by institutions that are deemed legitimate such as government and police. Ultimately, the violence of these institutions begets the violence that gets reported every day in the media.
The only way to eradicate something is to go to the root of the problem which is by definition and etymology the very meaning of radical. Expanding the occupation and surveillance of communities with cameras and other forms of technology is no solution. Such false reforms only seek to further entrench a culture of isolation and distrust among the community. Anything short of abolishing the police and placing the responsibility of people’s lives in their own hands is an exercise in futility. Decade after decade of reform has proven that reformism is a dead end to any progress for the planet its inhabitants. The “criminal justice” reforms being proposed by the municipal government in Jackson are dead ends and designed to maintain the status quo of law and order so that those who rule can continue to do so and those who are subjugated will remain in a subordinate status. Such reforms will not make anyone any safer. We only have to look at the victims of police state violence as proof.