The news cycle constantly bombards us with sensationalized stories of crimes nationwide. Much of the reporting employs embellishments spread by police unions and cops. Every law enforcement agency in the United States does this. Even federal agencies like Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) and Border Patrol Unions adopted the culture that local and state police have employed for over a century.

From the recent framing of Black people as being responsible for the wave of smash-and-grab thefts at department stores and creating false narratives about violent crime (as we recently saw in New York City when Governor Kathy Hochul deployed the National Guard to the city’s subways amid a substantial drop in crime) to spreading blatant misinformation about the so-called border crisis, this is what has been referred to for decades as copaganda.

Meanwhile, accountability is virtually nonexistent across all agencies while funding for police continues to increase without oversight. During COVID, the Biden administration set aside $35 billion for local and state law enforcement agencies. In addition, the recent $1.2 trillion spending package gave CBP an additional $9.5 billion despite the agency having enough manpower to harass U.S. citizens, racially profile them, and question whether they’re U.S. citizens.

Similarly, police have been granted exceeding powers and access to our information without a warrant as police shootings and beatings of unarmed civilians continue to grow unabated.

San Bernadino, CA

In a recent video posted to Instagram and seen across all social media platforms, police in San Bernadino, California were seen brutally beating a Latino after pulling him over. In the video, you can see the man being brutalized despite not being able to fight back. Three officers are seen holding him down as one of them strikes him in the head with his knee several times.

While police allege the victim, Christian Cardenas Alonso, 36, is a suspect in an armed robbery, his coworker in a tattoo studio told the LA Times that there is nothing gang-related in their work and that he, Alonso, and his coworkers are innocent. His statement came after police raided the shop and alleged that Alonso and his coworkers were active gang members.

Portland, OR

Another incident in Portland, Oregon, that occurred in 2022 has recently been brought to light after a federal lawsuit was filed for the shooting of an unarmed Black man. Officers were responding to an attempted armed robbery when Immanuel “Manny” Clark was shot in the back as he ran away from police. According to the lawsuit, officers were informed by dispatch that the suspects were white.

A Multnomah County grand jury found the officer’s use of deadly force was not criminal.

Chicago, IL

On February 3, officers from the Carol Stream Police Department responded to a domestic violence call. Police entered Isaac Goodlow’s apartment and shot him while he was alone in bed when officers entered his room and shot him. He was struck in the chest and died. Goodlow’s sisters filed a lawsuit against the police department and 6 officers.

While police claimed on Facebook that they “encountered a tense, uncertain, and rapidly evolving situation, which resulted in officers discharging their weapons at the alleged domestic violence suspect,” attorney Andre M. Sloth said police entered the apartment without identifying themselves to “bust open his bedroom door” and shoot Goodlow.

Decatur, AL

On September 29, Steve Perkins was shot and killed by a Decatur police officer after a repo man called the police saying Perkins threatened him with a firearm while trying to repossess his vehicle. However, Perkins’ family says he was not behind on payments and was protecting his property and that his vehicle was not supposed to be repossessed. The family even provided receipts to prove payments for the vehicle had been processed.

Officers claimed Perkins pointed his gun at the tow truck driver and then pointed it at them when the officer shot and killed him. Video surveillance footage from a neighbor showed that Perkins did not point a weapon at officers. Instead, it showed officers arriving at the scene, yelling at Perkins to get on the ground, and immediately opening fire. The officer was later charged with murder.

On February 11, Mac Bailey Marquette, 23, pleaded not guilty through his attorney.

Conclusion

The four cases highlighted provide insight into just how common police shootings have become while also exposing the silence of the public at large. These cases were easily found via a simple search of the Associated Press website. However, if a person searches their local news sites, the abundance of cases is overwhelming.

While we sometimes see accountability, when compared to the number of cases cops get away with, justice cannot be found in an overall system of policing that breeds a culture of brutality and corruption as I and so many others have documented for decades. One thing is certain, granting law enforcement, whether local, state, or federal, billions of dollars in funding without any accountability measures is untenable for a so-called “civil” society.

Slowly but surely police continue to infringe on our rights. And nobody likes that.


The Antagonist Magazine is a project made up of journalists, activists, and writers focused on amplifying the stories of marginalized communities. The goal is to educate the public by sharing narratives focused on independent voices. Born of an online community in 2019, our platform operates independently; free of corporate influence. Please consider supporting the work of dozens of writers from various communities.

Arturo Dominguez

Arturo is an anti-racist political nerd. He is an upcoming author, journalist, advocate for social justice, and a married father of three. He is a top writer on Medium and a regular contributor to several news media outlets. He writes educational and informative material about systemic racism, white supremacy, and racial injustice.

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