Author Anthony Peyton Porter spoke for people of color at the Sept. 24 presentation of a police reform plan by Concerned Citizens for Justice. Following is his complete statement, which he provided to ChicoSol:
Colored people are disproportionally harassed and killed by police; we know that. We’re at least easy to spot, one reason black people were such a hit in the slavery business.
Racial discrimination is a problem for most of us, one way and another. Overall, the problem with the police is bigger than racial bigotry, because cops can kill anybody for any reason, even white people.
Like Topsy, police forces just grew -— no plan, no public input, and definitely no transparency. That’s enough of that.
Corrupt police are assets for the punishment industry, along with jaded judges, half-assed public defenders, and power-addicted prosecutors.
We don’t trust the police because the institution is untrustworthy, not to mention biased and secretive. Any particular cop might be an honorable, honest, compassionate human, and any officer should be able to demonstrate that.
My interactions with Chico police have been good. That’s right. I’ve met compassionate, honorable officers, so I know they’re not all bullies, sadists, and cowards.
Citizen oversight that includes the power to hire and fire is a step in the right direction. Technically, we have citizen oversight via our votes, the council, and the city manager, and it doesn’t amount to a bucket of warm spit -— there are too many layers between our votes and any officer, and the Advisory Board is mostly the chief’s fan club.
I can imagine educated police officers with degrees in the humanities and training in a martial art. You’d need a master’s degree to carry a gun. Meanwhile, citizen oversight is a very good idea. And thank God for video. Keep your phones charged.