People's Tribunal on Police Brutality video part 6
Collection: People's Tribunal on Police Brutality
Video Item Type Metadata
Speaking here: Alvin Brooks, Alice Ragland, William Marshall, Doc Woods
Alvin Brooks: (Audience: Gasps) And they end up taking me back to the cell block. But even something that was more dramatic than that, like, when they had me bent over the desk, one of the officers took a nightstick and do I have to tell you what they tried to do? So you know, that sort of leadership, policing…, that's not police business. See, once I was handcuffed, I was never a threat in the first place. You know, I did my little wiggling because beating me, but far as really gettin', ya know, like, ya know, some smack-down, I wasn't into that. But, ya know, they really did me some bodily harm and charged me for assaulting a police officer, charged me for marijuana, charged me for inciting a riot, ‘cause there was good three, four hundred people outside, once things got intense. So, I share this story to let y'all know that we have to project our experiences and let people know that this thing has been going on for years! I'm talkin' this is the early seventies. You know, and we have to stop ignoring that the police is always right. Sometimes they’re wrong and we can't be saying they’re right all the time, ‘cause they're not. You know, Tamir Rice, Malissa and... that wasn't right; it wasn't right. But yet, they try to convince us to believe that. I encourage everyone to, you know, ... be involved! We have moral, we have legal rights, and we not being protected by those rights. Thank you all.” (Applause)
Alice Ragland—“So, next we're gonna have a statement from William Clarence Marshall. Switched the format a little bit because some people do have to go. Instead of interjecting each time and having questions from the panel, every couple of people or every few people, we're going to do that. After William will be Doc. Doc's, um, yes. So William Clarence Marshall and then Doc.
William Marshall—“Good afternoon. (Audience: “Good afternoon.”) We cannot allow the ocean of complacency and violence, economic oppression and racism and apathetic social injustice to drown us before we reach the shoreline of freedom, justice and equality. The oars of American justice row arduously as the raft of humanity traverses the dark murky cold waters of racial violence and social indignation, indignation which seeks to drown the hopes and dreams of a nation waiting to exhale from the anchored weight of racial oppression. This nation's ship has run aground. Its moral compass cracked and off kilter. Its crew in a political abyss, moving the American people toward a choppy political trajectory of uncharted racial waters, economic trepidation and ominous social division. The predators are discrimination and sexism, poverty and police brutality, homophobia and miseducation, criminalization, 14 homelessness, hunger and racism. It is through these dark, shark-infested waters the nation's poor must navigate in a rudderless vacuum of human want, without sanctuary, as carnivorous predators metastasize in a feeding frenzy of parasitic greed. Doctor King said, ‘Always be mindful of how the least of us are treated, for therein lies the fate of us all.’ The solution to America's drowning then, is rooted in each and every one of us making a conscientious effort to row towards the shores of hope, swim towards the lighthouse of racial justice and paddle to the shoreline of human equality. Therein lies the city's social redemption. In that trajectory lay this state's moral salvation and through that portal hangs America's life-jacket, waiting to save this nation's tattered soul. God Bless You.” (This was a statement written by Genevieve Mitchell 3/2015.) (Applause)
Alice Ragland—“So next we have Doc Woods, followed by Dennis Ficker and Bernie Rolen.”
Doc Woods—“Okay, um... My grandmama told me, she said, ‘Before you listen to anybody tell you anything you're gonna use for your benefit, you first need to ask yourself, ‘Who is that sucker, and why should they know something that's gonna benefit you?’’ So, I'm going to give you about sixty seconds of who is that sucker and why should I know something that'll benefit you. I'm strange, I'm the strangest person you ever met; if you live to be two hundred, you will never meet anybody stranger than me. There's a whole lot a reasons I could tell you why that is. But most of those who know me know for a fact, I'm strange. Okay! Doc Woods. They call me that ‘cause I'm a doctor, M.D. I'm also an R.N. I also have degrees in biology, psychology, nursing medicine, music and I'm working on my second master’s in education. Not bad for a high school dropout. I told you I'm strange. I am a high school dropout. I was a prison doc in Maryland. Uh huh. Awful, awful place, awful thing. I'm not going to tell you anything about that at all. Five years ago in Cleveland I was thrown down on the ground with the rest of the members of Global Entertainment, and we were threatened to have, if you pardon the expression, ‘your goddamn brains blowed out’ by a little short white cop who had his pistol drawn, and he was serious as a heart attack. Four other policemen came approximately one minute later after one of our crew, M.C. Fame, refused to get down on the ground and they told him, ‘We got this, we got this, you go ahead.’ So, he got in the police car and peeled off. And then the other policeman told us, ‘You need to report this sucker, ‘cause he done this stuff time and time again, and y'all need to do something about it.’ And then directed us where to go and what to say. We did that. Nothing happened. I came to Cleveland 15 years ago from a place called Ferguson, Missouri. (Audience: um...) Yeah! About one block from where Mike Brown was killed, that's where my sister lived. That's where I lived before I came to Cleveland. Uh..., the problems have been stated and will be stated. I don't like to spend a whole lot of time on problems. I'm a solution-oriented guy. I you want to read about the problems, read The New Jim Crow, excellent explanation of the problem. If you don't wanna do that, go get a videotape by a guy named Na'im 15 Akbar. Na'im did a thing called ‘Transcendent Images for Black Manhood’, that actually explains the whole history of the problem. Solutions, peace, P-E-A-C-E, proper education always corrects error. Why do we have these things tossed at us on a daily basis by this culture? Because they are ignorant. They don't know who we are. And they have been specifically made ignorant by segregation and racism. It wasn't to hold us down. It was to keep them from learning who the hell we were. And they don't know who the hell we are. And so, I can blow your brains out, if I don't know who the hell you are. I can kill you quite frivolously, if I don't know... oh, I'm sorry, you were the people who started math education, science, medicine and all that stuff?! Huh! I didn't know that! The ignorance that is forced on the white people of this country is amazing! You are the most ignorant people on this f--king planet. And you consider yourself to be among the blessed. No, you're not! You're just arrogant…with your ignorance. Most of the black people sitting there, look at 'em grinning, ‘cause they know all this stuff I'm saying. Y'all don't! (Audience: Giggles) And the whole press of this culture is to keep you just as ignant as you are! And as long as I keep policemen ignorant of you, your history, what you done and what your people have done; oh yeah, I can blow you away.