The shooting of Saheed Vassell by the NYPD on April 4th in Crown Heights re-ignited a chronic community safety debate: What kind of discretion should we use in calling the police when we know that it can result in a death sentence for an unsuspecting Black person?
Today, we investigate what runs through people’s mind when neighbors call cops on neighbors. Third Rail’s Mark Winston Griffith and guest co-host Shantae J. Edwards sit down with Malika Aaron-Bishop, the Membership Chair for GetOrganized BK and co-facilitator for one of its working groups, Racial Justice BK; and Tom Weinreich, who helps organize the deep canvassing team within the NYC chapter of Showing up for Racial Justice (SURJ) . We also include excerpts from a telephone interview Mark conducted with Soraya Palmer, a member of Equality for Flatbush.
Together, these three organizers offer an alternative framework for how to assess the necessity of calling the police and, in doing so, point towards a new community safety protocol in the midst of rapid gentrification.
Segment One: We learn more about the boot on the ground work from our guests, Soraya, Malika, and Tom do and how vital it is to our neighborhoods.
Segment Two: What is the role of gentrification and how are white people are socialized to call the police? We go through some scenarios that take us thru the critical thought process of calling the police.
Segment Three: We talk about models and alternatives to calling the police we can point to and get to the root of offensive community listservs.
Segment Four: “Tell ‘Em Why You Mad”
Intro and Outro theme Music:
“City Survival” by MC K-Swift featuring TreZure Empire.
Episode Music: “Clear Sky” by Jimmy Square.
With additional editing by Siad “Gypsy” Reid.