Officer Alex points out the local sky is not, in fact, falling
On July 18 of this year, a group dedicated towards “Educating, Agitating, Motivating, and Organizing for Social Justice in Chattanooga” announced that it will be building a grassroots movement for black liberation; for an end to police violence and other state-sanctioned violence against black lives and communities; and to build community to govern ourselves and implement community-based solutions.
They would be addressing acts of violence in places other than the locality in which they were based in a most begrudging fashion, however, because of the lack thereof in their hometown, despite the persistent hope of such.
In honor of this, they even made up a name for members who valiantly laid down on the street when attention was waning during marches against brutality that occurred in places other than Chattanooga, Tennessee. The “Chattanooga 4” were charged with “obstructing a highway” for lying down in the middle of the intersection of Market St. and E. Main St. But what is not known is that this is a new generation of activists, taking the place of the also self-titled “Chattanooga 8,” arrested for valiantly refusing to leave a city council hearing in 1993 after a grand jury of fellow citizens refused to bring charges against police officers in the case of the death of “black motorist” Larry Powell.
It is also not widely known that half of the “Chattanooga 4” were Caucasian, but even I consider that a distraction in the plight of the local #BlackLivesMatter movement, who are fortunately not dissuaded in the least by this irony.
The founder of this group, retired convicted hijacker Lorenzo Ervin, sadly refuses to acknowledge the current membership and spends his days in Kalamazoo, Michigan soliciting speaking engagements (presumably outside of Chattanooga). All of this is a moot point in the face of recent events, which have further aggravated the group’s propensity to speak out against nonexistent acts of brutality.
Enter the recent (October 2015) case of Jeffrey Frederique, age 31, a local black male, who, after evading police and in fact shooting at them, wrecked his vehicle while doing so. Despite both the act of attempted murder against non-black police officers and wrecking his car in the process, he managed to emerge alive. To add insult to (literal) injury, officers rendered medical aid to him after his flight from the scene of his wreck.
The charges of attempted first-degree murder, aggravated assault, felony reckless endangerment, possession of a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony, felony evading, and resisting arrest serve as the only hardships of his experience, despite his willingness (recorded on video) to kill police officers.
This mishap comes on the heels of another unfortunate incident where, in April of this year, police officers refused to execute either 19-year-old Gary Toney Jr. or 17-year-old Javonte Davis (despite their ethnicity) when they shot at officers after fleeing the scene of a robbery/murder.
The pair managed to shoot two ethnic bystanders, but again, were taken into custody without harm from local police. This despite years of Chattanooga police of being accused of racial executions that spanned as far north as Oneida and as far south as Chickamauga, as recorded in Black Lives Matter’s personal accounting titled “The Body Count.” While a geographical and factual anomaly, since its boundaries defy both space and investigative fact, even its completely ludicrous ramblings discount these events, again forcing local brutality activists to rely on acts that occur not only out of our city and county, but even state and national region.
Is this the condition that our local condition is in? It would appear so, but that is mere conjecture, given the recent silence of current “Concerned Citizens for Justice” activists, now forced into lying down in intersections with white people for the acts of those in other cities, and even having to degrade themselves by denying the hanging of white-supremacist/anti-police signage from a local bridge near a rally of theirs as long ago as 2012.
When asked for his opinion on this, local street musician Gilbert “Bum Knee” Murphy could only state, “Racism is a tough gig nowadays,” between puffs from a gifted American Spirit cigarette, “but even the blues got the economy these days, baby. I wish ’em luck.”
A tough gig indeed, Mr. Bum Knee. This columnist couldn’t agree more.
When officer Alexander D. Teach is not patrolling our fair city on the heels of the criminal element, he spends his spare time volunteering for the Boehm Birth Defects Center.