African American, Black men, Crime, Fashion, Humor, Legal, Satire

SPECIAL REPORT: Police Shootings Launch New Fashion Trend

By Craig Bates


Black men hoping to not be killed by trigger-happy cops are snapping up the latest in body armor.

(OAKLAND) As an African American, Danny Thompson isn’t sure when it will happen, but he knows it will: a cop is going to shoot him while he’s defenseless.

Hoping to avoid the death that often accompanies a point-blank shooting of an unarmed person by someone who has been trained in weaponry, Thompson has bought five flak jackets—one each for him and his four sons.

“As a black man, you know the cops will eventually get around to shooting you, so you can’t be too careful,” Thompson, 42, told The Peoples News Tuesday as he left Dr. Jay’s Urban Clothing in Oakland, with the jackets from Rocawear’s new Body Armor line.

Thompson said he had considered buying the jackets even before the New Year’s Eve shooting of Oscar Grant. The 22-year-old man was laying prone in front of a kneeling BART cop when another officer, Johannes Mehserle, stood up and shot him.

News reports have speculated the Mehserle—who resigned from the force after the murder—was reaching for his taser but accidentally grabbed his gun and fired before realizing bullets don’t come out of a taser.

“So he is not only a bad cop, he’s a moron,” said Jacqueline Chalmers, secretary of defense for the New and Improved Black Panthers Party. “I mean, did he write out his officer’s test with crayons?”

The incident continued a long line of shootings of unarmed black men who were minding their own business. It can happen, as it did to Amadou Diallo (who was standing in front of his apartment building holding his wallet) or Sean Bell (who was just leaving his bachelor party).

If they are brought to trial, cops always use the same excuse, one that often convinces juries to acquit them: They feared for their lives.

“It’s like cops think black men have super powers that can turn a wallet into a weapon deadly enough to take down four armed cops,” said Jackson Hewitt, a sociology professor at UC-Berkeley, whose book “Negrophobia: Why Cops Fear Blacks” chronicles a history of this mistaken belief. “By all observations throughout history, however, blacks don’t have these kinds of paranormal abilities.”

Thompson, though, wishes he had some type of super power to shore up his defenses.

“With this jacket, I feel a little safer,” he said, “but it’s not going to save me if they aim for my head.”

Note: This article is satire, brought to you by the creative minds at The Peoples News.

© 2009 The Peoples News

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6 thoughts on “SPECIAL REPORT: Police Shootings Launch New Fashion Trend

  1. Hi. I am a long time reader. I wanted to say that I like your blog and the layout.

    Peter Quinn

    Posted by Peter Quinn | January 14, 2009, 5:59 am
  2. Brilliant! I live in Oakland and we need some comic relief here. Biting and appropriately bitter, Craig, but comic relief.

    The Peoples News responds: Bobbie, we only wish our words could do something to prevent these shootings from happening.

    Posted by bobbie | January 14, 2009, 11:27 am
  3. We could solve this problem if these honor students would just wear their mortarboards, blood donor honor pendants, and “I Recycle” chest plates. Then, when they commit felonies the cops could recognize them as incapable of doing wrong.

    Posted by Nolanimrod | January 14, 2009, 3:42 pm
  4. Are these available in patent red?

    Posted by Daymon Balser | January 15, 2009, 5:28 am
  5. I feel you. This is just another example of a blatant form of instituional racism that grips this country. The only thing I’m sturggling with is why black police officers would also engage in this type of behavior.

    Posted by Iam Robert | January 15, 2009, 10:06 pm
  6. Cool Blog, man. Love it and will check back.

    Posted by Dave and Thomas | January 15, 2009, 11:04 pm

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