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Whatever you believe about police/ community relations in the U.S., it is unarguable how people feel. Below are quotes from people of color tonight at a community forum with the Syracuse police department speaking to their experiences of systemic racism and being disrespected, threatened and assaulted by the police:

“They have been killing us. We are traumatized.”

“We don’t feel safe! It’s insane!”

“Police brutality is a national epidemic.”

“I have to take anxiety medications at night because I’m so afraid.”

“We have PTSD!”

“Nobody is tracking who does what. There is a national trend in U.S. police departments to wipe officers records clear after one year.”

“They lie. They lie. They lie all the time.”

“This is a city with little job opportunities. And the highest paying jobs for those without a college degree in the city are within the police force. And most of the police force do not even live in the city, they do not know our people, they live in the suburbs! The city of Syracuse is literally paying people not to live in the city, and then to harass those within it.”

“At some point, it has to change.”

“You want to tell me, don’t get upset, don’t escalate the situation or you’ll SLAY ME? Go to hell.”

“Fear has no place in law enforcement.”

“My friends and I have to text each other at night to make sure we made it home safely. Because we don’t feel safe.”

“I was tortured and raped.”

“You see this Black body, and you see a target.”

“You know what’s so crazy? Nobody has been doing anything about it. They are promoting these officers and giving them more power.”


Originally published at

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© Copyright 2019 Annie Windholz

midwestern librarian, writer, activist. subscribe —

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