The Black Codes & Why They Matter
12-12-17 — “A number of social ills have been blamed for the large numbers of blacks in prison — poverty, single-parent homes and gangs. While these issues may be factors, the Black Codes reveal that since slavery ended those in power have used the criminal justice system as a vehicle to strip African Americans of their liberty. This includes the glaring sentencing disparities between crack and cocaine, a higher police presence in black neighborhoods, and a bail system that requires those arrested to pay for their release from jail or remain incarcerated if they’re unable to.”
The police department’s actions — such as prosecuting the war on drugs and focusing on black neighborhoods through hot spot policing — also result in the oppression of people of color.
“The Ethical Society of Police (E.S.O.P.) was founded in 1968 by African-American Officers to address racial biases within the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department (SLMPD) and to bridge the gap between the police and the community. Our organization is open to officers and civilians of various races, sexes, genders, sexual orientations, and religions. The E.S.O.P. represents approximately two hundred and twenty police officers and civilians employed by the City of St. Louis.”
“The majority of officers and civilians within the SLMPD are dedicated and hardworking. Too many of them must contend with unwritten, written, and subjective practices that have hindered their professional growth with promotions to higher ranks in command and assignments in coveted positions. Cronyism, favoritism, and other biases have been problematic for officers and civilians. These biases have played an unfair role in discipline, promotions, and transfers. Bias decisions can sap the zeal out of veteran officers and civilians and alienate highly qualified men and women.”
Full ESOP Report here.