Police “jump outs” are one of the scariest ways that you might get shot by a cop
Reported by Jose Miguel Valenzuela
It was a typical evening hang-out at the bar for Iman Hadieh and her friends on October 6. She was smoking outside the establishment with eight young African-American males, and a Palestinian girl when suddenly, an unforgettable incident occurred that would affect their lives forever.
A number of unmarked cars rushed towards them. In fact, because things happened so fast, Iman could not remember the exact number of vehicles that cornered them. Inside the cars were men they assumed were policemen, given their build and recognizable features. As the cars stopped, the men jumped out of them and swarmed at the group.
However, slight attributes made Iman believe that they were not usual officers. They were dressed in black vests and did not wear the standard police uniforms. Their approach was also unorthodox. Unlike the diplomatic and non-violent procedures of the authorities they look up to, these men seemed to be very aggressive, military-trained, and unforgiving in their dealings with them.
They frisked all of the members of the group without permission, contrary to the standard operating procedures of a usual police inspection. All at once, they were asked to empty their pockets and stand still to be searched. According to the unknown individuals, the group was under a “drug call”.
While the other events that night were difficult to recall, Iman continues to be bothered by a female officer’s accusation. She said that the young lady was already “guilty of association”.
BLACKS DEFINE JUMP-OUTS
The incident that happened to Iman and her friends is called as a “jump-out”. Local advocacy group, DC Ferguson, describes jump-outs as “a paramilitary strategy wherein police officers use unmarked vehicles and do not use the easily recognizable police uniform”. The objective of this tactic is to coerce individuals to submit to unwarranted searches and interrogation with the use of intimidation.
In some operations, cops were allegedly seen using their weapons too, just to make sure that the cornered subjects would have no choice but to cooperate.
Surprisingly, all of the reported jump-outs have at least one black male involved. Thus, black residents label the tactic as a form of racial discrimination.
As chaos broke out across the country because of the jury’s decision not to indict Darren Wilson, this form of police brutality is the main focus of the DC Ferguson cause. In fact, they’ve conducted rallies and launched petitions to inform citizens and convince them to stand up against the tactic.
JUMP-OUTS AS “SEXIST”
While dominantly white neighbourhoods have never heard of a jump-out, black residents experience them from time to time. In fact, an interviewed black teenager has experienced a jump-out as early as the age of 11.
While jump-outs are as common as riding the bus for males, girls have yet to be targeted by these actions.
Alec Karakatsanis, supporter of Equal Justice Under Law, has expressed his concern as he testified in a hearing of the Metropolitan Police Department. He stated that this injustice is happening everyday without justification.
According to Police Chief Cathy Lanier, “fantasy jump-out squads”, the term she used to refer to jump-outs, was already a strategy used in the 1980s and the 1990s to conduct undercover drug entrapments.
Furthermore, she conceded that the groups who conduct jump-outs are under the “Vice Unit”. In her defense, she said that this form of police operation is rarely used anymore.
What do you think? Has the militarization of police become a serious problem in America?
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