Women’s March Activist Tamika Mallory says “Charge the Cops” (Video)

By Democracy Now

HAVANA TIMES – In a powerful address among people in Minneapolis protesting the police murder of George Floyd, activist and former Women’s March co-chair Tamika Mallory demanded, “Charge the cops. … Charge them in every city across America where our people are being murdered.”


AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The Quarantine Report. I’m Amy Goodman. We’re continuing with our guests. We’re joined by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, professor at Princeton University; Dr. Cornel West at Harvard University; and Bakari Sellers, joining us from North Carolina. His new book is just out, My Vanishing Country. I’m here with Nermeen Shaikh as we continue to bring you the voices of the rebellion around the country. In the largest nationwide uprising since the ’60s, protesters shut down cities across the country following the police murder of George Floyd, the African American man in Minneapolis. This is activist, former Women’s March co-chair Tamika Mallory, speaking at a rally in Minneapolis.

TAMIKA MALLORY: We are not responsible for the mental illness that has been inflicted upon our people by the American government, institutions and those people who are in positions of power. I don’t give a damn if they burn down Target, because Target should be on the streets with us calling for the justice that our people deserve. Where was AutoZone at the time when Philando Castile was shot in a car, which is what they actually represent? Where were they?

So, if you are not coming to the people’s defense, then don’t challenge us when young people and other people who are frustrated and instigated by the people you pay — you are paying instigators to be among our people out there, throwing rocks, breaking windows and burning down buildings. And so young people are responding to that. They are enraged.

And there’s an easy way to stop it: Arrest the cops. Charge the cops. Charge all the cops, not just some of them, not just here in Minneapolis. Charge them in every city across America where our people are being murdered. Charge them everywhere. That’s the bottom line. Charge the cops. Do your job. Do what you say this country is supposed to be about — the land of the free for all. It has not been free for Black people, and we are tired.

Don’t talk to us about looting. Y’all are the looters. America has looted Black people. America looted the Native Americans when they first came here, so looting is what you do. We learned it from you. We learned violence from you. We learned violence from you. The violence was what we learned from you. So if you want us to do better, then, damn it, you do better.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Activist Tamika Mallory speaking in Minneapolis over the weekend.

20 thoughts on “Women’s March Activist Tamika Mallory says “Charge the Cops” (Video)

  • Mr MacD,
    You seem to wish to throw all manner of irrelevancies into this debate.
    The reason I mention conservative/fascist hybrid is that in response to the protests that ensued after the killing of George Floyd, the White House incumbent clearly decided to play act toward his power base.
    His core power base is clearly made up of right wing Christians, conservatives and also a conservative/fascist hybrid. This unfortunate hybrid has also been present within Police Forces on both sides of the pond to varying degrees over the years and decades.
    It’s presence, sadly, appears to be lingering to a certain extent.
    This is my basic point.

    And now for some reason best known only to yourself, you’re now mentioning a failed leader of the opposition in London’s House of Commons?
    Surely this would have zero relevance to the matter in hand??

    But as I keep saying, each to their own.

  • For you Nick, it is apparent that anything that lies to the right of Jeremy Corbyn is fascist. For me, totalitarian rule is evil whether of communist or fascist persuasion. The history of the repression of black people and others of colour, is racial and has been practiced by all parts of the political spectrum. The US police services in particular, would be well advised to study the 9 principles laid down when the Metropolitan Police was established in London – and indeed that force itself ought to be reminded. For your interest, those principles still form part of the training of police officers in the Canadian city where I am officially domiciled. Section 6 in particular ought to be instructed in the US.

  • This article relates to a video which relates to the protests relating to the killing of George Floyd. This has nothing to do with any ‘sins of the left’.
    Wait a minute…….. Didn’t the current U.S Government try to talk down these protests as being ‘sins of the left’ ??
    Greater equality of opportunity within societies, greater ethnic diversity within Police Forces, weeding out the hardliners who get past police recruitment processes, better education and confronting the extremes of the current Capitalist/Fascist Hybrid with it’s white supremacist tendencies.
    That’s what I call constructive Mr MacD.
    If you don’t, then as I say – each to their own.

  • I Nick would exclude all those who were driven by totalitarian views that dictatorship and absolute power is desirable. It is even easier to find examples of police repression in totalitarian states -whether they be fascist or communist than in the democratic countries. The USSR demonstrated police repression for a longer period, killing more of its own citizenry, than any other in modern history – communist! We have just passed the anniversary of the massacre of its own citizens in Beijing by the Chinese communist regime. But you always choose to omit the sins of the left. I have consistently criticized both extremes.
    You could well be correct in thinking that few if any would follow our discussion. i am still unaware however of the “constructive remedies” that you say you put forward. I observe only “greater ethnic diversity within Police Forces”.

  • I would have no idea how many readers would be following our debate Mr MacD. There is a lockdown going on and people have a lot more time on their hands so perhaps there are one or two who are interested in our differing opinions.
    For the record, I would absolutely not refute the potential efficacy of your remedy.
    Recruitment is most definitely a factor that would work alongside the constructive remedies I put forward.
    As I say, cops in the U.K. are better than they used to be. You will be familiar with the Battle of Cable Street. The cops attempted to facilitate a march by uniformed British Fascists through a largely Jewish London neighbourhood in 1936. They were openly on the side of the fascists in this instance. History will record that these attempts were thwarted by the assembled ranks of brave and decent people who stood up for themselves and their neighbours.
    These days British Police would not openly side with Fascists in this manner but there are still individuals in the Force who have that disposition.
    Weeding out fascists and racists from police forces (who have managed to slide through the recruitment process undetected) is a crucial part of any remedy.
    I cannot see any reason why you would wish to refute this Mr MacD ??

  • For those who are reading the discussion between Nick and myself, understand that modern police services were introduced by Sir Robert Peel in London in 1829 with the formation of London’s Metropolitan Police. At that time, 9 principles were laid down. I won’t bore you with all 9, but principle 6 is significant. it reads:

    “6. To use physical force only when in the exercise of persuasion, advice and warning is found insufficient to obtain public cooperation to an extent necessary to secure observance to the law or to restore and to use only the minimum degree of physical force which is necessary on any particular occasion for achieving a police objective.”

    That principle has steadily been abandoned, particularly in the US, but also in Canada and as Nick pointed out, in the UK with the militarization of police forces – with corruption in London’s Metropolitan Police being recognized in the fifties, when an outsider was appointed Commissioner to clean it up. He became known as “The Hammer”. Corruption ceased, but following his retirement again reared its ugly head.

    My concern and purpose was to address remedies for the current problems, as society does require and need police services. Nick is obviously more concerned with criticism and discussing opinions upon fascism and racism, than in suggesting methods of reform.

    In considering methods and means of reform, those tasked with that role, would be well advised to study in depth, the 9 principles I mentioned. It is obvious to those concerned that racism is a factor, but when holding the scales, Justice it ought to be noted, is blindfold. Failure by the police services to observe principles established two hundred years ago, and by the law to treat all as equal, are the root cause. That is what has to be addressed. I remain persuaded that recruitment of police is the prime area to be considered. It appears self-evident that those who seek to obtain power rather than serving their fellow citizens, are unsuited for positions of police authority.

  • The colour of a police(wo)man’s skin is relatively unimportant, many in the current police forces of the US, UK and Canada are constables of colour. It is the organizational system and regulations under which they operate coupled with criteria for recruitment, where the changes are necessary. “Greater equality of opportunity within societies” however socially desirable, has naught to do with the function of police services.

  • MrMacD:
    Greater equality of opportunity within societies, greater ethnic diversity within Police Forces, better education and support for those who confront the extremes of the current Capitalist/Fascist Hybrid with it’s white supremacist tendencies.

    Seems kinda constructive to me.

    But each to their own.

  • As I expected, you have no constructive ideas to offer, just the usual stuff.

  • Mr MacD,
    Paul Robeson had very good reason to be a supporter of early Russian Communism as it represented a viable alternative to the Capitalist/Facist dovetailing that was prevalent in the USA in his youth. Let us not forget that the first ever Movie viewed in the current White House was a cinematic glorification of the KKK.
    I would wholeheartedly agree with your point regarding the militarisation of Police Forces. This can actually be an issue in Cuba – all those lazy young policia swaggering around with their poorly pressed uniforms and their slack, poorly maintained, little guns.
    I mentioned that I have been unnecessarily stopped and questioned by Cuban Police on various occasions. Only ever in Havana.
    I’m white-ish of a Mediterranean complexion and frequently pass as a Cuban in Cuba due to my complexion and having good Cuban Spanish. Police harassment of my reasonable, law-abiding, good self has involved these cops questioning whoever I have been with at the time. This has been for example, over the past 25 years, white Cuban women, black Cuban women, white British women, black British women etc….
    I always try and take control of the situation and ensure that I don’t let them speak to whoever I’m with. I make sure that I ask them what part of Cuba they are from, what police station they are from, who their local station boss is etc.
    In my Havana neighbourhood they generally leave me alone once they figure that there’s no dollar in it for them. Just like cops all over the rest of the world. And then they happily say hi and chat about baseball and stuff….

    I must make the very real and very relevant point that I have never seen Cuban Cops threaten, initiate and carry out vicious, uncalled-for violence as I have seen on various occasions in the U.K.
    When I was a young fella, British Police were openly and blatantly racist. Happily they are much more diverse and better educated these days. Nevertheless they still kill black people far more often than they kill whites.
    My answer to your question regarding what to do about it Mr MacD…..
    I could put forward various opinions: Greater equality of opportunity within societies, greater ethnic diversity within Police Forces, better education and all that sort of stuff.
    But primarily, we all need to support those who risk their liberty trying to confront the Capitalist/Fascist Hybrid which provokes lowest common denominator white supremacist tendencies to further it’s political objectives and seems to be to the fore yet again……

  • In my view Nick, Robeson turning to support for communism was understandable, as there was no concern within the US political parties regarding the treatment of the black community – the US white population being in the main comfortable, wished to retain “normality”. At that time in history, the Dutch Reform Church was actively promoting the concept that the whites were the sons of Abel and the blacks the sons of Cain. There was a general assumption in much of the world, that blacks were inferior.

    Khrushchev certainly shocked millions with his open criticism of Stalin and revelation of the truth of Stalinist terror. Perhaps that is best described in Robert Conquest’s book “Stalin Breaker of Nations” which is very thorough with a lengthy index.

    However to get back to my main point. Demonstrations have a role to play, but there has to be an end objective and consideration of how to achieve it. My view remains that many police services have steadily moved away from being a community service, into militarization. That has to be reversed! I described family background because it provided me with the views of British police officers for a period approaching a century, and those services derive from Robert Peel (hence “Bobbies” “Peelers” and “Cops”).

    It is all too easy, because the wrongs are obvious, to just criticize. But what is going to be done to remedy or improve police services? I pointed out that there is a significant – and critical – difference between those who join police services because they seek positions of power and control over others, and those who join because they wish to serve their communities. Recruitment is the key function!

    Politicians, most of whom have arrived on the scene since the militarization commenced, have to study background and history of policing in order to make necessary change. When my father joined the police, he was the first university graduate to do so in British history, but as was compulsory at that time, had to spend five years as a community “Bobby” on a community beat prior to any promotion. When promotion then followed, he set the British record, going from Constable to Superintendent in eight years, prior to war and MI6 recruitment to serve in France when occupied, North Africa, Italy and Austria with a period in Japan, Korea and Vietnam. But the important part in policing, was the five years on the community beat, learning to understand the whole of society. My maternal grandfather had left school at age 12, and was a very kind generous man who became a police inspector and father of five university graduates – but who in 1929, led the only recorded baton charge – under the Riot Act – in the history of Aberdeen.

    Currently there is a spate of criticism, but few appear to offer any solutions. A sound society does require police services, but that is what it has to become again – a public service. So Nick, what do you suggest?

  • Mr MacD,
    I’m also an admirer of Paul Robeson but didn’t he only stop praising Comrade Stalin once Nikita Khrushchev said it was no longer cool to go round praising Comrade Stalin ??

  • You seem very quick to jump up and down today Mr MacD. Nothing in my comment excuses or justifies anything that cops do in Cuba. In fact I was empathising by saying that they have stopped me and given me the shakedown too. On several occasions. Generally speaking with very little reason.
    I was also making the point that this pales into insignificance compared to the death of George Floyd. I feel sure you would agree. My further point was that incidents such as this killing and the ensuing attacks by state forces on demonstrators and journalists show that unfortunately the USA looks a bit odd when it dishes out advice to all and sundry on human rights and press freedoms and such like.
    As I’ve mentioned previously, I’m a big fan of the USA having spent considerable time there and I’m very concerned. Recently there were demonstrations against the lockdown by the right-wing-conservative-fascist-hybrid brigade and there are now far bigger demonstrations by an entirely different section of U.S. society. I am concerned about the increasing divergence in the USA, the way this is being ramped up for political gain and the possibility of these two groups seriously clashing on the streets at some point.

    Having traversed this world to a certain extent, I find that cops come broadly into three categories:
    1. The good.
    2. The bent.
    3. Those who can go either way (depending on which way the wind’s blowing).

  • Your ability to endeavor to excuse the excesses practiced in Cuba knows no bounds Nick. My wife and I have experienced being passed by a MININT police car which then drove around a block to return facing us on the street. The immediate action then, was for both goons to get out of the car and demand my wife’s papers, but not mine. I am white, she is black. On two other occasions we were stopped when walking on side walks along with other people. It was obvious (although you will no doubt question that) that we were selected. When going to Jose Marti Airport in a taxi, we passed a police car, which then pursued us, overtook and waved the driver to the side of the road – which along with the checkpoints is not unusual in Cuba, and our driver got out with all his papers. He however was pushed aside and the goon went to the door beside my wife and told her to get out. He then examined her papers, no examination was made of the driver’s papers or mine. So maybe you would care to justify that!

    As usual, you in an endeavor to excuse Cuban excesses, choose to point to worse incidents or events elsewhere, oddly just as Dan did and has like you, done so in the past – the practice is boringly repetitive.

    I note without surprise, that you did not comment upon the contribution I made about police work and the militarization that has taken place and which is the root of problems to be found also in other countries including Canada and the UK, although more severe in the US where having a black skin can virtually be a death sentence. That is probably because you enjoy criticism rather than being constructive regarding necessary changes.

    Regarding Paul Robeson, what he actually said when called before the Committee on Anti-American Activities, was that he felt like a Man with a capital M for the first time in his life when visiting Russia (as it then was) in 1934.

  • Mr MacD,
    I’m not surprised to hear that you have been stopped in the street in Cuba by the fuzz.
    So have I. On more than one occasion.
    But there’s a big difference between stopping someone in the street to question them and strangling someone to death in the street and then continuing to strangle them way after they’ve stopped breathing. I feel sure you will be aware of the stark difference.
    The cold blooded extra-legal execution of George Floyd has absolutely nothing to do with what goes on in Cuba. I think perhaps the point that Dan is making is that the USA is not really on the moral high ground when it comes to addressing the issue of human rights and is therefore in no position to criticise Cuba in this regard.
    U.S. policy on Cuba and Cuban human rights or lack thereof is purely related to the quest for FLA Electoral College Votes.
    Paul Robeson was definitely a great singer. Curiously he was a big fan of the USSR. When he first went there he said he felt like a free human being or the first time in his life.
    Old Joe McCarthy was none too impressed, regardless of the brilliance of Robeson’s rendition of ‘Ol Man River’. Hence the blacklisting and restriction on his freedom of movement.
    I agree with Tamika. The cops should be charged. This one has been. But what will the verdict and/or sentence be ?

  • Comparing the pot to the kettle Dan? Justified criticism of the US, does not reduce justified criticism of Cuba. I have too much personal experience of racism practiced by the MININT goons in Cuba, where communist repression is practiced to accept your endeavor to defend the indefensible.

    Yours is the usual weak argument put forth by Castro and communist sycophants, whenever justified criticisms are made regarding the Cuban regime. That is that things are even worse elsewhere, which is designed to deflect attention from the witnessed persecution by the Castro dictatorship.

    As for your question about why racism is ingrained in the US, it clearly commenced as in Cuba, with slavery. Supposedly setting the slaves free, merely meant paying them a pittance and denying access to proper education. Eventually a few managed to overcome the hurdles, with Paul Robeson for example qualifying as a lawyer in addition to probably possessing the best bass voice ever recorded (listen to the original Showboat). His record of actions against segregation, commencing in the late 1930’s are I think unequaled. The first black man to perform the role of Othello (Royal Shakespeare Company 1938). Refusal to perform on Broadway unless the audience was desegregated (1942). Seeking from President Harry Truman a law against lynching (1950). in an address to the United Nations accusing the US of genocide against the black people.(1951). All of that when Martin Luther King was a child and Rosa Parkes a little girl (refusal to sit at the back of the bus (1962).

    Racism is not confined to any particular political group – although you falsely endeavor to allocate it to the US in particular. Racism is practiced in communist China, in autocratic Russia, across Europe and in the Americas in general and relevant to here in the Havana Times, in Cuba.

    If from your personal knowledge of racism you wish to add to what I wrote about Robeson, do please do so! I write as one in a mixed race marriage, living the majority of my time in Cuba, but having travelled this world widely and seen Paul Robeson on the stage in Europe, prior to the US State Department removing his passport because “It is counter to US interests to have a black American talking about racism in other countries.”

    Next time the MININT goons stop you walking peacefully in the streets of Cuba with your wife, think about what I wrote! Then imagine it happening repeatedly!

  • It is far, far safer to be black in Cuba, than in the United States of America. No one in their reasonable mind that not been hopelessly dulled by decades of American exceptionalist propaganda can any longer deny that. Move one to the next question, which is why is racism so ingrained in imperialist USA.

  • Criticisms of Cuba’s denial of human rights are fully justified and are not confined to the US, but a matter of record in the UN. Read Lynn Cruz’s article and get better informed about repression.
    The problems so evident in the US, do nothing to reduce the guilt of the Castro regime.

  • And this is the country that continually excoriates other nations, and particularly Cuba on human rights ??
    Por favor..

  • The root cause of the problem is that the police forces which are supposed to be a service for the societies that fund them, have become ever more militarized. In the UK my great-grandfather was a police chief-inspector, my grandfather was a police inspector and my father, prior to being recruited by M16, was a police superintendent. In all those combined years of public service none carried a gun. Even in the Royal Military Police, in which I served as a lieutenant in occupied Germany during the post-Second World War period and where we had authority over the civilian population in addition to the military, I never carried a gun. Although having some training in unarmed combat, we never used choke-holds the danger of which is known.

    Police ought to be a public service, rather than an enforcement agency. The US is not alone in having problems related to police militarization, neighboring Canada has the misfortune of having a national police force (which sadly is for dubious historical reasons is a bit of a political holy cow) the Royal Canadian Mounted Police numbering some 23,000. They receive a form of military training at the RCMP Barracks in Regina, Saskatchewan, following which they are posted around Canada – ensuring that they have little knowledge of local people geography and customs – and they carry guns. That is entirely contrary to having local police services with a Police Commission appointed by the elected municipal council.

    Recruitment is an obvious challenge. There is a recognizable difference between those who wish to have power and authority over others, and those who wish to serve the community and it is the latter that make good policemen. In consequence there needs to be a very careful policy of recruitment and training.

    It is all too easy to make mindless criticism of the police reflecting built up frustration. The “Cops” are an easy target. But that resolves nothing and can even exacerbate the difficulty. Societies require police services – that was recognized by Robert Peel, but it is the form which they take that is significant and it is that which must be addressed.

Comments are closed.