FLASHBACK: U.S. Police are Being Trained by Israel — And Communities of Color Are Paying the Price

Regarding the recent beating to death of a black man in Memphis, TN by 5 black Memphis police officers, the U.S. News Media owes it to all concerned to honestly investigate the Memphis, TN police department’s “Blue CRUSH” policing model and if there was any Israeli influence in developing the model, and in the training of the Memphis PD. Regardless, many state police departments — including Tennesseee, according to the article below — have pursued “police exchange” programs with Israel. The following article is from October 7, 2019 – Philip C. Restino, Jr.

by Ilise Benshushan Cohen, Azadeh Shahshahani

In recent years, Georgia has experienced troubling trends in fatal police shootings.

These incidents nearly doubled in the state, up 77 percent between 2017 to 2018. By May 2018, Georgia was already reportedly experiencing a more rapid rise in officer-involved shootings than the rest of the country. According to an investigation of deadly police shootings in Georgia, in the six years after 2010, 184 people were shot and killed by police; almost half of them unarmed or shot in the back.

In 2019, Georgia has already recorded twenty-two fatal police shootings, The Washington Post reports.

As this has unfolded, Georgia continues to pursue a “police exchange” program with the state of Israel. Run through Georgia State University, the Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange arranges for American law enforcement officials, corporate security executives, and police officers to engage in trainings, briefings, and seminars with governments including that of China, Colombia, Egypt, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and the original and primary focus of the program, Israel.

For twenty-seven years, police departments in Georgia have received grants from the U.S. Department of Justice that subsidize these trainings. Since the program’s inception in 1992, it has trained at least 1,700 participants, including officers from the Atlanta Police Department.

Law enforcement from other U.S. states have participated in the program, including those from Tennessee, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Floria, Georgia, Indiana, North Carolina, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wahsington, D.C., and West Virginia.

Open records requests have forced program leaders to reveal some of its content topics, including border policing, community policing, and urban policing.

Activists in Georgia are pushing for an end to Atlanta’s police exchange program. Seventy local organizations and leaders—including our organizations, Jewish Voice for Peace-Atlanta and Project South—are demanding that Atlanta get out of these deadly police exchanges.

Among other objections, activists point to Israel’s clear record of human rights abuses and state violence toward Palestinians, Jews of color, and African refugees. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 2018 brought a 69 percent increase over the previous year in Israeli settler violence toward Palestinians, and a rise in Palestinian deaths and injuries in Gaza. In the year since 2018 Great March of Return demonstrations began, more than 190 Palestinians were killed and 28,000 were injured by Israeli Forces.

Regardless of how the Israeli government coalition is shaped after its recent elections, its two largest parties show no indication of ending the fifty-two year Israeli military occupation of Palestine, nor its militarized tactics to control the Palestinian population.

This systematic repression of Palestinians by Israel warrants the U.S. public’s refusal to accept such training programs for their police departments. Racism and violence are endemic problems to police departments around the country, and the influence of Israeli military police trainings only threatens to exacerbates the problem.

Two examples of police violence in Atlanta bring this home. In 2006, one elderly Atlanta resident, Kathryn Johnston, was mistaken for a cocaine dealer and killed by SWAT team  conducting a “No Knock” drug raid. In January 2019, twenty-one-year-old Jimmy Atchison was fatally shot in the face by Atlanta police—even though the robbery he was accused of may have never taken place.

In April 2018, the Durham, North Carolina city council voted unanimously to pass a policy barring Durham’s participation in militarized police exchange trainings with Israel and other foreign countries.

The initial petition, created by a coalition of ten Durham organizations states that “the Israeli Defense Forces and the Israel Police have a long history of violence and harm against Palestinian people and Jews of color.” One coalition member said, “training [with Israel] makes it worse in terms of racial profiling and use of force in crowd control.”

The victory in Durham highlights a national movement that seeks to disband military and police training exchanges with Israel.

In December 2018, grassroots organizing efforts succeeded in forcing the Vermont State Police and the Northampton, Massachusetts police chief to pull out of a police exchange program managed by the Anti-Defamation League.

Clearly, many in Atlanta feel it must do the same.

“As long as these programs exist,” says Dawn O’Neal of Us Protecting Us, formerly Black Lives Matter Atlanta, in an email, “as long as police are sent into war zones to train, there will continue to be Tamir Rices and Trayvon Martins. There will continue to be Kathryn Johnstons.”

Source: The Progressive

Also Read:
What is Memphis Police Department’s SCORPION Unit?
“Gang Culture” in Police Departments? https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/los-angeles-sheriffs-department-gangs-rand-report-1225982/

Become a Patron!
Or support us at SubscribeStar
Donate cryptocurrency HERE

Subscribe to Activist Post for truth, peace, and freedom news. Follow us on SoMee, Telegram, HIVE, Flote, Minds, MeWe, Twitter, Gab, What Really Happened and GETTR.

Provide, Protect and Profit from what’s coming! Get a free issue of Counter Markets today.

Activist Post Daily Newsletter

Subscription is FREE and CONFIDENTIAL
Free Report: How To Survive The Job Automation Apocalypse with subscription

Be the first to comment on "FLASHBACK: U.S. Police are Being Trained by Israel — And Communities of Color Are Paying the Price"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.