The Galveston County Coalition for Justice endorsed the Black Lives Matters peaceful protest against the unnecessary shooting and killing of unarmed Black men, women and children by bad cops.

Fifty years ago, Ella Baker said, “Until the killing of Black men, women and children becomes as important to the rest of the country as the killing of white mother’s sons — we who believe in freedom cannot rest until that happens.”

George Floyd, 46; Breonna Taylor, 26; Aura Rossetti, 40; Stephon Clark, 22; Botham Jean, 26; Philando Castillo, 32; Alton Sterling, 37; Michelle Cusserux, 50; Freddie Gray, 25; Tanisha Fouville, 20; Eric Garner, 43; Akai Gurley, 28; Gabrielle, Necare, 22; Michael Brown, 18; Tanisha Anderson, 37; and Tamir Rice, 12, should all be alive today. But, they were judged by bad cops as not human beings.

As a former police officer, my first reaction to Rusten Sheskey, a white cop who shot Jacob Blake, a Black man, in the back seven times while his three small children watched in fear was to witness firsthand the banality of pure evil in the flesh.

But, I also realized from a historical perspective that the battle between the police and the Black community stretches back to the pre-Civil War era. Police patrols weren’t designed to protect Black people. Their jobs were to protect slave-owners’ properties and hunt down runaway slaves for stealing themselves.

While the duration of bad cops terrorizing the Black community might make it seem insurmountable, African Americans can take solace in a omnipotent God and the U.S. Constitution that gives us the right to challenge the innate evils of mankind’s selfishness and the agonizing nightmares of dying at the hands of a bad cop.

The First Amendment to the Constitution is the cornerstone of our great democracy — the right to petition the government for redress of our grievances is a covenant between police power and “We the People.”

The coalition envisions a society where Black parents no longer need to have “the talk” with their teenage children about what to do if pulled over for a traffic stop; a society where African Americans will no longer have to be afraid to call the police for help out of fear of becoming another victim of police brutality.

Now is the time for police reform and for Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act to end qualified immunity for bad cops.

The coalition salutes the Black Lives Matters movement for having the unflinching courage to stand in front of the evils of fascism, authoritarianism and systemic racism that is trying every day to destroy our democracy.

African Americans can save this country again by voting in the upcoming Nov. 3 presidential election and prevent another treasonous attack to preserve white supremacy.

The Republicans are trying everything possible to keep us from voting. So, go vote.

Tarris Woods is president and founder of Galveston County Coalition for Justice.


Recommended for you

(34) comments

Craig Mason

Mr. Woods I agree with almost everything you stated in your letter. I only have two things I would like to point out. I read the full justice department report on Michael Brown and also watched all of the video that was available and I have to say that Michael Brown was not murdered. All of the others I agree were wrongfully killed. I especially feel for the family of Tamir Rice. The second thing that needs to happen other than vote is to educate people to not fight the police, period! Just take the ride and live to fight it’s out in court. If you fight you will lose. I have had my own encounters with police and right, wrong or indifferent it never entered my mind to fight or flee. Don’t make he situation worse, just comply with lawful orders when possible. Not taking anything away from folks who have been killed just trying to pass along useful knowledge from personal experiences.

Emile Pope

Your condescending remarks have no basis in fact.

Craig Mason

Not condescending, just hate seeing people die needlessly. I truly feel for their families and loved ones.

Emile Pope

No you don't. Not in the least...

Craig Mason

Ok whatever Emile, I guess you can read my heart and mind. You don’t know anything about me or my life and family experiences. So your arrogance in thinking you do is very asinine. Maybe you should take a long hard look at yourself.

Carlos Ponce

Freddie Gray killed by "bad cops"???? No. Six officers charged (three Black, three White), three officers cleared.

Jim Forsythe

Gray’s death prompted an investigation into the Baltimore Police Department by the Department of Justice, which found the department engaged in a pattern and practice of conduct that violates the First, Fourth, and 14th amendments, and certain provisions of federal statutory law.

Carlos Ponce

All SIX OFFICERS were cleared, Jim. Other findings that have NOTHING to do with this case are red herrings.

Jim Forsythe

Today, we announce the outcome of the Department of Justice’s investigation of the Baltimore City Police Department (BPD).

1 After engaging in a thorough investigation, initiated at the request of the City of Baltimore and BPD, the Department of Justice concludes that there is reasonable cause to believe that BPD engages in a pattern or practice of conduct that violates the Constitution or federal law. BPD engages in a pattern or practice of: (1) making unconstitutional stops, searches, and arrests; (2) using enforcement strategies that produce severe and unjustified disparities in the rates of stops, searches and arrests of African Americans; (3) using excessive force; and (4) retaliating against people engaging in constitutionally-protected expression. This pattern or practice is driven by systemic deficiencies in BPD’s policies, training, supervision, and accountability structures that fail to equip officers with the tools they need to police effectively and within the bounds of the federal law. We recognize the challenges faced by police officers in Baltimore and other communities around the country. Every day, police officers risk their lives to uphold the law and keep our communities safe. Investigatory stops, arrests, and force—including, at times, deadly force—are all necessary tools used by BPD officers to do their jobs and protect the safety of themselves and others. Providing policing services in many parts of Baltimore is particularly challenging, where officers regularly confront complex social problems rooted in poverty, racial segregation and deficient educational, employment and housing opportunities. Still, most BPD officers work hard to provide vital services to the community. The pattern or practice occurs as a result of systemic deficiencies at BPD. The agency fails to provide officers with sufficient policy guidance and training; fails to collect and analyze data regarding officers’ activities; and fails to hold officers accountable for misconduct. BPD also fails to equip officers with the necessary equipment and resources they need to police safely, constitutionally, and effectively. Each of these systemic deficiencies contributes to the constitutional and statutory violations we observed.

Carlos Ponce


Jim Forsythe

"outcome of the Department of Justice’s investigation of the Baltimore City Police Department (BPD)."

Is not about the guilt of police officers but what needs to be change within the department and city.

Carlos Ponce

So in other words, Jim, you're tossing out red herrings when it comes to the Freddie Gray matter.

Carlos Ponce

"Aura Rossetti, 40" - I believe you mean Aura Rosser aged 40 who was high on cocaine and alcohol and attacked her boyfriend with a knife.

"When Ried and his partner Mark Raab arrived at Stephens’ home, they heard a woman say she had a knife and a man respond, 'What are [you] gonna do, stab me?' according to the memo. They then heard a loud thump and entered the home through the front door to find Rosser and Stephens struggling. Rosser was attempting to attack Stephens with a knife while he fended her off, the document states.

When officers ordered her to drop the weapon, she turned on them and advanced, they said, with 'her eyes wide open with what appeared to be a blank stare.' Raab used a Taser on Rosser at the same time Ried fatally shot her once in the chest."

Jim Forsythe

Ann Arbor Mayor Christopher Taylor : “The events of November 9 were a tragedy of mental illness untreated and drug use unabated.” Police Chief John Seto said Monday the department will undergo diversity and autism awareness training this year.

Carlos Ponce

If Jim Forsythe was attacked by a knife wielding woman who just stabbd her boyfriend he would let himself get stabbed?[rolleyes]

Jim Forsythe

Police Chief John Seto said Monday the department will undergo diversity and autism awareness training this year.

Jim Forsythe

Part of the problem we have, is the lack of mental health awareness and help in the USA. Until we address it, we will have many more people with problems that end in a tragic way.

Carlos Ponce

Jim, the responding officer is usually not aware of the person's mental health or current state of inebriation. The person placing the 911 call usually is aware. When you call 911 asking for police, common sense tells you the officer will react to the situation to protect the lives and safety of everyone in the vicinity including himself. And sometimes that requires the responding officer to use deadly force.

Jim Forsythe

Carlos, ask Golda Barton what she thinks about your, "responding officer is usually not aware of the person's mental health"

Ask Donald Neely's family what they think about what you just stated.

If the police are not aware, and the 911 call has been placed by someone that knows that the person needs mental health care, the problem is not one of officials knowing but training on how to handle the problem.

These are cases that need professionals' to help police, when the need arises.

Carlos Ponce

Golda Barton told the media, “So, you call them, and they're supposed to come out and be able to deescalate a situation using the most minimal force possible."

"Salk Lake City Police Sergeant Keith Horrocks said in a press conference on Saturday that police were called to a home in Glendale, Salt Lake City, on Friday to a report of a 'violent psyche issue involving a juvenile' who had made threats with a weapon."

Are police supposed to be mind readers?????

Golda NOW tells media she told the police after they arrived. The police confirm part of her story but not quite all.....

Carlos Ponce

Donald Neely said the police were nice.

Jim Forsythe

Mom asked for a crisis intervention team. No mind reading needed when mom tells police her son needs mental health help. Until the help is available to police forces that need help with mental health issues, we will continue to have these types of problems.

Golda Barton said that her son Linden Cameron, who has Asperger syndrome, experienced a "mental breakdown" earlier in the day. It had been her first day back at work in nearly a year, and Linden was having trouble coping. Barton also confirmed she called the police and asked for a crisis intervention team to help her manage the situation and get her son treatment.

"I said, 'Look, he's unarmed. He doesn't have anything. He just gets mad and he starts yelling and screaming,'" Barton told CNN affiliate KUTV about her call to police. "He's a kid he's trying to get attention. He doesn't know how to regulate."

When police arrived, Barton said her son ran away. She told KUTV that she heard someone yell "get down on the ground" three times, followed by several gunshots.

"Why didn't they tase him? Why didn't they shoot him with a rubber bullet?" Barton told the station. "He's a small child. Why don't you just tackle him? You are big police officers with massive amounts of resources."

Linden's injuries include damage to his shoulder, ankles, intestines, bladder and colon, as well as nerve damage.

Jim Forsythe

Ask Donald Neely's family what they think about what you just stated.

Carlos Ponce

"Mom asked for a crisis intervention team." Funny, that's not what the 911 dispatcher said.[whistling]

Carlos Ponce

Ask the Neely family???? IT CAME FROM THE NEELY FAMILY!!!!

"Taranette Neely, Donald Neely's sister, said "it didn't look good" but told KPRC that her brother said he was not upset about the incident and said the officers were 'nice'."

Jim Forsythe

Ask the Neely family.

"I want justice to be served. I want those officer fired," said Andy Neely, Neely's brother.

Neely, they say, despite their efforts, is homeless and mentally ill. They feel like the officers took advantage of him.

"And the way the officers treated him?" said brother Andy Neely. "It ain’t right, it’s just not right at all.”

Neely’s family, who shared a photo of the 43-year-old, said he has a history of mental challenges and lives on and off the streets.

Andy Neely sister, Taranette Neely. "We just want justice, for him.”

"He’s been having it rough all his life. It's just bad. He never had a chance," says Taranette, who says she is devastated to see her brother treated with "no dignity, like a slave," or an animal. "Disgusting. Just straight out disrespectful to humans," Taranette adds.

Neely’s family is calling for the officers to be fired, according to ABC. Tranette Neely told the Times. “You’re a criminal in their eyes. You’ll always be a criminal. Ain’t no redemption for you. You’re trash. And that’s how they treated him.”

Neely’s sister-in-law, Christin Neely, was among those who criticized Galveston police. Neely had been “treated like an animal”, she said, adding that he was homeless and mentally ill, and the family often struggled to locate him. Neely's sister-in-law Christin Neely said on that her brother is a 'homeless and mentally ill' father of eight."

Carlos Ponce

More red herrings from Jim. Donald Neely said the police were nice.

His other relatives weren't there, Jim.

Jim Forsythe

Donald Neely respects the police, but felt it was not reciprocated on that day. Mentality ill sometime need other to speak for them. that was why they were speaking for him to the press.

GALVESTON, Texas - The man who was arrested by Galveston Mounted Patrol officers in a controversial video is speaking out. Donald Neely has been homeless for three years and has been arrested by those officers before, but on August 3, 2019, Neely says he couldn't believe when the officers, who were on horseback, tied him to a rope and began walking him down the street.

Neely told me he has respect for authorities, but that day, he didn't feel the respect was reciprocated.

"It was kind of hot and sweaty. That didn’t make it no better," says Neely.

In the heat of summer, Neely was tied to a rope and walked down Market Street in Galveston as officers rode on horseback to take him to jail for trespassing.

"They paraded me down the strand with my hands handcuffed behind my back with a long rope," he said.

"I couldn’t believe I was walking down the street with two officers on a mounted horse and I’m in the middle with handcuffs on going to the patrol car," Neely said.

Carlos Ponce

"he didn't feel the respect was reciprocated." that was the FOX26 reporter's words and interpretation, not Donald Neely's.

Carlos Ponce

"Michael Brown, 18" ???? Are you joking? Michael Brown attacked a police officer and was trying to take his gun according to Black eyewitnesses. This happened during the Obama administration. Eric Holder's Justice Department cleared the officer but found problems within the department. No "bad cop" here. The officer was just coming off a call in which he was saving the life of an African-American girl.

Tarris Woods, you really need to do some SERIOUS research on all the names on your list. Calling all the officers involved "bad cops" is defamatory and a LIE. There are some bad officers involved but your list contains many where officers were doing their job to protect and serve.

Bailey Jones

I heard a news report over the weekend about Minneapolis police reform. Under the new policy, approved by the mayor and police chief, officers in Minneapolis will be required to use the lowest level of force possible when interacting with suspects.

This gives an idea of just how low the bar is set for police reform.

Charles Douglas

When I read this Op-ed I was reminded of a marathon I watched get stated on TV once, and later the ending on the evening news. Well, see, when the starter gun sounded, I observed all kinds of wanna-bee runners shoot out the gate like they were running the 60yard dash instead of a 26 mile race! The real marathon seasoned runners came out normal by setting up their strides, pace, and game plans to win the race! Later, at the finish ...the sprinters were NOWHERE to be seen! Mr. Woods' Op-ed is like these running observations. He starts out rather strongly, talking about the deaths of African-Americans, but faded out later when he decided to include DEMOCRATIC and LEFTIST narratives and talking points, by harping on SLAVERY which happened 400 years ago and counting! It is a cheap way devised by the LEFT to play on African-American emotions, in order to control us, shackle our minds, as their ancestors shackled our ancestors' bodies!

It is like hacking the scab off a wound almost healed....that it might bring a flood of fresh red blood spewing out once again! Mr. Woods mentions one day dispensing with " THE TALK"...concerning prosper conduct when BLACKS are stopped by police. Well, shouldn't White parents do the same? Should they? If GOD did not want parents to teach their kids proper conduct and respect, why would he put them here and admonish them in HIS WORD, to teach, and discipline their children? The TALK should be a perpetual thing for parents OF all ethnicities to give to their children! Next, Mr. Woods mentioned his time as a Police Officer but he did not mention what he would have done if he had a suspect to put Mr. Woods' life at risk by making a move to go in his pockets or dashing for an automobile and bending down in it as if to retrieve a weapon, while being screemed at to stop! He goes on to talk about stripping away immunity from BAD COPS but gives no distinction or explanations how GOOD COPS would be exempt from such legislation for civil liability.

Lastly, he comes out full blast urging African-Americans to vote for a known RACIST who have spent a lifetime in government denigrating, lambasting, hating, vilifying and tramping on BLACK people, and our rights, while consorting with known KKK MEMBERS! In my opinion he is out to help Democrats and not African-Americans! That makes him a DEMOCRATIC SURROGATE, reminding me of BLACK SLAVE runners in SLAVERY times of the 1800s used to track down runaway slaves trying to excape the systemic horror of the instutions of SLAVERY perpetuated by DEMOCRATES!

Charles Douglas

One more thing! I want that racist Democratic Candidate to quit forcing African-Americans to read off a prepared piece of paper trying to BEFUDDLE the public, allowing him to function with prepared for questions in FAKE public interviews! Joe is a Fraud! A FAKE, LOSER , FAILURE, AND A RACIST! BLACK FOLKS know how to speak! That was yet another RACIST act coming from Joe LunchBucket toward minorities! This foolishness coming from the LEFT will be over in 56 days! Thin man gave away the store with his failed initiatives during h8s career,.... The Iran Deal, TPP, NAFTA, CHINA WTO STATUS, Joe LunchBucket has sold Middle Class America out during the Fifty years he has been in government! He has helped to load American Factories and jobs on ships and planes by selling government , and sent them to China, Mexico, Canada, India, Japan, and South Korea! Whats more , he will do the same thing again if he gets the chance! The man is so useless he can't campaign two days in a row without folding!

Charles Douglas selling government access....

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Thank you for reading!

Please log in, or sign up for a new account and purchase a subscription to read or post comments.