Police Brutality Quotes

Quotes tagged as "police-brutality" (showing 1-30 of 108)
Malcolm X
“If someone puts their hands on you make sure they never put their hands on anybody else again.”
Malcolm X

Benjamin Spock
“Most middle-class whites have no idea what it feels like to be subjected to police who are routinely suspicious, rude, belligerent, and brutal.”
Benjamin Spock

Angie Thomas
“When I was twelve, my parents had two talks with me.

One was the usual birds and bees. Well, I didn't really get the usual version. My mom, Lisa, is a registered nurse, and she told me what went where, and what didn't need to go here, there, or any damn where till I'm grown. Back then, I doubted anything was going anywhere anyway. While all the other girls sprouted breasts between sixth and seventh grade, my chest was as flat as my back.

The other talk was about what to do if a cop stopped me.

Momma fussed and told Daddy I was too young for that. He argued that I wasn't too young to get arrested or shot.

"Starr-Starr, you do whatever they tell you to do," he said. "Keep your hands visible. Don't make any sudden moves. Only speak when they speak to you."

I knew it must've been serious. Daddy has the biggest mouth of anybody I know, and if he said to be quiet, I needed to be quiet.

I hope somebody had the talk with Khalil.”
Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give

Janelle Gray
“The problem is, some officers put more stock in their title instead of their duty. Yes, your job title is "police." But your duty is to protect and serve. Start there.”
Janelle Gray

“I know that it's hard to believe that the people you look to for safety and security are the same people who are causing us so much harm. But I'm not lying and I'm not delusional. I am scared and I am hurting and we are dying. And I really, really need you to believe me.”
Ijeoma Oluo, So You Want to Talk About Race

Christopher L. Hayes
“There are fundamentally two ways you can experience the police in America: as the people you call when there's a problem, the nice man in uniform who pats a toddler's head and has an easy smile for the old lady as she buys her coffee. For others, the police are the people who are called on them. They are the ominous knock on the door, the sudden flashlight in the face, the barked orders. Depending on who you are, the sight of an officer can produce either a warm sense of safety and contentment or a plummeting feeling of terror.”
Christopher L. Hayes, A Colony in a Nation

James Baldwin
“I don't believe there's a white man in this country, baby, who can get his dick hard, without he hear some nigger moan.”
James Baldwin, If Beale Street Could Talk

Una LaMarche
“We'd never talked about it, but I figured you knew the rules. If a cop stopped, you didn't run, you didn't talk back, you didn't ever, ever get angry. White people could do that—hell, they could shoot up a church and then ask for Burger King—but not us. We got killed at traffic stops for speeding, for having broken taillights, for knowing our rights.”
Una LaMarche, You in Five Acts

Robert Louis Stevenson
“The thoughts of his mind, besides, were of the gloomiest dye; and when he glanced at the companion of his drive, he was conscious of some touch of that terror of the law and the law’s officers, which may at times assail the most honest.”
Robert Louis Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

“There are fundamentally two ways you can experience the police in America: as the people you call when there's a problem, the nice man in uniform who pats a toddler's head and has an easy smile for the old lady as she buys her coffee. For others, the police are the people who are called on them. They are the ominous knock on the door, the sudden flashlight in the face, the barked orders. Depending on who you are, the sight of an officer can produce either a warm sense of safety and contentment or a plummeting feeling of terror.”
Chris L. Hayes

Manlio Argueta
“The guardsmen dragged him to the Detour; the mules they had ridden were there. The corpse was buried near here or the buzzards ate it. The authorities were laughing as they left.
One could see the laughter in their eyes, the only place where they are allowed to laugh.
Because the authorities cannot laugh. It is prohibited; at least they never laugh with their mouths. They're made to denounce, interrogate and capture. Laughing is a weakness. They themselves say, 'Laughter abounds among fools.' An official must not show any weakness before a civilian, otherwise he'll thereby lose precisely his authority. The authorities are short on words; they don't want to lose their strength by speaking to civilians. They act. That's the only way they can defend property, which is sacred. That's why many of them are paid by landowners. How big a bonus they get depends on how well they behave.”
Manlio Argueta, One Day of Life

Ralph Ellison
“Such was the short bitter life of Brother Tod Clifton. Now he's in this box with the bolts tightened down. He's in the box and we're in there with him, and when I've told you this you can go. It's dark in this box and it's crowded. It has a cracked ceiling and a clogged-up toilet in the hall. It has rats and roaches, and it's far, far too expensive a dwelling. The air is bad and it'll be cold this winter. Tod Clifton is crowded and he needs the room. 'Tell them to get out of the box', that's what he would say if you could hear him. 'Tell them to get out of the box and go teach the cops to forget that rhyme. Tell them to teach them that when they call you nigger to make a rhyme with trigger it makes the gun backfire.”
Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man

Keith Haring
“March 28, 1987:
Today I read in the New York Times that all of the officers who killed Michael Stewart were again dismissed of charges.
Continually dismissed, but in their minds they will never forget. They know they killed him. They will never forget his screams, his face, his blood. The must live with that forever.
I hope in their next life they are tortured like they tortured him. They should be birds captured early in life, put in cages, purchased by a fat, smelly, ugly lady who keeps them in a small dirty cage up near the ceiling while all day she cooks bloody sausages and the blood spatters their cage and the frying fat burns their matted feathers and they can nerf escape the horrible fumes of her burnt meat. One day the cage will fall to the ground and a big fat ugly cat will kick them about, play with them like a toy, and slowly kill them and leave their remains to be accidentally stepped on by the big fat pig lady who can’t see her own feet because of her huge sagging tits.
An eye for an eye …
I’m not afraid of anything I’d ever done.
Not ashamed of anything.”
Keith Haring, Keith Haring Journals

James Baldwin
“In Harlem, Negro policemen are feared more than whites, for they have more to prove and fewer ways to prove it”
James Baldwin, Notes of a Native Son

Manlio Argueta
“Guadalupe Fuentes:
--They're not paid to kill honest people, to shoot for no good reasons.
Rubenia Fuentes:
--Ah, my little girl, then why do you think they give them those big guns that look like tree branches and are larger than they themselves? To shoot, baby, to shoot. Because if they don't, that gives rise to talk that the authorities are useless, are nothing more than decoration.”
Manlio Argueta, One Day of Life

Simi Sunny
“Kayla,' I exclaim. 'There may be bad police officers out there, but I can assure you that there will be no harm towards you or anyone else. Like I said before, a policeman's job is to protect people. And if they can't, that's an issue for the officer. But for now, don't worry about it.”
Simi Sunny, The White Sirens

Manlio Argueta
“We have to be well fed, the gringo tells us, so we can defend the country. In exchange for these pleasures, we cannot let these people down. One must be ready to defend the country against its enemies even at the expense of our own brothers. And, though it's unnecessary to say so, even at the expense of our mother. This might seem like an exaggeration, but the Western world is in danger and we know that the worst danger to the Western world is what they call 'the people.' The trainer shouts, 'Who is our worst enemy?' And we shout, 'The people!' And so on and so on, 'Who is the worst enemy of democracy?' And we all respond, 'The people!' Louder, he says. And we shout with all our might, 'The people, the people, the people." I'm telling you this in the strictest confidence, of course. They call us the Special Forces.”
Manlio Argueta, One Day of Life

Manlio Argueta
“Even innocent people find themselves in trouble, Adolfina is innocent. We're all innocent. The only ones at fault for the bad things that are happening are the authorities. They with their way of being. Their behavior. Yes, the only ones who go to jail or end up wounded or dead along the roads are the poor. And that's because the authorities have a predilection--they know who to hassle. They exist to boss the poor around. To order the poor about, to beat up on the poor and to carry them off as if they were animals. Someday the good life they're living will end. Always doing it to the people, always. They've never suffered the slightest hurt. That's where they get their pride from. Once they're in uniform they think they're kings of the world, and they themselves say they're disposed to anything”
Manlio Argueta, One Day of Life

“This book makes a simple argument: that American criminal justice isn’t one system with massive racial disparities but two distinct regimes. One (the Nation) is the kind of policing regime you expect in a democracy; the other (the Colony) is the kind you expect in an occupied land.”
Chris Hayes, A Colony in a Nation

Daniel  Abbott
“Dee readies the Ruger to fire. He looks down the sights and finds the back of the young officer’s head. This is power. To take the most precious thing a man has. To have that choice, squeeze or don’t squeeze, this young cop, this racist, this bully, with the pastor’s wife bent over the car now, her legs spread, he’s a little too thorough while he frisks her, a little too friendly with his hands, does he go home to a wife and child, does he go home feeling like he’s doing the city a service? Would he feel it when the bullet entered his skull? Would he have a second thought, a moment of regret, before the world turned black?”
Daniel Abbott, The Concrete

Darnell Lamont Walker
“We were murdered so often, I started believing Black bodies made better fertilizer.”
Darnell Lamont Walker

“On with the murderous dance.”
A. H. Septimius

“There are fundamentally two ways you can experience the police in America: as the people you call when there's a problem, the nice man in uniform who pats a toddler's head and has an easy smile for the old lady as she buys her coffee. For others, the police are the people who are called on them. They are the ominous knock on the door, the sudden flashlight in the face, the barked orders. Depending on who you are, the sight of an officer can produce either a warm sense of safety and contentment or a plummeting feeling of terror.”
Chris Hayes

“Our police force was not created to serve black Americans; it was created to police black Americans and serve white Americans.”
Ijeoma Oluo, So You Want to Talk About Race

“Our police forces were created not to protect Americans of color, but to control Americans of color.”
Ijeoma Oluo, So You Want to Talk About Race

“Standing on a street corner in Manhattan two days after Diallo's murder, having just come from a meeting of concerned citizens to plan an organized response, I was so filled with frustration and sorrow that I turned to the woman beside me waiting for the light to change and asked 'What do you think about the cops shooting that man forty-one-times?'

She looked startled, confused--could she not feel the palpable rage, pain, and fear that pulsed through the black veins of this city and other cities across the nation?

'I don't know. I have to wait until all the facts are in. I'm sure they had a reason,' she finally responded.

Perhaps she saw the disgust and disappointment on my face. Stepping off the curb as the light turned green, she added, 'I mean, he must have done something.”
Jill Nelson, Police Brutality: An Anthology

“The notion of the 'Black male predator' is so historically rooted in the American consciousness that we have come to accept the brutalization and murder of citizens by the police as an acceptable method of law enforcement. The assumption is that Black men are the bad guys, the police are the good guys, and if the police killed someone it must have been for a good reason. They must have done something.”
Jill Nelson, Police Brutality: An Anthology

When I reached this policeman in the street, he hit me over the head with his club...I wanted to get protection, but instead the cops hit me...I was afraid to run, because I knew if I did they would hit me again.

Harry Reed's affidavit is dated August 22, 1900. And little has changed in a century.”
Jill Nelson, Police Brutality: An Anthology

Arundhati Roy
“They heard the thud of wood on flesh. Boot on bone. On teeth. The muffled grunt when a stomach is kicked in. The muted crunch of skull on cement. The gurgle of blood on a man’s breath when his lung is torn by the jagged end of a broken rib.

Blue-lipped and dinner-plate-eyed, they watched, mesmerized by something that they sensed but didn’t understand: the absence of caprice in what the policemen did. The abyss where anger should have been. The sober, steady brutality, the economy of it all.

They were opening a bottle.

Or shutting a tap.

Cracking an egg to make an omelette.”
Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things

Mark Oshiro
“What should the Oakland Police Department do next?'
Next? Moss thought. [...]
'Stop killing us.'
Then Moss walked away from it all.”
Mark Oshiro, Anger Is a Gift

« previous 1 3 4
All Quotes | My Quotes | Add A Quote