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If Black lives really matter, we need the courage to police the police and stop killing us

December 26, 2016

by Andre Reid

This is the panoramic view from the Potrero Hill Neighborhood House in the 1990s. Known as The Nabe, generations have grown up here. Is a corrupt criminal justice system responsible for snatching adults like Andre Reid, who are committed to the community, away from here, where the youth need their guidance, and locking them up in prison?

I’m from the Potrero Hill District, raised on Missouri Street, and I’m currently incarcerated in San Quentin State Prison doing 12 years on a manslaughter case. I’m not going to act like I’ve always been a law-abiding citizen. Growing up, I did a lot of things I wish I could take back. It’s no excuses; I was a part of the problem instead of the solution.

The reason I’m writing is I’ve never tried to use my voice as an advocate in my neighborhood. I was almost killed by the police on Jan. 23, 2003, in the parking lot of Walgreens on Third Street and Evans.

The officer who shot me – well, grazed me in the face – was an officer whose service weapon was taken because of psych issues. His name was Paul Lozada. (Editor’s note: Lozada, according to the Chronicle, “served as an adviser to Oscar winner Denzel Washington in ‘Training Day,’ in which Washington portrayed a narcotics cop with Lozada’s flashy street dress and braggadocio.”)

At the time, I didn’t know the voice I could have had if I would have spoken out. I guess because I was placed in jail as the result of the SFPD trying to cover up the issue, I was scared and was just happy to be alive and not in jail. Because of this incident, I’ve been railroaded by the SFPD.

The reason I’m writing is I’ve never tried to use my voice as an advocate in my neighborhood.

Before this case that I’m in jail for, I was working at the Potrero Hill Neighborhood House and volunteering at the Potrero Hill Resource Center working with the kids in the neighborhood. I know firsthand the issues Black people face in the hood.

It’s not just police brutality. It’s also the resources and education and work opportunities. As a whole, we’re not using our voice.

The Black community is the only community that isn’t a community. We allow officers to terrorize the youth with all types of harassment and illegal arrests. It’s no one policing the police.

As a whole, the Black race is the only race that doesn’t have their own. If you don’t have skill with a ball or mic, it’s practically not okay to be anything Black. If you’re a successful Black person and you speak out against the wrong that’s going on, then they try to take that voice.

It’s not just police brutality. It’s also the resources and education and work opportunities. As a whole, we’re not using our voice.

Look how Colin’s being done for taking a knee during the national anthem. They think because he’s biracial, he’s not Black. What they don’t get is Black will always be Black, no matter what you’re mixed with. He still deals with the same thing we do.

To be real, I don’t know why I’m writing besides I want to thank the Bay View for being the voice of the Black people in San Francisco. And to let you know that if you wanted to use me as a platform to spark the conversation of what’s going on in our community, I’m here to answer any question.

In my community, I’m a person the youth look up to and listen to. I’m not a great writer outside of writing music, but I’m here! And thank you again.

Look in the mirror

We point fingers all we want, but we can’t do that unless we’re ready to look in the mirror at ourselves. The mirror doesn’t lie.

We have to stop killing us for Black lives to matter. We have to do something about the drugs in the hood. We have to teach the kids that’s having kids how to be parents. I was 15 with a kid.

My story is very epic in that I am the epitome of what the youth in the hood face every day. I just haven’t figured out how to use my story and voice to help change things.

By the way, in the streets I’m known as Dre or Drug. Don’t ask how I got the name either; I don’t know. To be real, I don’t like it.

Send our brother some love and light: Andre Reid, BA-5817, SQSP, San Quentin CA 94974.

4 thoughts on “If Black lives really matter, we need the courage to police the police and stop killing us

  1. Todd Elliott Koger

    75 percent of America's high-poverty neighborhoods in 1970 still classified that way four decades later. Racial and class inequality is very much alive. A "progressive politics" apartheid where blacks who have voted Democratic for almost 50 years are now being driven from their neighborhoods that have been their home for generations. We gave the Democratic Party our votes and they "took us for granted" leaving us living with social tension, unrest, and the worst GUN VIOLENCE AND VIOLENT CRIME . . . A diminished hope and no opportunities while the Democratic Party's upscale hipster real estate speculators prosper.

    President-Elect Donald Trump wants to enable states with dedicated grants and implementation standards related to diversity, inclusion, targeted hiring the resources necessary to spur investment in under served black neighborhoods. Stopping gun violence, revitalizing education, creating jobs, replacing substandard housing, and strengthening black families is a mandate we secured for him.

    Mr. Trump owes his victory to "predominately black Democratic strongholds" who were convinced to give him more votes than the previous Republican candidates. African Americans (like Todd Elliott Koger) convinced hundreds of thousands blacks to “boycott” the vote and/or voting "straight" Democrat. In North and West Philadelphia (Eastern PA) and Penn Hills, Allegheny County (Western PA) turnout fell 10 percent in the majority-black wards. In Milwaukee, Wisconsin turnout was down 50,000. In Detroit and Wayne County, Michigan 75,000 "Motown Voters" stayed home. Just 50,000 votes in these three states Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin decided the election.

    For “school choice” for persistently low-achieving inner city schools . . . To provide career training in high-growth industries, manufacturing, and informational technology . . . To encourage job creation, community redevelopment, and sustainable "BLACK LIFE" we need at least one "legitimate and capable" brother and/or sister in the "West Wing" of the White House to direct a "PLAN" to put black boys and girls to work removing blight and building new affordable housing.


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  2. Pecker Checker

    Ask fake Blacks Bay area what? Social polarization "act" impartial mistake just get social acceptance with careers see bigotry false interest. Apparent Blacks didn't generate "economic: success of San Francisco really anyhow many turn coats due. Careers and financial interest biggest treat to equality ask Cohen and London Breed there politicians admit this. Majority of Blacks in California seldom understand economics nor political front London Breed informed district 5 Blacks. To remain home so beat Dean Preston was it beneficial due,increase of gentrification sadly doesn't matter. Blacks achieving careers or wealth unwelcoming city always have racist increase due chosen global firms. You'll read why others gotten entrance forgotten duty, of racist to persist continue segregation easy. Increasing co-dependency and lenient laws of guilty where is defeat of "poverty and gentrification" London Breed for mayor 2020? Color refuse acknowledge racism it was political regarding preference to renters BayView toss by judge Blacks especially males treat to marginalized racism "sub-society" San Francisco beware of liberalization Democrats are enemies!

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  3. richard greene

    Herr Trump is the name of the African American communities new white savior ???? Don't make me laugh this must have been written by one of the many racist group members who supported this Neo Nazi Herr Drumpf's and his vision of a whites only America! Was this not the same man vilifying my hard working Mexican American brothers and sisters who pick lettuce make beds and other back breaking duty racist whites won't ? Mein kampf Herr Drumpf unsuccessful woefully pathetic attempt at transforming hard working law abiding people into criminals rapist and murderers preaching to brain dead white minions hatred. Simultaneously Drumpf sends Billy Bob's and Jody Bucks jobs to the slaves in China and Bangladesh which is where Herr Donald the hateful Ducks products are made by children as young as ten there they are abused by deviants shoving a high powered air hose into their anus and killed! At one of Herr Drumpf''s many Ku Klux Klan rallies Herr Drumpf calls African American women and men thugs for not agreeing with his hate a racist support team spits on any one daring to repudiate their bile aswell calling them nigger and physically attacking them punching a man in the face as the police lead him out of a Nazi meeting. A former U.S Marine shoved a African American woman to the floor screaming the N word at her now that is what i call supporting everyone's constitutional right of free speech this Marine took an oath to support all Americans… so manly, bringing sanity and equality to America! Hey Drumpf sheep you got your wish attempting to revive a dead and buried racist America back from it's horrid grave like a zombie why oh why are not in an urn your dead and gone useless! But don't worry Herr Drumpf sheep this guy a sociopath billionaire draft dodging serial lying union busting miscreant will declare bankruptcy regularly fires you at will not paying and will take Obama care from you the only way to treating your many ill's. Herr Drumpf instigates wars to profit your children die in not his and he was too much of an America hating coward to serve in the nations military as his nation called and yah voted for him anyway!

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  4. Ruth Sherman

    I enjoyed reading your commentary. I have often pondered the same thing… that we don't do anything that counts… and we are never proactive in addressing the problems that we face. We have to put forth the issues and develope understanding about the problems we share if we're gonna solve anything.

    Reply

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