In his 2000 album, his first solo album, “Return of the Boom Bap,” KRS-One has a classic rap about da police, entitled, “Sound of da Police.” The chorus begins:
Woop-woop! That’s the sound of da police
Woop-woop! that’s the sound of da beast!
KRS-One goes on to rap about cops who sell crack, that he’d never be a cop, comparing a cop to a “wicked overseer!” (In one of my collections of poetry, Sometimes Blue Knights Wear Black Hats, a 2000 National Poetry Series competition finalist, I compare Blue Knights to White Knights, pointing out the historical connection.)
When we look at the cops and community relations, specifically in communities of color, KRS-One hits the bull’s-eye!:
You hotshot, wanna get props and be a savior
First show a little respect, change your behavior,
Change your attitude, change your plan
Just the other day, in the heart of the ‘hood, I saw the following bumper sticker on a cop’s personal car in front of the 73rd Precinct in Brooklyn.
That’s on the left side of the bumper of the cop’s personal car.
I’ve said this once, and I’ll say it again and again: Black people are not anti-police. They simply don’t want to call the police when a relative is having a mental health meltdown and that relative, instead of finding the help he or she needs, is shot, oftentimes fatally. They don’t want to hear specious justifications for the killing of unarmed Black men, women and children. They don’t want police officers offering “funny” Valentines, kneeling on the necks of unarmed people until they “take their breath away.” They don’t want police storming into apartments at the midnight hour with no-knock warrants and killing people in their homes.
On the right side of the bumper of the cop’s personal car:
We know, through the crimes of the Capitol Hill insurrectionists, how some white people who swear by “law and order” really feel about it when it is not being wielded against Black people, that is, Blue Lives Only Matter as a counterpoint to Black Lives Matter, as if the origin story of #BlackLivesMatter is made up. #BlackLivesMatter speaks to all the killings of people by law enforcement. The Fake News proponents would like to change this narrative, but it is now a global movement that stands up to unwarranted and unjustified police violence. Let me say that again: unwarranted and unjustified police violence.
Obviously, this cop and his/her bumper sticker speaks volumes about the attitude of some cops — let me remind them that Black people pay taxes that pay their salaries — about serving and protecting communities of color. Yes, that’s the sound of da police!