Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate March 2001

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Anti-Racist Action (ARA) COPWATCH is organized by people who don't trust the police. We believe the police are racist. They beat, harass, and detain people just on the basis of skin color. This is not acceptable! Police misconduct must stop now! We want the cops to feel watched. They think they can get away with just about anything in the name of the "law." But we don't believe that they have any sense of justice and we think they abuse their power and privileges. They don't care about people in the community"¦ Remember when they locked two Native American men in the back of their trunk and got away with it? Remember when they shot Tycel Nelson and got away with it? Dan May, the cop who mercilessly, shot Tycel is still on the beat. Remember when they bust into your neighbor's house without a search warrant and beat your friend under the guise of a "drug bust" or pulled over your neighbor because of a broken headlight and your neighbor ended up spending a night in jail? And remember all the countless other examples.

When will this stop?? ARA COPWATCH is one way to begin to resist this rotten system.

We have the right to watch the police. In fact, even though the police harass us when we watch them, what we are doing is not illegal. Of course police interpret the law however they see fit, but the bottom line is that we do have the right to watch. They may accuse us of "obstructing justice." But we recognize that we're not doing anything wrong, they're the ones that lead us to mistrust them.