The Rev. Al Sharpton paid a visit to Indianapolis on Sunday to shed light on the case of Brandon Johnson – a 15-year-old biracial teenager who was brutally beaten and subjected to racial slurs on May 16 by four white police officers. According to Ken Kusmer of The Huffington Post,
“A police report said witnesses saw Johnson’s brother try to kick in the door of an abandoned building…Police say Johnson and others protested the arrest and that when an officer tried to arrest Johnson he resisted.”
It was at this point that an off-duty officer, Jerry Piland, joined the scene to assist the officers. According to Police Chief Paul Ciesielski via Mr. Kusmer,
“He (Pilard) smacked Johnson in the face with his open hand and used his knee to apply pain when the teen fell to the ground until a third officer interceded. At that point, Piland should have helped control Johnson, but instead struck him more times with his open hand, Ciesielski said.”
Lionel Rush, the Johnson family minister, expressed great concern about the police brutality as well as racial epitaphs which were directed at Johnson during the beating. Mr. Rush reports, in the IndyChannel.com while beating the young boy the police officers called Brandon a “mutt.”
Sharpton’s visit highlights the growing frustration in the city’s Black community which has called for a federal investigation of the case and criminal charges to be filed against the officers involved. The U.S. attorney’s office and the Justice Department are currently reviewing the case but so far have not made a decision as whether-or-not Brandon’s civil rights were violated.
Unfortunately, the decision made by the Indianapolis police department’s internal affairs investigation regarding the police officer’s actions was woefully inadequate. Currently three of the four officers involved have been returned to active duty and only one of them, Jerry Piland, has been fired.
In a predicable response to the firing of Officer Piland, Matt Parrott of the Indiana chapter of the Council of Conservative Citizens staged a counter-protest during Rev. Sharpton’s visit.
According to the IndyStar.com (in a brief paragraph which appeared in their article regarding Rev. Sharpton’s visit) the CofCC event attracted only a dozen people. On his website, Mr. Parrott boasts a draw of nearly 20 people. While these numbers may be in dispute his hateful message is not. He writes on his website,
“We are being attacked as a people by this federal government. We’re being attacked as a people by Indiana’s Black community. We’re being attacked as a people by our media. For fear of transgressing this regime’s taboo against White folks even thinking of ourselves as a people, we sit down and shut up as a people.
While Mr. Parrott may be a fairly recent convert, the Council of Conservative Citizens has a long history fanning the flames of racism. The group is the reconstituted racist, segregationist White Citizens Council of the 1950’s and 1960’s. The group has called black people “a retrograde species of humanity,” opposes racial intermarriage, and believes the United States is a European, Christian nation.
In recent years, the CofCC has acknowledged that recruiting young people has been a major priority. Therefore, in regards to current CofCC leadership, Mr. Parrott appears to be somewhat of a rising star.
At the 2010 CofCC national conference which was held in Nashville, TN Mr. Parrott received accommodations and an award by the council for his activism in Indiana. The conference was also attended by Tom Robb, current leader of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, and Don and Derrick Black the founders of Stromfront.org (Seen here in this disturbing video shot at the conference).
Parrott also writes for the white nationalist website, Occidental Dissent whose leadership was in attendance at the 2010 convention as well. He is an outspoken advocate against immigration by people of color – which he promotes as part of his “Petition against Illegal Immigration.”
In his blog, Mr. Parrott has written favorably of Jared Taylor and David Duke opining, “Men like Jared Taylor of American Renaissance are either ignored or silenced. Men like David Duke are smeared as villainous and stupid.”
Some may write off Mr. Parrott as just blindly hateful but in reality his tactics are premediated and calculated.
He writes as a white nationalist activist in Indiana his “cardinal objective is to establish visibility and credibility with our target audience of working and middle-class conservative Hoosiers as their foremost advocates.”
While he claims to be an advocate for Indiana’s middle-class conservatives, Matt Parrot is surely not a credible one.
Moreover, as he attempts to position himself as a voice for the Indianapolis police officers (whom he calls the “victims”) he weakens further any argument they claim to have regarding their conduct. If they even ever had one.