Trust In The Law Vs. Hooded Justice

by Travis Mateer

I rewatched the Watchmen series that HBO put out a few years ago and, man, I’m sure glad I did because maybe it can help me understand how INSTITUTIONAL BETRAYAL by the criminal justice system can really fuck a person up.

The historical backdrop for this alternative history narrative is the 1921 Tulsa massacre of Black Wall Street. One of the main characters, Will, is a young boy at the beginning, watching an idyllic and completely improbable movie showing a corrupt Sheriff being held accountable by a masked US Marshall who ends up, in the reveal, being black.

The title of the movie the young boy is watching before all hell breaks loose is Trust In The Law, which is the final line you hear the Marshall yell to the happy towns people on screen before the action REALLY starts.

Hooded Justice is the vigilante persona a grown up Will takes on after trying to do justice the official way, as a cop. Will is black, so obviously racism is the main reason he’s nearly lynched from a tree by his fellow badges, but the commentary the series makes about vigilantism, and the role of masks to hide from the pain of past trauma, goes far beyond race.

The character pictured above is Angela Abar, a traumatized woman who uses the persona of “Sister Night” to hide behind. At the beginning of the show, she thinks her fellow cops are her friends, but she slowly comes to understand the degree of corruption and manipulation she’s up against within her own department, which is how she rationalizes breaking the law herself to get answers.

Today’s post was going to be much different. I was reflecting on how this year began for me, with a post about the LifeGuard Group that included this:

One of the sexual assault investigations referenced in this redacted letter, which I took a serious risk to publish, didn’t go the way the victim hoped. If that person was you, and a County Attorney was going to meet with you to explain why they DID NOT charge the man you think is a danger to our community, what would you feel justified in doing?

Would you secretly record the meeting with the County Attorney? Or, take it a step further, would you plan to remove this threat by extra-judicial means?

It’s extremely ironic the author of the above letter considers herself a “watchman who foresees the danger and must warn the people“, considering she’s effectively neutralized MY ability to show up in person to comment at City Council meetings, thanks to the legal action this person has decided to take against me.

If I hadn’t been escorted out of council chambers last night by 3 cops and a member of private security, my comment would have been a warning about the Integrated Public Safety Department that’s being planned by our placeholder Mayor, and the possibility of a Public Private Partnership (PPP) between police and private security, namely Black Knight.

Going back to the Watchmen series, there’s so much rich material in this show, I’ll probably have to write more about it soon, like how a creepy Panda mask relates to graffiti I documented earlier this year.

While my plans to leave this town behind for awhile progress, I’ll keep plugging away with the work I’ve been doing LONG BEFORE “Sister White” came into my life offering the false hope of a genuine partner in a shared calling.

Yes, it sucks when you realize how deeply fucked the institutions that run our criminal justice system are, but to then turn and use that system to do what’s being done to me? It’s impressive.

And, I do believe, it’s all a part of God’s plan, like the conversation I’ll be having later this morning, and the trip that will be happening soon.

If you would like to help me prepare for the next stage of my investigation into the case that started it all for me, Travis’ Impact Fund (TIF) is one way to do that, and the donation button at my about page is another.

Stay tuned, there’s surely more to come!

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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1 Response to Trust In The Law Vs. Hooded Justice

  1. Pingback: Road Review: August 21-25 | Zoom Chron Blog

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