By The Prophet of Life
This Summer and Fall it has been very dangerous time to be a black male in America. There have been several high profile cases that have been covered in the national press as well as stories which have not. Many of these involve white police officers killing unarmed black men.
Michael Brown- an 18 year old was walking down a street in Ferguson Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis. He got into a scuffle with a white police officer who was trying to arrest him. He was shot by the officer and died. A Grand Jury Recently found Officer Darren Wilson not guilty in Brown’s death.
Ezell Ford a mentally challenged young man was walking down a street in Los Angeles. He resisted being arrested (according to the police but eyewitnesses say he was complaint and was shot in the back). He died. The police have not released the Coroner’s report and have been ordered to do so by December 31.
Lenon Lacy- a 17 year old was found hanging from a swing set in a predominantly white mobile home park in North Carolina. The shoes on his feet were not his and in fact were two sizes too small. His body and face were covered by bruises and abrasions. Of course the coroner ruled it a suicide.
Eric Garner a 43 year old heavy set black man was selected for arrest for selling untaxed cigarettes (something he had been arrested for before).A video tape of the incident shows Garner pleading his case and asking officers not to touch him as several surrounded him. One put him in a choke hold as he was wrestled to the ground. As one officer held one arm behind Garner’s back and another pulled his free arm behind his back the officer who was choke holding him held Garner’s face against the pavement. Garner said he couldn’t breath twice and then passed out. He died in police custody. A Grand Jury found the police officer Daniel Pataleo, who was choke holding him not guilty in his death.
Akai Gurley was walking in a dark stairwell of a housing project in Brooklyn New York. The elevators were often not working in the building and stairwell lights were often out as well. A rookie police officer in the stairwell was startled by Gurley who was coming up the stairs about 1 flight down. The officer’s gun went off & Gurley was killed. A Grand Jury has just been called in this case.
Tamir Rice, a 12 Year old Cleveland Ohio resident was pointing a bb gun at passing cars. A rookie police officer arriving on the scene told Rice to put his hands up. He appeared to reach for the gun and was shot. He died the next morning.
Today, Rumain Brisbon, a 34 year old black father of four, was shot dead by Phoenix Police. He was in the driver’s seat of an SUV suspected of being involved in drug sales. When the officer asked him to get out of the car, Brisbon reached for his waistband which caused the officer to draw his gun. Brisbon fled, the officer gave chase. A struggle ensued and when Brisbon tried to reach into his own pocket, the officer, fearing he had a gun shot him twice. Brisbon only had pain pills in his pocket. He died soon thereafter.
This rash of cases illustrates one aspect of racism in America. White officers using deadly force on black males for crimes that are not capital offenses. Several questions arise: Would deadly force have been used against white males? Are African American males targeted by police departments? Is there racism I within police forces or are white officers afraid of black males and therefore, using their guns to “protect” themselves? Are these just random events that seem like part of a natural pattern of racism due to press coverage? One thing is certain, the loss of life, any life is a tragedy but if these and other similar deaths are the result of targeting or racism, America as a society really needs to end this rash of deadly encounters.
My role here is not to voice my opinion but to merely line up the facts so that you can look at them, research these cases yourself and come to your own conclusions. Please let me know what you think.
From The Kindle Book Black in America:
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