Tag Archives: police killings

Commentary: Let’s Get Real

images (3)A few days ago something happened that was the white folk’s worst nightmare. A blond haired white woman was shot by a policeman. A black policeman; to my knowledge, a first and so far the usual support from the police union nor the NRA have yet spoken out or announce they have come to his aid. This is noticeable because there has been a black man, woman, and a considerable number of children have been murdered by the police, unarmed, all over the country and white folk did not seem to care but about six hundred this year alone!

No other developed nation in the world has 10% of that number. We are experiencing a full-blown crisis of police brutality in this country, but it’s hardly getting any coverage as Donald Trump absolutely sucks the wind out of the news cycle every single day. But this killing is – for America, it is known that the white is viewed as a prize and particularly if she is killed by a black man! Remember OJ?

Personally, I don’t think America is ever going to give a damn about police brutality until they see it destroying the lives of white families. That’s the American way. It’s what we’re basically seeing with the opioid crisis in our country right now. America seems to be coming to grips with the alarming crisis of drug addiction affecting and destroying white families. However, they never gave damn back in the day when “they” flooded black communities from coast to coast, with drugs. The level of humanity and compassion being shown to those affected by the opioid crisis is right. However, that same humanity and compassion were absolutely missing during the crack epidemic of the 80s and 90s or the heroin epidemic in the 60’s and 70’s. Then, America’s jails and prisons were stocked full with addicts and dealers alike.

This weekend in Minneapolis, the unthinkable happened. Police brutality the line when a beautiful, blonde haired, white woman, Justine Damond, a yoga and meditation instructor from Australia, who was just a few weeks away from getting married, was shot and killed by a black cop in Minneapolis police officer outside of her home. From all indications, Damond called the police herself when she believed she heard some type of disturbance in the alley behind her home. At almost midnight on Saturday, when she met the officers outside in her pajamas, an officer inside of the car shot and killed Justine. She wasn’t found to be carrying a weapon. The cops shot and killed an unarmed white yoga instructor in her pajamas who called them for help.

Police have so far refused to give any adequate details on why officers felt the need to shoot this woman. But local activists and leaders weren’t so worried about the initial statement from the department because every single officer in Minneapolis now wears a body camera but neither the body cam nor the car video was turned on. You know that is an excuse we’ve seen in numerous cases of police brutality against African Americans in this country.

In other words, the only witness besides the cops to the shooting is dead, no known footage of it exists, and all we will have left to go by is the word of the cops who did the shooting. If the past is any indication, we should expect the officers to corroborate each other’s stories and speak of how the yoga instructor caused them to fear for their lives. So the death of Justine Damond is dominating news headlines in the United States and Australia. If you can remember it took over a year for the news media to even mention Trayvon Martin!

This thought came to mind; Eric Garner, who was choked to death by the NYPD three years ago on video can be called the perfect face of police brutality victims. So is Sandra Bland. So is Tamir Rice. So is Amadou Diallo. So is Rekia Boyd. So is Jordan Edwards. So is Philando Castile. But I’ll be honest with you, I think a lot of well-meaning white people have looked at the most well-known cases of police brutality, and have seen a black problem that is simply unlikely to visit them like it is now visiting the family of Justine Damond.

They say when black people are killed by the police “why don’t you stop resisting” or it was the dead person’s fault because the police were scared for their life. For the past three years, almost one a week, black people across the country have been watching the horrors of police brutality and internalizing so much of the pain. Not one white person came forward instead they took up money for the cop’s. Maybe they will feel the pain of this event and address the serious issue of police brutality that we have been complaining about for decades! Oops this is different because this is a black cop and he will go to jail!!! And that is my thought provoking perspective…


This Case Reminds Me Of Jim Crow Era Justice

th-10Jury nullification occurs when a jury seems to ignore evidence, or the law was common in the segregated Jim Crow South, and white folk took pride in letting crimes against black people go unpunished. History is littered with such facts and that is what came to mind with Monday’s mistrial in the case of a white South Carolina police officer caught on video fatally shooting a fleeing, unarmed black after stopping him for driving with a broken taillight.

In the last few years, case after case reflect the debauchery of what is can only be called 21st-century lynchings! It is unknown how many such tragedies have occurred from the time black people were stolen and brought to America. Particularly since Reconstruction and the civil rights era where white defendants accused of crimes that left a black person cheated, abused, or dead were acquitted by all-white juries whose members could not see past race in assessing the evidence put before them. The most shocking case was that of little Emmett Till when his killers confessed but white people found them not guilty!

Though there was one black person on the jury considering the case of Michael T. Slager, the outcome was similar in a trial that was further complicated by the defendant’s being a policeman, which I should remind you were created to be slave catchers. History also shows juries are routinely reluctant to question the actions of an officer who had to act swiftly in a perceived life-or-death situation. This was not the case here; the officer lied in his report, tried to plant a taser, had an eyewitness and was recorded on video.

Slager was accused of murder and manslaughter in the death of Walter L. Scott, whom the North Charleston, S.C., the police officer stopped on April 4, 2015. A struggled ensued the cop said Mr. Scott supposedly took his taser and tried to use on him. Mr. Scott is seen running from Slager, who raises his Glock and fires eight shots at the fleeing man in about three seconds. Scott, at least 17 feet away, is hit five times in the back. Slager testified “I see him with a taser in his hand as I see him spinning around… That’s the only thing I see: that Taser in his hand.”

But Slager was either lying or delusional about his fatal encounter with Scott. The video also showed him dropping his Taser next to Scott’s body. It seems Slager has a fondness for the electrical device that can temporarily paralyze. Records show he accounted for 4 percent of all Taser use in 2014 by the 340-member North Charleston police force.

The jury saw that video at least a dozen times during the trial. But three days into deliberations its foreman, the lone black person on the panel, told the judge that one juror would not agree to convict Slager of either murder or a lesser charge of manslaughter, which would allow a sentence as little as two years. Urged to continue deliberating, the next day the jury reported that a “majority” was now undecided. A mistrial was declared.

They tell us the Slager will get another day in court; in fact; more than one. He also faces federal charges of depriving Scott of his civil rights. Meanwhile, Scott’s mother says she is putting her trust in a higher authority, which is what black people always do. “We are surrounded by a cloud of witnesses,” she shouted after the court proceedings ended with a hung jury. “He will get his reward. I’m just waiting on the Lord.” Shameful to believe that White Jesus will do anything!

In the meantime, the unsatisfactory outcome of the Slager trial with his guilt or innocence still up in the air despite what appeared to be enough evidence to come to a conclusion. This case has left a bad taste in the mouths of many black people – no a clear example of a return to Jim Crow status – it stinks!

But the authorities tell us that better police training and new procedures will solve the problem of police shooting unarmed black people. However, that does not address the issue of prejudice. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


Terror: The Scourge Of Lynchings

5The term “Lynch’s Law” and subsequently “lynch law” and “lynching” originated during the American Revolution when Charles Lynch, a Virginia justice of the peace, ordered extralegal punishment for Loyalist. Although there are some who believe the term is to pay homage to the mythical figure “Willie Lynch”, which is not true. In the South before the Civil War, members of the abolitionist movement and other people opposing slavery were also targets of lynch mob violence. This was in many ways an effective tool of white supremacy to induce fear and to control blacks by white people.

Lynching was the practice of killing, an act of terror usually by a hanging resulting from extrajudicial mob action by white people against blacks. Lynchings in the United States occurred after the American Civil War in the late 1800s, the emancipation of slaves, and chiefly from the late 1800s through the 1960s. Lynchings took place most frequently against African American men and women in the South. But I remind you that anywhere south of Canada is south in America!

Lynchings occurred most frequently from 1890 to the 1920s, a time of political suppression of blacks by whites, with a peak in 1892. Lynchings were also very common in the Old West, where the victims were African American men. Most of the South was dominated politically by conservative Democrats. Lynching was part of the informal system of enforcement of white supremacy in the late 19th century following Reconstruction.

The number of lynchings in the South is also strongly associated with economic strains, although the causal nature of this link is unclear: low cotton prices, inflation, and economic stress are associated with higher frequencies of lynching. The granting of U.S. Constitutional rights to freedmen after the American Civil War during the Reconstruction Era (1865–1877) aroused anxieties among white Southerners, who were unwilling to concede such social status to African Americans, especially in areas of black concentration.

The whites blamed the freedmen for their own wartime hardship, economic losses, and loss of social and political privilege. During Reconstruction, freedmen and whites active in the pursuit of civil rights were sometimes lynched. Also, blacks were intimidated and attacked physically to prevent them from voting, with violence increasing around elections from 1868 into the late 1870s to suppress the black, Republican vote.

White Democrats regained control of state legislatures in 1876 and a national compromise on the presidential election resulted in the removal of federal troops and official end of Reconstruction in 1877. In later decades, there continued to be violence around elections to suppress black voting, particularly with the rise of the Populist Party and some victories by Populist-Republican Fusion candidates in the 1890s.

From 1885 to 1908, southern states passed new constitutions and electoral rules to disenfranchise most blacks, ending election violence by utterly excluding them from politics. The dominant whites enacted a series of segregation and Jim Crow laws to enforce blacks’ second-class status. During this period of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Lynchings reached a peak, reflecting the social repression and hard economic times.

Florida led the nation in lynchings per capita from 1900-1930. Georgia led the nation in lynchings from 1900-1931 with 302 incidents, according to The Tuskegee Institute. Lynchings peaked in many areas when it was time for landowners to settle accounts with sharecroppers. The Tuskegee Institute recorded 3,446 blacks and 1,297 whites being lynched between 1882 and 1968, with the annual peak occurring in the 1890s, at a time of economic stress in the South and political suppression of blacks. A five-year study published in 2015 by the Equal Justice Initiative found that nearly 3,959 black men, women, and children were lynched in the twelve Southern states between 1877 and 1950.

African Americans mounted resistance to lynchings in numerous ways. Intellectuals and journalists encouraged public education, actively protesting and lobbying against lynch mob violence and government complicity in that violence. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), as well as numerous other organizations, organized support from white and black Americans alike and conducted a national campaign to get a federal anti-lynching law passed.

African-American women’s clubs raised funds to support the work of public campaigns, including anti-lynching plays. Their petition drives, letter campaigns, meetings and demonstrations helped to highlight the issues and combat lynching.[10] In the Great Migration, particularly from 1910 to 1940, 1.5 million African Americans left the South, primarily for destinations in northern and mid-western cities, both to gain better jobs and education and to escape the high rate of violence. From 1910 to 1930 particularly, more blacks migrated from counties with high numbers of lynchings.

From 1882 to 1968, “nearly 200 anti-lynching bills were introduced in Congress, and three passed the House. Seven presidents between 1890 and 1952 petitioned Congress to pass a federal law.” In 1920 the Republican Party promised at its national convention to support passage of such a law. In 1921 Leonidas C. Dyer from St. Louis sponsored an anti-lynching bill; it was passed in January 1922 in the United States House of Representatives, but a Senate filibuster by the Southern white Democratic block defeated it in December 1922. With the NAACP, Representative Dyer spoke across the country in support of his bill in 1923 and tried to gain passage that year and the next, but was defeated by the Solid South Democratic block.

Decades later, during the 1960s Civil Rights Movement, violence erupted again, with attacks and murders of black activists throughout the South, and bombings in Birmingham, Alabama of homes of aspirational African Americans. In 1964 three Mississippi civil rights workers were lynched, abducted, shot and killed by KKK members including Neshoba County law enforcement. These galvanized national public support for federal civil rights and Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ending segregation, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to enforce constitutional rights to vote.

Lynching has evolved today to where the slave catchers (police) just shoot blacks dead! I would be remissed if I did not include lynching done for mere entertainment by white! This was terror by any form of sane thinking upon blacks and in many cases sanctioned by the American governments! And that is my thought provoking perspective…


The Analogy Of A Police Killing

1104


Walter Scott Killing: The Video Seems Like Enough, But Is It?

Tales of terror on the streets of America!!!


%d bloggers like this: