My spirit is bothered and my heart hurts because another Black boy has been killed senselessly by a police officer. Every day, Black and brown boys and girls are murdered without justice and without reason. But there’s a special kick in the chest when it happens at the hands of law enforcement officers. Because what are they enforcing besides the systemic genocide of people of color?
Last month, it was Eric Garner who was put in a chokehold by NYPD and it ended the asthmatic man’s life. There was video footage of that and the city’s medical examiner surprisingly made the right calling and ruled his death a homicide. Saturday, it was Mike Brown of Ferguson, Missouri, shot while unarmed with his hands up and on his knees. A police officer shot him multiple times as he was showing that he was no threat. His body laid face down and his blood ran in the streets.
There were many witnesses and footage on camera phones have been released. In broad daylight, in front of people, in the middle of the street, a police officer shot an unarmed Black boy several times. Because of what? Because he was EMBOLDENED enough to do it. Because that boy’s humanity doesn’t matter. Because he knew he could kill him and walk away. Because what’s another black boy dead?
Last night, people rioted in Ferguson. They burned down a store. There was chaos in the streets. This morning, the conversation shifted and people became more upset at the looting than the boy whose life was cut short because another racist cop felt trigger-happy. And that is absolutely ridiculous.
Rioting and looting isn’t the answer to the problem of police brutality but people don’t riot because it’s a random Sunday. They riot because they feel powerless and unheard by a system that purports to protect us but all it does is take our young, our old and our weak. People are sick and tired. People are sick and tired of being sick and tired.
If 2014 hasn’t done anything else, it’s told us that it’s open season on Black folks. Police are using us as target practice. Mike Brown’s killing in Ferguson is one of too many so when folks say police are basically licensed gang members, there’s truth to it. “To serve and protect white people and to shoot down any Black person who might make you uncomfortable.”
What do we do now? Where do we go from here when it’s another day and another one of our Black/brown young people killed for absolutely no reason? I have no answers. Just frustration.
A project called Police the Police created this graphic. If you’re ever a bystander to an escalating situation, you have the right to record what’s happening.
There are to many Erics and Mikes and Oscars. TOO FUCKING MANY.
And before yall start commenting. If you put something even mildly disrespectful about Mike Brown or anyone else I’ve mentioned here, I will delete your comment and ban your IP address. I don’t have the time.