I hate it when “race” is injected into a story to make it “sell.” There is more than enough “injustice” in this world without escalating it by playing the “race” card. However, I just don’t know how to portray this “particular” incident without at least “touching” on it. For a while now, unarmed Black men have been getting killed by officers (or people acting in the role of officers) with the perpetrators getting off “scott free.” At some point people were semi joking that it is now “very legal” to go hunt down and shoot any unarmed Black male on the street for any reason. In this particular story, an officer pulled over a man for a “broken tail light.” The male, who was wanted for child support payments, ran from the officer for fear of being arrested. The officer shot and killed him from behind. Originally, the officer made up the story that he “feared for his life” after the man tried to wrestle him for his gun. This tactic seemed to work for other “similar” cases involving killing unarmed men. Unfortunately for this officer, a good citizen actually “videotaped” the encounter. For those who would like to witness the incident for yourself, the “graphic” video can be seen by clicking on this link:
Based on this video, the officer has now been charged with murder. However, what might have happened if there had been no video taken? I have a police officer friend of mine who told me what it is like to be a policeman . He said that if he wanted to, he could “literally pull anyone off the street” based on “his word against theirs.” That is an “awful lot of power” for one individual to have over someone. In the case of Michael Brown (A Black male gunned down in Ferguson), he was singled out as he was walking the street. The officer managed to shoot him “multiple times” claiming that the male offered resistance and tried to go after his gun. I think he was shot about 8 times (it is difficult for me to imagine him still resisting after the third, fourth or fifth time he was shot). However, the officer was eventually cleared and fully exonerated. Maybe in “this particular instance” the officer will be convicted in court. Please forgive me if I have lost some faith in the court systems to convict dishonest cops in these matters. As much as i detest what happened, I am more upset because I “already know” that this case will be “blown way out of proportion” because the officer was white and the victim was black. I expect there to be more protests, and should this officer somehow be acquitted of all charges (and yes, that is a still a VERY real possibility) there will be a LOT of ugliness as a result. “Wrong is wrong,” and to me the story just by itself is disheartening. Once people start adding that “R” word into the mix the end results might be “catastrophic.” People will probably differ on this story (and that’s fine), but the one thing I will say is that we “need more video.” Only after officers realize that their actions are being recorded then we might actually save some lives. In this story, even though the man “ran” that was still no reason to shoot and kill him. Please understand that I am by “no means” saying that all policemen are dishonest (because we know that’s not true), but this instance here cannot help but leave a “dark stain” on the police department. The person who shot the video should be labeled a hero, because without it, the officer might still be on the street and might kill others in the same manner thinking that he will always get away with it. Truth be told, this story is already ugly enough. I just hope that we can get “past” the issue of race so that any “potential violence” can be “averted.” Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought and as always, I wish you the very best that life has to offer today.
Activists Al Sharpton, Dick Gregory and Brett Jolly