“A young black teen shot and killed by police” has become a headline that never seems to stop popping up in the news. That’s why Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, Missouri came as no surprise to the hundreds of Americans of color who have lost loved ones in officer-involved shootings.
The sad part, police action is always seen as “justified” by the justice system. So I don’t expect cops to change their ways any time soon, and the black segment of our population will continue to be exterminated.
But who’s to blame? I think all of us. But specially the government. Here’s why:
Poverty: The government promotes a vicious cycle of poverty through our misguided welfare system. Poverty is a way of life in most African American communities across the U.S. Instead of promoting education and self reliance as a ticket to get out of poverty, our government keeps feeding the beast, trapping the poor in the welfare system. The result? they remain poor, uneducated some drift into a life of crime.
The Jail Industrial Complex: Our jails are private and our prosecutors corrupt. So you do the math.
The list of unarmed young men who’s encounter with police ended their lives is too long to examine in this article, but I will mention some of the the latest victims of our misguided laws, as reported by the media:
Tamir Rice, 12. A Cleveland police officer shot 12-year-old Tamir Rice about two seconds after the officer and a partner pulled up in a car to investigate reports that someone was brandishing a gun at a park. It turned out to be a toy gun. Authorities are investigating the shooting, and the two officers, identified Wednesday by police as Timothy Loehmann, 26, and Frank Garmback, 46, are on leave from their jobs.
Ramarley Graham. In February 2012, NYPD Officer Richard Haste spotted 18-year-old Ramarley Graham outside a Bronx bodega and reportedly thought he had a gun. Haste and another officer followed Graham back to his apartment. The officers broke inside without a warrant, and Haste shot Graham once in the chest, killing him. Graham was unarmed, and police say he was trying to flush a bag of marijuana down the toilet. His grandmother and his 6-year-old brother watched him get shot. A Grand Jury declined to indict haste.
Nicholas Heyward Jr. Thirteen-year-old Nicholas Heyward Jr. was playing “cops and robbers” in the stairwell of a Brooklyn housing project when NYPD Officer Brian George mistook the teen’s toy rifle for a real weapon. It took only two seconds from the moment police arrived at the scene and the moment police shot Nicholas’ stomach, killing him. The DA ruled the shooting a ‘justifiable homicide.’
Sean Bell, 23, was supposed to get married that day, but in his way to his wedding he was killed by a hail of NYPD bullets in Queens. The three officers who shot him were acquitted by a Grand Jury.
Oscar Grant. The name Oscar Grant III may not be familiar to you, but you probably remember the case of an unarmed 22-year-old shot and killed in Oakland, California, by BART Officer Johannes Mehserle. Mehserle said he thought he was using his Taser when he shot Grant point-blank in the back with a handgun.The tragedy was later the subject of an acclaimed movie, 2013’s “Fruitvale Station.” Mehserle was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter.
Errol Shaw. 39 years old Shaw was fatally shot at his home by Detroit police Officer David Krupinski. Shaw could not hear or speak, and his family said he couldn’t understand police orders to put down the rake he was holding. Shaw’s death triggered a federal review of the police department and police-involved shootings, resulting in a Department of Justice monitoring program. Unfortunately the program already ended. Krupinski was cleared of any wrongdoing.
O’Shaine Evan. San Francisco police Officer David Goff fatally shot O’Shaine Evans, 26, on Oct. 7. Goff reportedly approached Evans, who was sitting in a parked car, and asked him to show his hands, according to police. Goff suspected that Evans was part of a group of men who’d just burglarized an SUV near AT&T Park. According to Goff, Evans pointed a gun at him before he shot Evans twice. Goff is currently on paid leave while the shooting is under review.
h/t: Huffington Post