There are few words for what I am seeing in this nation. Earlier this year Bob wrote two distinct blogs, One titled Cop Killers
and on titled Killer Cops
Reading both of them again this morning -- one after the other, I am left with a heavy heart to the ills that are consuming this nation. On one hand, we have a largely white populace that hates the government and is acting out against the federal government. On the other, a mostly black populace that is protesting against the brutality shown against people of color in our nation. Yesterday, we learned that there would be no indictment of the NYPD officer who killed Eric Garner. That death was ruled a homicide by the coroners office. Almost no one talks about the other video of that incident
Anyone unsure why so many people of color are upset with the police, and suspicious of the American justice system, put your politics down, open your eyes and watch the videos.
There’s more to be said on another day about broken-windows policing. Garner was known to cops for selling loose cigarettes, though he wasn’t doing that when he was arrested and killed.
There is also more to be said about the dishonesty or intellectual confusion of activists, protesters and politicians who often appear to view cops as the only real criminals.
But fear of police and lost faith in justice are real, corrosive forces. That fear makes decent people of color feel that society places a lower value on their lives. It makes parents and their children fear the very people who are supposed to be protecting them. Good policing demands community buy-in, so perception itself matters.
I am heartbroken.
Travon Martin should not be dead.
Micheal Brown should not be dead. Eric Garner should not be dead. John Crawford should not be dead. Tamir Rice should not be dead. Ezell Ford should not be dead. Vonderrit Myers Jr. should not be dead. Rumain Brisbon should not be dead.
The facts surrounding Rumain Brisbon's death — the ones that could be agreed upon as of Wednesday evening — follow a narrative familiar to a nation still reeling from the racially charged police incidents in Ferguson, Mo., New York City and elsewhere.
In Phoenix on Tuesday evening, a White police officer who was feeling threatened used lethal force on an unarmed Black man. The incident left the officer unharmed and Brisbon, 34, with two bullet wounds in his torso at a north Phoenix apartment complex.
I don't care what their histories may or may not have been, these people are human. They were living breathing creatures on this planet. They did not deserve to die by the bullet of a police officer. As Bob said back in August:
Black Lives Matter.
When lethal force becomes the go-to for the police, when it becomes routine, when it becomes accepted by the power structure... when victims are demonized to excuse the police officers' actions... then we have lost what it means to be America. We are all guaranteed a fair and honest trial by our own Constitution, and the police that take it upon themselves to be judge, jury, and executioner have no business calling themselves Americans. They have more in common with the terrorists who use violence to strike fear into our psyches.