It is 2015 and I thought the days of mayhem and senseless slaughter of black men by whites was over, but with all the killings of unarmed black men, women, and children surfacing in the public, it makes you wonder has it ever stopped. Have some rogue cops traded in their white sheets for uniforms?
Is the resentment of minority advancement causing a backlash of deadly vengeance? In a constitutional law case Brandenburg v. Ohio a self-proclaimed Klans man encouraged his followers in my home state to do just that and made it clear that his group was made up of many. The case is 45 years old, although just recently my city, Cincinnati, was ranked one of the most racist cities in America. When I read about Brandenburg v. Ohio, for a Constitutional law class, I was amazed at the rhetoric used then that sound so similar to what we hear today. For example, many right wingers plead for “states’ rights” and “We want our county back” which were the same cries by the Klan members in that rally. When I see an officer of the law abuse his or her authority to use deadly force and in return receive no consequences for the act I’m left to believe there is a bigger perpetrator to this injustice.
Case after case of routine traffic stops or misleading 911 calls has resulted in the unnecessary deaths of many. The biggest travesty is the lack of accountability toward these law enforcement officers. The criminal justice system in America is an absolute failure in distributing justice equally instead of selectively. I believe that the failure to indict Mike Brown, Eric Garner, and John Crawford III’s murders has led to the progressive rampage in police killings against unarmed black citizens like Walter Scott, Freddie Gray, and Eric Harris. When there is no accountability for a man being choked to death in the streets of New York or for a young man gunned down while shopping for a pellet gun in Walmart, it set the precedence that some people really are above the law, and can get away with murder.
If all you have to say is “I fear for my life…”, or “he was reaching for my gun…” without any questions or challenge then what prevents any officer from showing restraint when the formula to get away with murder is in those statements. Along with ambiguous laws that do not definitively clarify when to use deadly force. Instead, many statutory laws provide loopholes where deadly force can be used under the presumption of danger instead of occurrences of absolute danger. We can also include government agencies like our judicial system that has preference toward law enforcement agencies, which make it extremely difficult to even get an indictment let alone a conviction.
There is no justification for shooting a fleeing suspect; running away is not a death sentence. If the individual under suspicion was apprehended instead of shot he or she would be charge with a minor offense like resisting arrest, fleeing a scene of a crime, or obstruction of justice, all minor and dismissible in most cases. Police who play judge, jury and executor under unwarranted circumstances should face the full extent of the law like any other citizen in this country, but way too may DO NOT. Therefore I charge the blood of all who have been killed unjustly known and unknown on America.
America’s criminal justice system has been grossly negligent and only with the rise in technology, has the unspeakable truth of police misconduct come to light. The cooperation of deception between law enforcement and the judicial system is more criminal and threatening to society than any offense we have ever seen. When we consider all the lives lost behind unnecessary uses of deadly force known and unknown; than we have undoubtedly witnessed the steady extermination of people of color in America. As President Obama said in a press conference from the White House on April 28th, 2015, regarding police brutality against African Americans, “This is not new and we shouldn’t pretend it’s new.” Not only is the killing of unarmed black men, women and children by white police officers not new, but it hasn’t been America’s priority either. So everyone who have ignored the cries of the black community that could have made a difference with new policies and criminal justice reform, the blood of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, John Crawford III, Tamir Rice, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray and countless others known and unknown, are on your hands, America!
The real question is how long do we have to wait for criminal justice reform before someone else falls prey to America’s corrupt criminal justice system?