With All the hoopla concerning the NFL, Colin Kaepernick, the POTUS and whoever else offered an opinion or seized the moment to give commentary; have we forgotten the reason the protest all began? The protest is for the murder and unarmed shooting of African-Americans in this country and the ability to get away with it. Back when the murder trial of George Zimmerman’s shooting of Trayvon Martin was ended with Zimmerman being cleared of all wrongdoing, I wrote an article entitled “THISJUST IN….. IT IS NOW LEGAL TO SHOOT BLACK MALES AT WILL.” At that time I didn’t know the prophetic tone that it carried. Since that article was published in the summer of 2013 here is a list of just a few shootings of unarmed blacks by police:
- On July 19th, 2017, Cincinnati, OH prosecutors decided not to pursue a third murder trial for police officer Ray Tensing, who shot Samuel DuBose in the head on July 19th 2015, killing him, after pulling him over for a missing front license plate. The prosecutor told the mother, "since there are more racists in Hamilton county than not, its pointless to pursue another trial because you won't get a conviction." Tensing was wearing a confederate battle flag T-shirt when he murdered DuBose.
- On June 18th, 2017, Seattle police murdered a 30 year old pregnant woman suffering from mental health issues, Charleena Lyles, while her 3 of her 4 children slept in the next room. No charges have been brought against the police officers.
- On Feb 12, 2017, Jerimy Mathis, a white North Carolina state trooper shot 31-year-old Willard Scott twice in the back, killing him, as he was running away from the trooper after a traffic stop. Mathis was placed on paid leave, and no charges have been filed.
- On July 18th, 2016, Police shot Alfred Kinsey, a mental health therapist who was unarmed, while he was helping an autistic patient in a park. Kinsey was lying on the ground with his hands in the air and trying to negotiate between officers and his patient when he was shot. Both Kinsey and his patient were unarmed. Following the shooting, Kinsey stated he was handcuffed and left bleeding on the ground for 20 minutes with police giving him no medical aid. Authorities stated that they were investigating the incident, which received significant media attention following the appearance of cellphone video footage. The officer who shot Kinsey was arrested in 2017 and charged with attempted manslaughter and negligence. However, he remains employed and has not been fired.
- On July 6th, 2016, Philando Castile was shot and killed by Jeronimo Yanez, a St. Anthony, Minnesota police officer. Castile's girlfriend live-streamed the murder, showing Yanez pointing the gun at both her and her daughter. After Yanez was acquitted of all charges on June 16, 2017 by a jury, a video of the murder was leaked, showing Philando openly disclosing that he had a firearm on him, only to then be shot point-blank 5 times. According to author and former FBI agent Larry Brubaker, who has written two books on officer-involved shootings, "this is the first time an officer has been charged for a fatal shooting in Minnesota in more than 200 cases that spanned over three decades"
- On November 5th, 2015, Two police officers shot and killed 24-year old Jamar Clark. The cops were placed on paid leave. Protests over the shooting lead to another act of terrorism where 4 white men shot 5 Black lives matter protesters.
- On April 12, 2015, Freddie Carlos Gray, Jr., a 25-year-old Black man, was arrested by the Baltimore Police Department for possessing what the police alleged was an illegal switchblade under Baltimore law. While being transported in a police van, several cops held him down, putting pressure on his spinal cord, after which he fell into a coma and died on April 19, 2015. This sparked a series of protests in Baltimore; riot police responded violently, and called in the national guard to aid against the "thugs", as they were labeled by Obama in a press conference. After the protests were put down, the police officers were given separate trials, and all of them were found innocent.
- On March 30, 2015, After being pulled over for rolling through a stop sign, Floyd Dent was beaten by officer William Melendez, who had a history of civil complaints for brutality. Melendez punched him 15 times in the temple, put him in a chokehold, until another officer arrived and tased him. Melendez repeatedly threatened to kill Dent, and plant drugs on him.
- The shooting of Walter Scott occurred on April 4, 2015, in North Charleston, South Carolina, following a daytime traffic stop for a non-functioning brake light. Scott, an unarmed black man, was murdered by Michael Slager, a white North Charleston police officer. Slager was only charged with murder after an eyewitness video surfaced which showed him shooting Scott from behind while Scott was fleeing, and which contradicted his police report. Without the video, the shooting would've likely been deemed justified, as nearly all murders by police result in no charges.
- On November 22, 2014, in Cleveland, Ohio, two police officers killed 12 year old Tamir Rice, after receiving a call that he had a weapon. It turned out to be a toy.
- On November 14, 2014,Albuquerque New Mexico police officer Keith Sandy killed a mentally ill homeless man, Boyd. Sandy told another officer: “For this fucking lunatic? I’m going to shoot him in the penis with a shotgun here in a second.”, then killed Boyd 2 hours later. Sandy chose voluntary retirement(in order to avoid an internal investigation) and a pension, getting 70% of his pay for the rest of his life.
- The shooting of Michael Brown occurred on August 9, 2014, in Ferguson, Missouri, a northern suburb of St. Louis. Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old black man was fatally shot by Darren Wilson, 28, a white Ferguson police officer, after robbing a convenience store. Protests in Ferguson erupted after the murderer was found innocent, evoking a militarized crackdown on black protestors by the predominantly white police force. After his mother and some supporters put flowers and candles on the spot where he was killed, police ran over the spot with their vehicles.This systemic pattern of murder of unarmed black civilians spawned the Black Lives Matter(BLM) movement.
- The shooting of John Crawford III occurred on August 5, 2014. Crawford was a 22-year-old African-American man shot to death by Beavercreek police officer Sean Williams, in a Walmart store in Beavercreek, Ohio, near Dayton, while holding a toy BB gun.
- On August 5th, 2014, Tulsa Oklahoma police officer Shannon Kepler shot and killed his daughter's 19 year old black boyfriend, Jeremy Lake, after Lake tried to shake his hand. After the killing, he fled the scene, and neither called for medical help, nor stayed to talk with police. As of July 2017, there have been 3 deadlocked trials.
- On July 17, 2014, Eric Garner died in Staten Island, New York City, after a New York City Police Department (NYPD) officer put him in what has been described as a chokehold for about 15 to 19 seconds while arresting him. A grand jury found the officer Pantaleo innocent, sparking a series of nation-wide demonstrations against police brutality of blacks
- On April 30, 2014, a police officer, Christopher Manney, shot and killed Dontre Hamilton, a black man with a history of mental illness, at Red Arrow Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. After the shooting, Manney applied for duty disability, saying the shooting and its aftermath caused him to experience severe post-traumatic stress disorder, after being fired. No charges were brought against him.
- On March 3rd, 2014, Police claimed 22 year old Victor White shot himself while handcuffed(behind his back) in the back of a Louisiana state police car. A later autopsy revealed that he was shot in the front by a right-handed person (he was left-handed). Yet, the Iberia Parish coroner continued to declare the death a suicide.
We love our country. To question an African-American’s love for his country is ridiculous. Remember, unlike most of this country’s residents, we did not come here by choice. Since the first
In every war, we have stood side by
side with our captors in defense of a constitution that not only was not created with us in mind; a constitution that had enslaved us. For the same constitution that saw us as 3/5th of a man; we fought and died like giants. The contributions of the African-American people toward the society that we know and love today are immeasurable; equally immeasurable is the system of racism and bigotry, (covert and blatant) levied toward our people. Despite the fact that for 400 years we have been sold, lynched, disrespected, spat upon, lied to, defiled, exploited and profiled;we look upon this flag and the promise it represents. We bravely and boldly endure; believing adamantly, so adamantly that we teach our children to believe, that
DO NOT allow other media based, Trump initiated propaganda distort the reality of what is really being protested. It IS NOT our military; past, present or future that we protest. Our military represents our protection from enemies domestic or foreign. They stand watch, without fail, to protect a life and lifestyle of democracy that we embrace. It is not the singing of a song that America has adopted to pay honor to fallen heroes and the land that they died defending.What is being protested is:
· Acts of violence perpetrated by those sworn to enforce the law and protect its citizens.
· Legislature that permits the profiling and subsequent harassment of citizens based on the color of their skin.
· Laws passed that aid in the mass incarceration and recidivism of African-American and Latin people.
· The day to day violation of the constitutional rights of a people by those paid to create, interpret and enforce laws supposedly made to uphold the same constitution and its rights.