I would say it’s almost every day of my life these days that I hope to wake up and not hear of another black person being shot by a police officer.
I feel it’s a fairly reasonable request. It’s a century-old problem that you would think would no longer be present in our modern world, but sadly it continues. And each time we hear the latest version of the old story, my mouth hangs open and I am in complete disbelief.
Over the weekend, we heard of two more cases coming to the surface. One in Virginia, where a member of the military was pepper-sprayed because he didn’t want to get out of his car as two police officers pointed guns at him. Completely understandable. He was pepper-sprayed, slammed to the ground, handcuffed and eventually released without charges.
Why? Simple question. Why?
He’s suing because of that incident and that pepper-spray-happy officer has been fired.
But in Minnesota, already a hotbed because of the George Floyd incident, another black man was killed by trigger-happy police officers. This one, like so many others, was completely unavoidable. For starters, the man was pulled over by police because he had air fresheners hanging from his rear-view mirror. Apparently, that crime is rampant in Minnesota, achieving epidemic levels. It was after pulling him over for something reminiscent of the old broken tail-light trick (funny–it wasn’t broken when he was pulled over) that they discovered the guy had a warrant out for him. Once again–bang, shoot, dead.
And as soon as I hit ‘post’, we hear that the police officer who fired the fatal shot that killed this man said it was an accident and that he intended to fire his taser at him. Yes, seriously.
I just don’t get it and I continue to not get it time after time after time.
The trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin makes me angry every night when I turn on the news for the summary. I just can’t spend the entire day being pissed off, so I confine my involvement to the ABC evening news with David Muir.
The experts have paraded through, most with damning testimony about what happened that night. Meanwhile, the defense is arguing that Floyd’s death wasn’t due to having someone put their entire weight on a knee for almost 10 minutes, but rather his drug abuse. I’ve heard that too many times, which is why I offer this solution.
If Derek Chauvin’s defense team truly believes it was the drugs that killed him and not the neck-crushing incident, then let’s test that theory. Derek Chauvin just has to agree to be handcuffed and then have someone of the same weight put their knee on his neck for 9-minutes and 29-seconds. He will also be required to say “I can’t breathe” a minimum of 28 times during those almost 10 minutes, just like George Floyd. If, in fact, that doesn’t kill Chauvin, then we can consider that drug use may have played a part in his death. If Chauvin dies, well, end of trial.
Of course, that shouldn’t happen. But neither should what Chauvin did to George Floyd, a living, breathing human being.
Some stats to absorb:
- Since 2015, police officers have fatally shot at least 135 unarmed Black people nationwide.
- Over their lifetime, about 1 in every 1,000 black men can expect to be killed by police.
I’m no expert, but I’d say there is a serious problem.