A Glimpse At The Astonishing Amount Of Unarmed Black People Police Have Been Killing…

Among the many things that will be said about the con­vic­tion of Derek Chauvin is that this is a sem­i­nal moment, this is a water­shed moment, this is a defin­ing moment, this is a moment of intro­spec­tion for police departments.
No, it isn’t.
All this ver­dict rep­re­sents is a case so cold-blood­ed in its bar­barism (that [the] jury), not an all-white one in some oth­er cor­ner of Minnesota, could not turn its back, know­ing that the world was watching.
It does not mean that America is any clos­er to a reck­on­ing on race; it does not mean that American law enforce­ment will be any more judi­cious with the use of force in com­mu­ni­ties of color.
Built into how police behave in com­mu­ni­ties of col­or (black communities)is an innate belief that res­i­dents of those com­mu­ni­ties are dif­fer­ent and there­fore unde­serv­ing of respect.
The gen­er­al per­cep­tion by far too many non-Black Americans is that African-Americas have a duty to wait until they decide what mea­sure of human­i­ty they should enjoy (if any). It is an arro­gant per­cep­tion that would con­demn Black peo­ple to accept a per­ma­nent state of sec­ond-class cit­i­zen­ship, even after over four hun­dred years of geno­cide and oppression.
Not all police offi­cers who work in Black neigh­bor­hoods are bad peo­ple; how­ev­er, it does mean that there is an unde­ni­ably wide chasm between the world-views of the two groups. The con­se­quences of those two com­pet­ing views get played out in the con­stant police killings of inno­cent Blacks.

Police offi­cers do not oper­ate with near­ly the same care when inter­act­ing with African-Americans as they do when deal­ing with whites.
A Black com­plainant calls the police about an alter­ca­tion with some­one white, which usu­al­ly results in police treat­ing the black caller as the offend­er and the white as the vic­tim when they arrive. Their first instinct is to go to the white per­son to get his/​her ver­sion of events, and there­after their reac­tions are shaped by the offend­er’s side of the story.
Police units in pre­dom­i­nant­ly black neigh­bor­hoods are prepped that the cit­i­zens are bar­bar­ians unwor­thy of respect.
The vast major­i­ty of police calls are [not] calls about the com­mis­sion of crimes.
For exam­ple, a recent­ly released dis­patch by the New Haven, Connecticut police shows that less than 4.4% of calls to their 911 sys­tem were for calls about assault, gun­fire, rob­bery, rape, stab­bing, mur­der, or per­son shot.
Over a whop­ping 95.6% of those calls were for ser­vice that requires no vio­lence and does not include the need for violence.
The ques­tion then remains, why are armed agents of the state being sent to these calls?
In June 2020, a New York Times arti­cle titled (How Do the Police Actually Spend Their Time?) asked, “what share of polic­ing is devot­ed to han­dling vio­lent crime? Perhaps not as much as you might think. A hand­ful of cities post data online show­ing how their police depart­ments spend their time. The share devot­ed to han­dling vio­lent crime is very small, about 4 percent.

Despite the killings and assaults, and the con­vic­tion of Chauvin, I doubt seri­ous­ly whether police offi­cers are say­ing,’ geez, I got­ta show more respect to the black peo­ple I come across”.
I doubt­ed whether the cop who put four bul­lets into the body of 16-year old Ma’Khia Bryant would have shot a young white girl even though she had a knife and, in all prob­a­bil­i­ty, may have stabbed the oth­er girl with it.
Again I ask do you use lethal force because you know you will get away with it, or do you use it because you are con­vinced that it is your only option?
The idea being pop­u­lar­ized by police depart­ments is that [force] means dead­ly force. This is not true; there are vary­ing degrees of force; this is why offi­cers are equipped with batons, pep­per-spray tasers, and guns.
The lev­el of force that police use should only be enough to sub­due an unruly sub­ject. That force does not have to be equal to the lev­el of resis­tance com­ing from an offend­er; it can be greater but just enough to gain control.
For exam­ple, after George Floyd was hand­cuffed, the police offi­cers had no legal author­i­ty to keep him on the ground with their knees on his neck and back.
The lev­el of force applied does [not]have to be lethal; force does not go from zero to a hun­dred. The offi­cer who shot 16-year old Ma’Khia Bryant had every right to use force to stop her from stab­bing anoth­er per­son; whether he made the right deci­sion when he decid­ed to go to lethal force as the first option is the issue?

Were Sheriff’s deputies jus­ti­fied in shoot­ing Andrew Brown Jr. to death, a Black res­i­dent of Elizabeth City, North Carolina, on Wednesday, April 21st, when they tried to serve him with a search war­rant about 8:40 a.m? Why did they not shoot Alvin Oeltjenbruns a white man, after he hit one cop in the head with a ham­mer and drove away in the video above?
Was a cop jus­ti­fied in killing 12-year-old Tamir Rice imme­di­ate­ly on arrival on the scene as the kid played in the park with his toy gun? What 12-year-old boy has not played cops and rob­bers with their toy gun grow­ing up? Should a child who is play­ing with a toy gun wor­ry about being killed by police?
Was police jus­ti­fied in chok­ing Eric Garner to death for sell­ing loose cig­a­rettes? Was police jus­ti­fied in killing Sandra Blan over not sig­nal­ing a right turn? Was police jus­ti­fied in Firing over twen­ty bul­lets into 23-year-old Sean Bell’s car, killing him on the day he was sup­posed to be mar­ried? Was the police jus­ti­fied in mur­der­ing Amadou Diallo when they fired a total of forty-one bil­lets, end­ing his life for absolute­ly no rea­son? What about the mon­sters who arrived and imme­di­ate­ly killed John Crawford (111)inside a Walmart because he had a rifle? Walmart sells the guns; Crawford was look­ing at the guns?
Was Police jus­ti­fied when they mur­dered Philando Castile inside his car with his girl­friend and her daugh­ter? What about Alton Sterling? Botham Scheme Jean, was the cop jus­ti­fied when he placed sev­en bul­lets into the back of Jacob Blake? Why would a taser not work?
What if they had no guns? Would they not resolve each sit­u­a­tion with­out the use of force?
What we hear these days com­ing from Police Chiefs and cop-apol­o­gists is,” please stop run­ning away from police.” “If only he/​she did not run.”
As a for­mer Police Officer, I did not rel­ish hav­ing to chase down a sus­pect, but I also under­stood that no one wants to lose their free­dom. In the United States, where it has been gov­ern­ment pol­i­cy to crim­i­nal­ize and incar­cer­ate Blacks, why would any­one be sur­prised that peo­ple run away from spend­ing months in for-prof­it jails and pris­ons because they were unable to pay for hav­ing a bro­ken tail-light or mak­ing a turn with­out signaling?
Their ances­tors had no prob­lem with the bru­tal­i­ty, and the muti­la­tion met­ed out to enslaved peo­ple who dared to run away from a life­time of servi­tude and geno­ci­dal abuse. They risked being beat­en to an inch of their lives; count­less were killed, they risked being torn to shreds by the vicious dogs import­ed from Cuba specif­i­cal­ly to hunt them down; still, they ran.
Why would he run away? His mas­ter treat­ed him well”?.
Unless you know the sto­ry .…..shut your mouth.

The war has moved from the provinces of Iraq & Afghanistan to the streets of the United States; the vic­tims are Black & Brown, all unarmed.
It is a ver­i­ta­ble Vietnam wall of bod­ies, the bod­ies of liv­ing breath­ing American cit­i­zens gunned down, run over, elec­tro­cut­ed, choked, beat­en, and oth­er­wise mur­dered by American police.
This list rep­re­sents only some of the vic­tims over the last decade. It is impor­tant that before cam­eras on cell phones and body cam videos, there was no account­ing by police depart­ments when they kill some­one. The Federal Bureau of Investigations had no data­base of the killings because there are no laws com­pelling police depart­ments to report the killings to Federal authorities.
The list below does not account for armed peo­ple. It rep­re­sents unarmed Black people.

Daunte Demetrius Wright, October 27, 2000 — April 11, 2021. Marvin David Scott III, 1995 — March 14, 2021. Patrick Lynn Warren Sr., October 7, 1968 — January 10, 2021.Vincent “Vinny” M. Belmonte, September 14, 2001 — January 5, 2021. Angelo Quinto, March 10, 1990 — December 26, 2020. Andre Maurice Hill, May 23, 1973 — December 22, 2020. Casey Christopher Goodson Jr., January 30, 1997 — December 4, 2020.Angelo “AJ” Crooms, May 15, 2004 — November 13, 2020.Sincere Pierce, April 2, 2002 — November 13, 2020. Marcellis Stinnette, June 17, 2001 — October 20, 2020. Jonathan Dwayne Price, November 3, 1988 — October 3, 2020. Dijon Durand Kizzee, February 5, 1991 — August 31, 2020. Rayshard Brooks, January 31, 1993 — June 12, 2020. Carlos Carson, May 16, 1984 — June 6, 2020. David McAtee, August 3, 1966 — June 1, 2020. Tony “Tony the Tiger” McDade, 1982 — May 27, 2020. George Perry Floyd, October 14, 1973 — May 25, 2020. Dreasjon “Sean” Reed, 1999 — May 6, 2020. Michael Brent Charles Ramos, January 1, 1978 — April 24, 2020. Daniel T. Prude, September 20, 1978 — March 30, 2020. Breonna Taylor, June 5, 1993 — March 13, 2020. Manuel “Mannie” Elijah Ellis, August 28, 1986 — March 3, 2020. William Howard Green, March 16, 1976 — January 27, 2020. John Elliot Neville, 1962 — December 4, 2019. Atatiana Koquice Jefferson, November 28, 1990 — October 12, 2019. Elijah McClain, February 25, 1996 — August 30, 2019. Ronald Greene, September 28, 1969 — May 10, 2019. Javier Ambler, October 7, 1978 — March 28, 2019. Sterling Lapree Higgins, October 27, 1981 — March 25, 2019. Gregory Lloyd Edwards, September 23, 1980 — December 10, 2018. Emantic “EJ” Fitzgerald Bradford Jr., June 18, 1997 — November 22, 2018. Charles “Chop” Roundtree Jr., September 5, 2000 — October 17, 2018. Chinedu Okobi, February 13, 1982 — October 3, 2018. Anton Milbert LaRue Black, October 18, 1998 — September 15, 2018. Botham Shem Jean, September 29, 1991 — September 6, 2018. Antwon Rose Jr., July 12, 2000 — June 19, 2018. Saheed Vassell, December 22, 1983 — April 4, 2018. Stephon Alonzo Clark, August 10, 1995 — March 18, 2018. Dennis Plowden Jr., 1992 — December 28, 2017. Bijan Ghaisar, September 4, 1992 — November 27, 2017. Aaron Bailey, 1972 — June 29, 2017. Charleena Chavon Lyles, April 24, 1987 — June 18, 2017The Fetus of Charleena Chavon Lyles (14−15 weeks), June 18, 2017. Jordan Edwards, October 25, 2001 — April 29, 2017. Chad Robertson, 1992 — February 15, 2017. Deborah Danner, September 25, 1950 — October 18, 2016. Alfred Olango, July 29, 1978 — September 27, 2016. Terence Crutcher, August 16, 1976 — September 16, 2016. Terrence LeDell Sterling, July 31, 1985 — September 11, 2016. Korryn Gaines, August 24, 1993 — August 1, 2016. Joseph Curtis Mann, 1966 — July 11, 2016. Philando Castile, July 16, 1983 — July 6, 2016. Alton Sterling, June 14, 1979 — July 5, 2016. Bettie “Betty Boo” Jones, 1960 — December 26, 2015. Quintonio LeGrier, April 29, 1996 — December 26, 2015. Corey Lamar Jones, February 3, 1984 — October 18, 2015. Jamar O’Neal Clark, May 3, 1991 — November 16, 2015. Jeremy “Bam Bam” McDole, 1987 — September 23, 2015. India Kager, June 9, 1988 — September 5, 2015. Samuel Vincent DuBose, March 12, 1972 — July 19, 2015. Sandra Bland, February 7, 1987 — July 13, 2015. Brendon K. Glenn, 1986 — May 5, 2015. Freddie Carlos Gray Jr., August 16, 1989 — April 19, 2015. Walter Lamar Scott, February 9, 1965 — April 4, 2015. Eric Courtney Harris, October 10, 1971 — April 2, 2015. Phillip Gregory White, 1982 — March 31, 2015. Mya Shawatza Hall, December 5, 1987 — March 30, 2015. Meagan Hockaday, August 27, 1988 — March 28, 2015. Tony Terrell Robinson, Jr., October 18, 1995 — March 6, 2015. Janisha Fonville, March 3, 1994 — February 18, 2015. Natasha McKenna, January 9, 1978 — February 8, 2015. Jerame C. Reid, June 8, 1978 — December 30, 2014. Rumain Brisbon, November 24, 1980 — December 2, 2014. Tamir Rice, June 15, 2002 — November 22, 2014.
Akai Kareem Gurley, November 12, 1986 — November 20, 2014. Tanisha N. Anderson, January 22, 1977 — November 13, 2014. Dante Parker, August 14, 1977 — August 12, 2014. Ezell Ford, October 14, 1988 — August 11, 2014. Michael Brown Jr., May 20, 1996 — August 9, 2014. John Crawford III, July 29, 1992 — August 5, 2014. Tyree Woodson, July 8, 1976 — August 2, 2014. Eric Garner, September 15, 1970 — July 17, 2014. Dontre Hamilton, January 20, 1983 — April 30, 2014. Victor White III, September 11, 1991 — March 3, 2014. Gabriella Monique Nevarez, November 25, 1991 — March 2, 2014. Yvette Smith, December 18, 1966 — February 16, 2014. McKenzie J. Cochran, August 25, 1988 — January 29, 2014. Jordan Baker, 1988 — January 16, 2014. Andy Lopez, June 2, 2000 — October 22, 2013. Miriam Iris Carey, August 12, 1979 — October 3, 2013. Barrington “BJ” Williams, 1988 — September 17, 2013. Jonathan Ferrell, October 11, 1989 — September 14, 2013. Carlos Alcis, 1970 — August 15, 2013. Larry Eugene Jackson Jr., November 29, 1980 — July 26, 2013. Kyam Livingston, July 29, 1975 — July 21, 2013. Clinton R. Allen, September 26, 1987 — March 10, 2013. Kimani “KiKi” Gray, October 19, 1996 — March 9, 2013. Kayla Moore, April 17, 1971 — February 13, 2013. Jamaal Moore Sr., 1989 — December 15, 2012. Johnnie Kamahi Warren, February 26, 1968 — February 13, 2012.Shelly Marie Frey, April 21, 1985 — December 6, 2012. Darnisha Diana Harris, December 11, 1996 — December 2, 2012. Timothy Russell, December 9. 1968 — November 29, 2012. Malissa Williams, June 20, 1982 — November 29, 2012. Noël Palanco, November 28, 1989 — October 4, 2012. Reynaldo Cuevas, January 6, 1992 — September 7, 2012.Chavis Carter, 1991 — July 28, 2012. Alesia Thomas, June 1, 1977 — July 22, 2012. Shantel Davis, May 26, 1989 — June 14, 2012. Sharmel T. Edwards, October 10, 1962 — April 21, 2012. Tamon Robinson, December 21, 1985 — April 18, 2012. Ervin Lee Jefferson, III, 1994 — March 24, 2012. Kendrec McDade, May 5, 1992 — March 24, 2012. Rekia Boyd, November 5, 1989 — March 21, 2012. Shereese Francis, 1982 — March 15, 2012. Jersey K. Green, June 17, 1974 — March 12, 2012. Wendell James Allen, December 19, 1991 — March 7, 2012. Nehemiah Lazar Dillard, July 29, 1982 — March 5, 2012. Dante’ Lamar Price, July 18, 1986 — March 1, 2012. Raymond Luther Allen Jr., 1978 — February 29, 2012. Manual Levi Loggins Jr., February 22, 1980 — February 7, 2012. Ramarley Graham, April 12, 1993 — February 2, 2012. Kenneth Chamberlain Sr., April 12, 1943 — November 19, 2011. Alonzo Ashley, June 10, 1982 — July 18, 2011. Derek Williams, January 23, 1989 — July 6, 2011. Raheim Brown, Jr., March 4, 1990 — January 22, 2011. Reginald Doucet, June 3, 1985 — January 14, 2011. Derrick Jones, September 30, 1973 — November 8, 2010. Danroy “DJ” Henry Jr., October 29, 1990 — October 17, 2010. Aiyana Mo’Nay Stanley-Jones, July 20, 2002 — May 16, 2010. Steven Eugene Washington, September 20, 1982 — March 20, 2010. Aaron Campbell, September 7, 1984 — January 29, 2010. Kiwane Carrington, July 14, 1994 — October 9, 2009. Victor Steen, November 11, 1991 — October 3, 2009. Shem Walker, March 18, 1960 — July 11, 2009. Oscar Grant III, February 27, 1986 — January 1, 2009.

It is incon­ceiv­able that cops have decid­ed to stop tar­get­ing African-American motorists sole­ly based on their skin color.
The way police behave can­not be decou­pled from the foun­da­tion­al prin­ci­ple on which polic­ing was built in the first place. Policing came from slave catch­ing. I sup­pose I sound like a bro­ken record, so be it. Regardless of the fan­cy uni­forms and the ties and all the new accou­ter­ments, police are basi­cal­ly lit­tle more than a blue line that sep­a­rates the races.
They are trained to fire mul­ti­ple bul­lets to stop a 16-year-old girl with a knife but not to fire once at a 61-year-old white male who assault­ed civil­ians, struck a cop in the head with a ham­mer, and drove away, almost killing anoth­er cop.
The lack of respect they feel for African-Americans embold­ens them to kill any black per­son for con­tempt of cop, but han­dle white mass ‑mur­der­ers with respect.
This is not about peo­ple com­mit­ting crimes; it is about peo­ple who are inher­ent­ly racist being trained as police offi­cers and giv­en the pow­er of the states to kill.

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Mike Beckles is a for­mer Police Detective, busi­ness­man, free­lance writer, black achiev­er hon­oree, and cre­ator of the blog mike​beck​les​.com.