|Police Officers Killed: A Push Back To Law & Order
7/20/2016 1:34:53 PM
By Beverly Gadson-Birch
I awoke Sunday morning to the heart-wrenching news that three more officers were shot to death in Baton Rouge, LA by 29 year old Gavin Long, a 29 year old ex-marine, from Kansas City, MO in what may be another ambush in retaliation or in response to the murders of black men at the hands of police officers. It was just ten days since five police officers were gunned down in Dallas, TX by 25 year old Micah Johnson an ex-marine.
On July 5, Alton Sterling, 37 years old, Baton Rouge, La, was killed while being arrested by two police officers. He was outside a store selling CDs. That had been Sterling’s source of income for years. He was tagged as a convicted felon and barred from legally carrying a gun. Sterling was allegedly armed and carrying a gun when arrested.
According to ABC News both officers have a record of “prior use of force”.
The very next day, July 6, in St. Paul, MN, Philando Castile was pulled over for an allegedly busted tail light along with his girlfriend and her 4 year old daughter that was in the back seat crying. According to the girlfriend’s report, the officer asked for Castile’s driver’s license and was informed that he had a gun in the car and was licensed to carry it. As Castile complied with the officer’s request to produce his license, he was shot at point blank range and killed.
According to ABC News, Gavin Long, who killed the police officers in Baton Rouge, posted on Twitter “Violence is not THE answer (it’s an answer) but at what point do you stand up so that your people don’t become the Native Americans….EXTINCT?” And, the day before the attack Long reportedly wrote, “Don’t let someone get comfortable with disrespecting you.”
Let me just say I abhor violence in any form but how long did White America think they could continue to dismiss the number of black men that were being racially profiled, killed and sentenced to jail on trumped up charges before the targets of their heavy armed tactics were met with resistance? I saw this coming and I am sure White America saw this too. Now that it’s here, what do we do? Stockpiling assault weapons is not the answer!
As a part of the Black community, my appeal to Black men who feel they have been pushed up against the wall: use your intelligence to unpin yourself. Do not resort to violence! The one thing we don’t need is more police officers killed or black men killed. We need police officers for protection.
Far too often, I have used the same word that Long used in expressing my frustration at the loss of Black men by police officers ….EXTINCT. If you trace the history of unjustifiable murders of black men at the hands of police officers, most of them are between the ages of 20-45 years. These men are the future productive fathers and husbands. So, if they are eliminated, then what happens to the Black race? EXTINCT!!!
So, sometimes crazies aren’t always crazy. Sometimes crazies make sense out of nonsense.
According to MAPPING POLICE VIOLENCE:
• Police killed at least 102 unarmed black people in 2015, nearly twice each week. (Check out their site to see which police departments were responsible for these deaths)
• Nearly 1 in 3 black people killed by police in 2015 were identified as unarmed, though the actual number is likely higher due to underreporting
• 37% of unarmed people killed by police were black in 2015 despite black people being only 13% of the U.S. population
• Unarmed black people were killed at 5x the rate of unarmed whites in 2015
• Only 10 of the 102 cases in 2015 where an unarmed black person was killed by police resulted in officer(s) being charged with a crime, and only 2 of these deaths (Matthew Ajibade and Eric Harris) resulted in convictions of officers involved. Only 1 of 2 officers convicted for their involvement in Matthew Ajibade's death received jail time. He was sentenced to 1 year in jail and allowed to serve this time exclusively on weekends. Deputy Bates, who killed Eric Harris, will be sentenced May 31.
There is an undisputable history in this country of racism. Whenever there is evidence of its existence, White folk tend to dismiss it as “oh, there they go again playing the race card”. Well, the race card is believe thou this: the race card is real and it’s what started the country-wide profiling of black men.
The race card is what brought two ex-marines to the point of ENOUGH! The race card is what got five Officers in Dallas and three in Baton Rouge killed. Without the law, lawlessness abides and we cannot have that. Finally, gunman Gavin Long realized that violence was not the answer. He demanded respect and to that end he was willing to kill and willing to die.
Black folk are no longer slaves. They are human too and should be treated with respect. Blacks should not have to beg for respect, march for it or even die for it. Respect, like all other rights, was guaranteed under the Constitution of the United States of America and the Emancipation Proclamation penned by former President Abraham Lincoln. White folk, you write the laws! You fight to defend them; and now, you need to do what is “right”.
White folk, are y’all listening? You must own it!! And once you own it, do something about it!