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Police Killings: Keeping It Real
12/3/2014 4:06:08 PM

By Beverly Gadson-Birch

Writers sometimes get stuck in a rut. There are so many issues worth addressing but not enough time or space in which to do so. Let’s see how many of you made it through Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. I am not a fan of Black Friday so when the call went out not to shop white businesses on Black Friday, I was on board. In solidarity with Ferguson, It was important that I not shop or dine out. At nine o’clock, as I awaited the Grand Jury’s finding. I knew what the outcome would be.

The verdict became suspect when Prosecutor McCullough waited like a thief in the dark to deliver what he knew would further inflame the citizens of Ferguson. I watched as McCullough read the Grand Jury’s verdict not to indict the officer and knew immediately something in the milk wasn’t clean. There were just too many inconsistencies in the officer’s testimony and new revelations that were not addressed previously of the actual encounter.

Officer Wilson was found innocent of all charges and that set off a night of rioting and looting that surpassed all previous demonstrations. While I don’t condone the destructive aftermath that followed the verdict, it comes after years of frustration of not being heard. It comes after the Rodney King murder in California, Travon Martin in Florida, Denzell Curnell and Edward Snowden in Charleston and Eric Garner in New York, just to name a few very questionable incidents of overzealous or aggressive actions on the part of police officers and in one case a police officer “wannabe”. These killings are becoming a national epidemic and something must be done.

What was disturbing to me as I sat and listened to the Grand Jury’s findings is all of the new information that came out. It appears that Officer Wilson was schooled real good on what to say to cover up for his actions on that day. When the incident first took place, all of the news account said Officer Wilson did not know Michael Brown may have been involved in a strong armed robbery involving some cigars at a convenience store. However, in the Grand Jury’s review of the case, the events of that fateful day got all twisted and tangled up. Now, the information is that Officer Wilson stopped the young men because he had received a report of the robbery and that is why he stopped the two young men.

There was also no report of Michael Brown reaching in Officer Wilson’s car and sucker punching him. Now conveniently and to further substantiate the officer’s claim that he feared for his life, they have blood evidence taken from the officer’s car. And because of Michael Brown’s aggressive behavior when confronted by the officer, he was justified in the killing of Michael Brown.

The pictures that were shown of Officer Wilson’s injuries looked much like that of the injuries that George Zimmerman claimed he sustained when he was not indicted for killing Travon Martin. They appeared to be staged to support their claim. However in Zimmerman’s case, he claimed Travon was fighting him and he feared for his life. In that case, nothing would have happened had Zimmerman followed instructions by the 911 dispatcher to remain in his vehicle and not pursue Martin. Travon Martin should have been an open and shut case. Zimmerman had no right to pursue Travon.

Travon did not confront him or was aggressive towards him. Travon had every right to stand his ground as Zimmerman claimed he had to stand his. The entire incident was orchestrated by Zimmerman who was not an officer and had no authority to pursue Martin. The injuries that Officer Wilson claimed he sustained to his eye socket are not evidenced in the pictures released. There is some redness to his cheeks and a little on his neck. Zimmerman’s defense was pretty much the same and he had pictures to substantiate his claims that Martin was kicking his butt so he had to defend himself. If you are following me in the dark and I don’t have a clue who you are and you have a gun, I would kick your butt too. It would be an act of survival. Give me a break!

There are many accounts of Ferguson’s reaction to Officer Wilson not being indicted. The burning and looting have some folks saying I understand the residents’ frustration. Once again, the officer involved is cleared of any wrong doings. It happens far too often in the Black community. There were some very heated days this summer in Charleston over the killing of Denzell Curnell at the Bridgeview Apartments with no indictment of the officer. There is still the question of the three minutes missing from the tape that could have shared some light on the killing by the officer.

Former NY Mayor, Rudy Giuliani, blame black people for getting killed by police officers. Charles Barkely called the Ferguson’s protesters “scumbags”.

Let’s get one thing straight. There are many good police officers patrolling our cities and protecting citizens all over this country. Each day they step out of the door in their uniform, they face all kinds of danger. They have to make quick decisions and those decisions are not always right. Police officers want to live too. For those hot headed police officers who are on the force and think you have a license to kill, find yourself a new profession. You are in the wrong business.

Let’s train our children to respect and listen to police officers. You can always register a complaint later if you feel your rights have been violated but you can’t register a complaint if you are dead.

Are y’all listening??


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