What’s been the case in the United States for centuries, a black man was gunned down by policemen who claim they feared for their lives will see no posthumous justice. Yesterday, Baton Rouge District Attorneys office announced that the officers involved in the shooting death of Alton Sterling will not be charged.
Harkening back to Trayvon Martin, Philando Castile, or any number of other brothers and sisters who were killed due to their assailants alleged fear of them, justice has proven once again that she is not blind but biased toward the lighter, brighter shades of the American societal interests.
According to the Washington Post, black folks make up 25 percent of all lethal police shootings in the country despite only making up 13 percent of the total population. Black folks are victimized in this manner at twice the rate of white Americans. While white folks make up 45 percent of those killed by police, they make up 62 percent of the population.
Though the revitalized movement for black human rights in America, reignited by Black Lives Matter and likeminded contemporary organizations, has largely focused on shootings of unarmed citizens, the deaths of Castile and Sterling are equally egregious because video evidence clearly shows that neither was in any position to inflict harm upon their assailants despite allegedly being armed.
Castile calmly told the officer that he was legally armed, but was shot dead in front of his child. Sterling, who reportedly had a weapon on him, was pinned to the ground with a weapon pointed at his chest. He begged for his life but was still shot at point-blank range.
Now, as the fervor over the state-sanctioned murder of Stephon Clark by the Sacramento Police intensifies, the question of black humanity juxtaposed against a system that was historically built on the backs of their American ancestors, we will see double talk, more victim blaming, and more proof that blacks do not have legal agency over their own bodies well into the 21st centuries.
A funeral is held for Stephon Clark, 22, an unarmed black man shot at 20 times by two police officers. Rev. Al Sharpton will be among the speakers at the service. Subscribe to The Washington Post on YouTube: http://bit.ly/2qiJ4dy Follow us: Twitter: https://twitter.com/washingtonpost Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/washingtonpost/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/washingtonpost/
I remember when Amadou Diallo was shot 41 times while coming out of his Bronx home by NYPD in 1999. The parallels between then and now are stunning. Diallos cellphone was mistaken for a weapon, and all of the officers involved got off. Recently, the Huffington Post published a chilling account of 21 times that officers gunned down an unarmed African American and faced no repercussions.
Men, women, children, it doesnt matter. The justice will instinctively defend the actions of its appendages, much to the chagrin of all Americans pained by the realization that black citizens arent privy to justice. Meanwhile, a black officer in Minnesota who shot a white woman, claiming he was afraid for his life, has been charged.
And you say its not a matter of race, huh? Apparently, you havent been paying attention.
On Tuesday, Stevonte Clark, the brother of Stephon, would barge into a Sacremento Mayor Steinberg meeting, leading chants, and calling out the city of Sacramento meeting about 30 minutes after it began, walked to the councils dais and sat on it, chanting his brothers name. His eyes met Steinbergs.
Stephon Clark! Stephon Clark! he yelled, clad in a black shirt bearing his brothers face. But how many t-shirts do we need to see? How many hats? How many murals? How many funerals is Al Sharpton going to have to speak at?
The president has been predictably silent on this, yet found press secretary Sarah Huckabee characterized police shootings as a “local matter, which is right in line with the old Southern “states’ rights” strategy. You see, the more things change, the more you get a caring, callous white supremacist in the office, and the more you get black people being shot over cellphones.