In less than a week’s time, America has witnessed — or turned a blind eye to — three different public executions of unarmed Black people as the troubling trend shows no signs of ending. The most recent instance came Monday night when a police officer in Texas killed a woman who didn’t appear to pose any significant physical threat to him seconds after she screamed out, “I’m pregnant!” The officer shot Pamela Turner, a grandmother, five times at very close range in an apartment complex parking lot.
The Baytown Police Department responded in kind by seeming to blame Turner for her own death, alleging she was grabbing the officer’s Taser, which, even if true, should obviously not have called for lethal force to be used by someone who has, in theory, been trained to de-escalate such situations without using a gun.
Earlier that day, the NYPD officer who used an illegal and banned chokehold to kill Eric Garner in a death recorded on video was finally beginning his administrative trial to determine if he should be fired. It took place nearly five years after Daniel Pantaleo killed Garner. Despite video evidence, a grand jury declined to indict Pantaleo, who has enjoyed job security as well as a significant salary raise since he killed Garner. The NYPD also recently determined Garner did not die from being choked, although the entire world saw the video of Pantaleo choking Garner.
Rewind just six days earlier and a white woman in Georgia who witnessed a driver commit a hit and run decided to chase the culprit, block him with her own car and shoot him to death. Kenneth Herring was 62 when he was executed by Hannah Payne, a 21-year-old vigilante who was ultimately charged with murder. According to her lawyer, she was simply trying to be a good Samaritan by following and confronting Herring about something the Clayton County Police Department described as a minor fender bender.
While those two examples were not related, they were linked to what seems to be an increasingly brazen attitude of superiority by non-Black people toward Black folks. Perhaps even more troubling was how even when charged with a crime, many of the accused folks who appeared to take the law into their own hands end up being found not guilty.
That was also true this past week again when it was revealed that law enforcement had concealed critical evidence surrounding two major deaths in police custody. A report from the 2009 Oscar Grant police shooting was released last weekend and showed that the officer involved lied about the series of events that led to the killing. It was also revealed last week that cell phone footage filmed by Sandra Bland during her violent arrest in 2015 for a simple traffic violation contradicted that officer’s claims that he feared for his life.
In other words, the people who are killing or contributing to the deaths of Black people are seemingly emboldened by the good chance they won’t have to pay for their deadly actions.
That was true in Pittsburgh earlier this year, when former officer Michael Rosfeld was acquitted for shooting 13-year-old Antwon Rose in the back. Video footage showed Rosefeld shooting as Rose fled, showing the officer was not facing any imminent threat of danger when he discharged his service weapon. Still, a jury agreed that he feared for his life.
But in Minneapolis, where former officer Mohamed Noor, a Black Somali American, was recently found guilty for killing a white woman in a similar manner, those same rules that Rosefeld enjoyed were not applied.
Meanwhile, the public executions of Black people keep happening. We’ve seen it in Charlotte as well as in Louisiana, with both happening in April. We saw it in Dallas this past September. The list of fatal police shootings of Black people, most of the time unarmed, continues to grow without any indication that would ease up anytime soon.
The trend isn’t a coincidence, either, according to a report from the Washington Post last year.
‘[U]nlike President Barack Obama, Trump isn’t interested in police reform. The Obama administration oversaw a significant reduction in federal incarceration, scaled back federal drug prosecutions and went further than any other modern White House in its efforts to reform local police departments,” Wesley Lowery wrote at the time. “Trump, by contrast, has encouraged officers to rough up ‘thugs’ they take into custody, telling an audience of officers [in 2017], ‘Don’t be too nice.’”
If this past week was any indication, it would appear that police and citizens alike have heeded the president’s calls, and then some.
56 Black Men And Boys Killed By Police
1. Jimmy Atchison, 211 of 56
2. Willie McCoy, 202 of 56
3. Emantic "EJ" Fitzgerald Bradford Jr., 213 of 56
4. D’ettrick Griffin, 184 of 56
5. Jemel Roberson, 26Source:false 5 of 56
6. DeAndre Ballard, 23Source:false 6 of 56
7. Botham Shem Jean, 26Source:false 7 of 56
8. Antwon Rose Jr., 17Source:false 8 of 56
9. Robert Lawrence White, 41Source:false 9 of 56
10. Anthony Lamar Smith, 24Source:Getty 10 of 56
11. Ramarley Graham, 18Source:Getty 11 of 56
12. Manuel Loggins Jr., 31Source:Getty 12 of 56
13. Trayvon Martin, 17Source:Getty 13 of 56
14. Wendell Allen, 20Source:Getty 14 of 56
15. Kendrec McDade, 19Source:Getty 15 of 56
16. Larry Jackson Jr., 32Source:Getty 16 of 56
17. Jonathan Ferrell, 24Source:Getty 17 of 56
18. Jordan Baker, 26Source:Getty 18 of 56
19. Victor White lll, 22Source:Getty 19 of 56
20. Dontre Hamilton, 31Source:Getty 20 of 56
21. Eric Garner, 43Source:Getty 21 of 56
22. John Crawford lll, 22Source:Getty 22 of 56
23. Michael Brown, 18Source:Getty 23 of 56
24. Ezell Ford, 25Source:Getty 24 of 56
25. Dante Parker, 36Source:Getty 25 of 56
26. Kajieme Powell, 25Source:Getty 26 of 56
27. Laquan McDonald, 17Source:Getty 27 of 56
28. Akai Gurley, 28Source:Getty 28 of 56
29. Tamir Rice, 12Source:Getty 29 of 56
30. Rumain Brisbon, 34Source:Getty 30 of 56
31. Jerame Reid, 36Source:Getty 31 of 56
32. Charly Keunang, 43Source:Getty 32 of 56
33. Tony Robinson, 19Source:Getty 33 of 56
34. Walter Scott, 50Source:Getty 34 of 56
35. Freddie Gray, 25Source:Getty 35 of 56
36. Brendon Glenn, 29Source:Getty 36 of 56
37. Samuel DuBose, 43Source:Getty 37 of 56
38. Christian Taylor, 19Source:Getty 38 of 56
39. Jamar Clark, 24Source:Getty 39 of 56
40. Mario Woods, 26Source:Getty 40 of 56
41. Quintonio LeGrier, 19Source:Getty 41 of 56
42. Gregory Gunn, 58Source:Getty 42 of 56
43. Akiel Denkins, 24Source:Getty 43 of 56
44. Alton Sterling, 37Source:Getty 44 of 56
45. Philando Castile, 32Source:Getty 45 of 56
46. Terrence Sterling, 31Source:Getty 46 of 56
47. Terence Crutcher, 40Source:Getty 47 of 56
48. Keith Lamont Scott, 43Source:Getty 48 of 56
49. Alfred Olango, 38Source:Getty 49 of 56
50. Jordan Edwards, 15Source:Getty 50 of 56
51. Stephon Clark, 22Source:false 51 of 56
52. Danny Ray Thomas, 34Source:false 52 of 56
53. DeJuan Guillory, 27Source:false 53 of 56
54. Patrick Harmon, 5054 of 56
55. Jonathan Hart, 2155 of 56
56. Maurice Granton, 2456 of 56
Public Executions Of Black People Are Showing No Signs Of Ending was originally published on newsone.com