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.
71 Black Men And Boys Killed By Police
1. Samuel David Mallard, 191 of 71
2. Kwame "KK" Jones, 17Source:facebook 2 of 71
3. De’von Bailey, 193 of 71
4. Christopher Whitfield, 314 of 71
5. Anthony Hill, 265 of 71
6. De'Von Bailey, 196 of 71
7. Eric Logan, 547 of 71
8. Jamarion Robinson, 268 of 71
9. Gregory Hill Jr., 309 of 71
10. JaQuavion Slaton, 2010 of 71
11. Ryan Twyman, 2411 of 71
12. Brandon Webber, 2012 of 71
13. Jimmy Atchison, 2113 of 71
14. Willie McCoy, 2014 of 71
15. Emantic "EJ" Fitzgerald Bradford Jr., 2115 of 71
16. D’ettrick Griffin, 1816 of 71
17. Jemel Roberson, 26Source:false 17 of 71
18. DeAndre Ballard, 23Source:false 18 of 71
19. Botham Shem Jean, 26Source:false 19 of 71
20. Robert Lawrence White, 41Source:false 20 of 71
21. Anthony Lamar Smith, 24Source:Getty 21 of 71
22. Ramarley Graham, 18Source:Getty 22 of 71
23. Manuel Loggins Jr., 31Source:Getty 23 of 71
24. Trayvon Martin, 17Source:Getty 24 of 71
25. Wendell Allen, 20Source:Getty 25 of 71
26. Kendrec McDade, 19Source:Getty 26 of 71
27. Larry Jackson Jr., 32Source:Getty 27 of 71
28. Jonathan Ferrell, 24Source:Getty 28 of 71
29. Jordan Baker, 26Source:Getty 29 of 71
30. Victor White lll, 22Source:Getty 30 of 71
31. Dontre Hamilton, 31Source:Getty 31 of 71
32. Eric Garner, 43Source:Getty 32 of 71
33. John Crawford lll, 22Source:Getty 33 of 71
34. Michael Brown, 18Source:Getty 34 of 71
35. Ezell Ford, 25Source:Getty 35 of 71
36. Dante Parker, 36Source:Getty 36 of 71
37. Kajieme Powell, 25Source:Getty 37 of 71
38. Laquan McDonald, 17Source:Getty 38 of 71
39. Akai Gurley, 28Source:Getty 39 of 71
40. Tamir Rice, 12Source:Getty 40 of 71
41. Rumain Brisbon, 34Source:Getty 41 of 71
42. Jerame Reid, 36Source:Getty 42 of 71
43. Charly Keunang, 43Source:Getty 43 of 71
44. Tony Robinson, 19Source:Getty 44 of 71
45. Walter Scott, 50Source:Getty 45 of 71
46. Freddie Gray, 25Source:Getty 46 of 71
47. Brendon Glenn, 29Source:Getty 47 of 71
48. Samuel DuBose, 43Source:Getty 48 of 71
49. Christian Taylor, 19Source:Getty 49 of 71
50. Jamar Clark, 24Source:Getty 50 of 71
51. Mario Woods, 26Source:Getty 51 of 71
52. Quintonio LeGrier, 19Source:Getty 52 of 71
53. Gregory Gunn, 58Source:Getty 53 of 71
54. Akiel Denkins, 24Source:Getty 54 of 71
55. Alton Sterling, 37Source:Getty 55 of 71
56. Philando Castile, 32Source:Getty 56 of 71
57. Terrence Sterling, 31Source:Getty 57 of 71
58. Terence Crutcher, 40Source:Getty 58 of 71
59. Keith Lamont Scott, 43Source:Getty 59 of 71
60. Alfred Olango, 38Source:Getty 60 of 71
61. Jordan Edwards, 15Source:Getty 61 of 71
62. Stephon Clark, 22Source:false 62 of 71
63. Danny Ray Thomas, 34Source:false 63 of 71
64. DeJuan Guillory, 27Source:false 64 of 71
65. Patrick Harmon, 5065 of 71
66. Jonathan Hart, 2166 of 71
67. Maurice Granton, 2467 of 71
68. Julius Johnson, 2368 of 71
69. Jamee Johnson, 22Source:S. Lee Merritt 69 of 71
70. Michael Dean, 28Source:S. Lee Merritt 70 of 71
Public Executions Of Black People Are Showing No Signs Of Ending was originally published on newsone.com