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.
64 Black Men And Boys Killed By Police
1. De'Von Bailey, 191 of 64
2. Eric Logan, 542 of 64
3. Jamarion Robinson, 263 of 64
4. Gregory Hill Jr., 304 of 64
5. JaQuavion Slaton, 205 of 64
6. Ryan Twyman, 246 of 64
7. Brandon Webber, 207 of 64
8. Jimmy Atchison, 218 of 64
9. Willie McCoy, 209 of 64
10. Emantic "EJ" Fitzgerald Bradford Jr., 2110 of 64
11. D’ettrick Griffin, 1811 of 64
12. Jemel Roberson, 26Source:false 12 of 64
13. DeAndre Ballard, 23Source:false 13 of 64
14. Botham Shem Jean, 26Source:false 14 of 64
15. Robert Lawrence White, 41Source:false 15 of 64
16. Anthony Lamar Smith, 24Source:Getty 16 of 64
17. Ramarley Graham, 18Source:Getty 17 of 64
18. Manuel Loggins Jr., 31Source:Getty 18 of 64
19. Trayvon Martin, 17Source:Getty 19 of 64
20. Wendell Allen, 20Source:Getty 20 of 64
21. Kendrec McDade, 19Source:Getty 21 of 64
22. Larry Jackson Jr., 32Source:Getty 22 of 64
23. Jonathan Ferrell, 24Source:Getty 23 of 64
24. Jordan Baker, 26Source:Getty 24 of 64
25. Victor White lll, 22Source:Getty 25 of 64
26. Dontre Hamilton, 31Source:Getty 26 of 64
27. Eric Garner, 43Source:Getty 27 of 64
28. John Crawford lll, 22Source:Getty 28 of 64
29. Michael Brown, 18Source:Getty 29 of 64
30. Ezell Ford, 25Source:Getty 30 of 64
31. Dante Parker, 36Source:Getty 31 of 64
32. Kajieme Powell, 25Source:Getty 32 of 64
33. Laquan McDonald, 17Source:Getty 33 of 64
34. Akai Gurley, 28Source:Getty 34 of 64
35. Tamir Rice, 12Source:Getty 35 of 64
36. Rumain Brisbon, 34Source:Getty 36 of 64
37. Jerame Reid, 36Source:Getty 37 of 64
38. Charly Keunang, 43Source:Getty 38 of 64
39. Tony Robinson, 19Source:Getty 39 of 64
40. Walter Scott, 50Source:Getty 40 of 64
41. Freddie Gray, 25Source:Getty 41 of 64
42. Brendon Glenn, 29Source:Getty 42 of 64
43. Samuel DuBose, 43Source:Getty 43 of 64
44. Christian Taylor, 19Source:Getty 44 of 64
45. Jamar Clark, 24Source:Getty 45 of 64
46. Mario Woods, 26Source:Getty 46 of 64
47. Quintonio LeGrier, 19Source:Getty 47 of 64
48. Gregory Gunn, 58Source:Getty 48 of 64
49. Akiel Denkins, 24Source:Getty 49 of 64
50. Alton Sterling, 37Source:Getty 50 of 64
51. Philando Castile, 32Source:Getty 51 of 64
52. Terrence Sterling, 31Source:Getty 52 of 64
53. Terence Crutcher, 40Source:Getty 53 of 64
54. Keith Lamont Scott, 43Source:Getty 54 of 64
55. Alfred Olango, 38Source:Getty 55 of 64
56. Jordan Edwards, 15Source:Getty 56 of 64
57. Stephon Clark, 22Source:false 57 of 64
58. Danny Ray Thomas, 34Source:false 58 of 64
59. DeJuan Guillory, 27Source:false 59 of 64
60. Patrick Harmon, 5060 of 64
61. Jonathan Hart, 2161 of 64
62. Maurice Granton, 2462 of 64
63. Julius Johnson, 2363 of 64
Public Executions Of Black People Are Showing No Signs Of Ending was originally published on newsone.com