Michael Brown: Another Black Life Stolen

When I read of the murder of Michael Brown, an African American unarmed teen shot multiple times by police just yesterday, my first reaction was of fury and anguish. This has happened too many times before and with each shooting the hope of justice evaporates just as quickly as injustice came. This time we cannot forget. We cannot turn a blind eye. When will a black life be worth more?
This post is going to appear as if I am angry, and I make no apologies for that. I am indeed writing in unrepentant rage, this is not an issue for which I would hope to appear passive about.
Multiple witnesses told KMOV that Brown was unarmed and had his hands up in the air when he was shot down.

The officer “shot again and once my friend felt that shot, he turned around and put his hands in the air,” said witness Dorian Johnson. “He started to get down and the officer still approached with his weapon drawn and fired several more shots.”

Michael was set to begin college on Monday. His grandmother has said ‘he was a good kid’, and I will go into the relevance of such statements later.

Since yesterday men, women and children have taken to the scene where Michael was murdered in protest. But how much of an impact can be sought from street marches and rallying? I mean we tried this for Trayvon Martin and that had little impact. Is there a need for a more modern form of protest? In fact, since then nothing has changed. So, what do we do? African-American communities and similarly Black British communities cannot keep turning a blind eye to murder. Do we need to focus on social media campaigns, gaining economic strength or making it easier to prosecute police officers? I do not have the answers by any means, but there is definitely a need to discuss this.

What irked me further whilst watching the videos from the rally, is the African-American police officers standing front and center. This always occurs during race related matters. The police, whether in America or the UK will send their black police officers to be at the front-line, as if to disguise that Micheal was not a victim of racial profiling. In America ‘1 Black Man Is Killed Every 28 Hours by Police or Vigilantes.’ ‘In the UK 827 people have died during or following police contact since 2004.’

As often seen family and friends of Michael found themselves defending his character. Why? Because Micheal is black. If a white boy was said to have been shot 10 times and killed, would we be trying to persuade people to empathise? No. Because his innocence would have been assumed. We shouldn’t have to say that ‘he was a good boy’ or that he was about to attend college or that he hadn’t stolen anything to conjure up sympathy. Instead of grieving, Michael’s family have also been left with the task of defending his reputation, solely because he is black. Life is life and these vigilante police officers cannot keep getting away with systematic subjugation.

‘Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson told KMOV, the St. Louis CBS-affiliate, that St. Louis County Police have taken over the investigation and the officer involved in the shooting has been put on paid administrative leave.’

Yes you read correctly. Paid leave?! This officer has shot a man and is now, to be frank, on a paid holiday. This is yet again, more evidence to show that black life isn’t seen to be worth as much. When will all black men be able to move around freely without the fear of appearing too comfortable, confident or threatening? Without having to waste energy trying to appear compliant or having to assume the earnest assiduousness when responding to police. What is the next step to a less frightful future?

 

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Sources:

http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/1-black-man-killed-every-28-hours-police-or-vigilantes-america-perpetually-war-its

https://www.opendemocracy.net/opensecurity/deaths-in-british-police-custody-no-convicted-officers-since-1969

kmov.com

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