Thursday, July 7, 2016

Black Deaths and Police Brutality, Caught on Video

I wanna re-up my post from yesterday, where I expressed my misgivings on the issue of police brutality. Where the Alton Sterling case had some gray areas (IMHO), the Philando Castile case in Minnesota is very different. It looks like the cops just opened fire for no reason (see Bearing Arms).

Here's yesterday's post, "Update on Alton Sterling Shooting."

And previously, "Police Officer Fatally Shoots Driver in Falcon Heights, Minnesota; Aftermath Video Posted."

And now here's Sarah Kendzior, who I linked yesterday. She's good.

At Toronto's Globe and Mail, "Black deaths, police brutality, caught on video: No justice, only sequels":

In 1991, when video was released of Rodney King being beaten by Los Angeles police officers, Alton Sterling of Louisiana was 12 years old. Philando Castile of Minnesota was seven.

The King video was supposed to provide irrefutable evidence of what black Los Angeles residents had been describing for decades: systematic, racist police brutality. Now, many assumed, the violence black Americans had long endured from police would not be denied. Now, finally, officers would have to face legal repercussions.

But instead, the officers who abused Mr. King walked free. And today, videos of Mr. Sterling and Mr. Castile being killed by police officers circulate online, joining videos of police officers killing Laquan McDonald of Chicago, Walter Scott of North Carolina, and Eric Garner of New York, among others.

The legacy of the Rodney King video was not justice, but sequels.

Mr. Sterling died at 37. Mr. Castile died days before his 33rd birthday. They left behind children, parents, and friends. They were men who loved and were loved. Today their loved ones, in the midst of grief, are tasked with not only proving these men’s innocence, but vouching for their basic humanity. Advocates of Sterling and Castile will fight to put the officers who killed Sterling and Castile on trial, knowing Sterling and Castile were on trial their whole lives in the court of public opinion. Their very existence as black men is considered, in the eyes of many Americans, evidence of their guilt.

Police officials and media will publicize criminal records – as they already have for Mr. Sterling – to try to justify a killing that had nothing to do with his previous low-level offences. They will assassinate Mr. Castile’s character, as they consistently assassinate the character of even the youngest African-Americans – children like 12-year-old Tamir Rice, killed by a police officer while playing in a park.

They will do anything to make people turn away from the videos, the proof, the pain.

They know that no documentation will bring justice if the audience is willfully blind – seeing only what they want to see. What many want to see is justification for black death...
Keep reading.