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.
62 Black Men And Boys Killed By Police
1. Eric Logan, 541 of 62
2. Jamarion Robinson, 262 of 62
3. Gregory Hill Jr., 303 of 62
4. JaQuavion Slaton, 204 of 62
5. Ryan Twyman, 245 of 62
6. Brandon Webber, 206 of 62
7. Jimmy Atchison, 217 of 62
8. Willie McCoy, 208 of 62
9. Emantic "EJ" Fitzgerald Bradford Jr., 219 of 62
10. D’ettrick Griffin, 1810 of 62
11. Jemel Roberson, 26Source:false 11 of 62
12. DeAndre Ballard, 23Source:false 12 of 62
13. Botham Shem Jean, 26Source:false 13 of 62
14. Robert Lawrence White, 41Source:false 14 of 62
15. Anthony Lamar Smith, 24Source:Getty 15 of 62
16. Ramarley Graham, 18Source:Getty 16 of 62
17. Manuel Loggins Jr., 31Source:Getty 17 of 62
18. Trayvon Martin, 17Source:Getty 18 of 62
19. Wendell Allen, 20Source:Getty 19 of 62
20. Kendrec McDade, 19Source:Getty 20 of 62
21. Larry Jackson Jr., 32Source:Getty 21 of 62
22. Jonathan Ferrell, 24Source:Getty 22 of 62
23. Jordan Baker, 26Source:Getty 23 of 62
24. Victor White lll, 22Source:Getty 24 of 62
25. Dontre Hamilton, 31Source:Getty 25 of 62
26. Eric Garner, 43Source:Getty 26 of 62
27. John Crawford lll, 22Source:Getty 27 of 62
28. Michael Brown, 18Source:Getty 28 of 62
29. Ezell Ford, 25Source:Getty 29 of 62
30. Dante Parker, 36Source:Getty 30 of 62
31. Kajieme Powell, 25Source:Getty 31 of 62
32. Laquan McDonald, 17Source:Getty 32 of 62
33. Akai Gurley, 28Source:Getty 33 of 62
34. Tamir Rice, 12Source:Getty 34 of 62
35. Rumain Brisbon, 34Source:Getty 35 of 62
36. Jerame Reid, 36Source:Getty 36 of 62
37. Charly Keunang, 43Source:Getty 37 of 62
38. Tony Robinson, 19Source:Getty 38 of 62
39. Walter Scott, 50Source:Getty 39 of 62
40. Freddie Gray, 25Source:Getty 40 of 62
41. Brendon Glenn, 29Source:Getty 41 of 62
42. Samuel DuBose, 43Source:Getty 42 of 62
43. Christian Taylor, 19Source:Getty 43 of 62
44. Jamar Clark, 24Source:Getty 44 of 62
45. Mario Woods, 26Source:Getty 45 of 62
46. Quintonio LeGrier, 19Source:Getty 46 of 62
47. Gregory Gunn, 58Source:Getty 47 of 62
48. Akiel Denkins, 24Source:Getty 48 of 62
49. Alton Sterling, 37Source:Getty 49 of 62
50. Philando Castile, 32Source:Getty 50 of 62
51. Terrence Sterling, 31Source:Getty 51 of 62
52. Terence Crutcher, 40Source:Getty 52 of 62
53. Keith Lamont Scott, 43Source:Getty 53 of 62
54. Alfred Olango, 38Source:Getty 54 of 62
55. Jordan Edwards, 15Source:Getty 55 of 62
56. Stephon Clark, 22Source:false 56 of 62
57. Danny Ray Thomas, 34Source:false 57 of 62
58. DeJuan Guillory, 27Source:false 58 of 62
59. Patrick Harmon, 5059 of 62
60. Jonathan Hart, 2160 of 62
61. Maurice Granton, 2461 of 62
Public Executions Of Black People Are Showing No Signs Of Ending was originally published on newsone.com