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.
66 Black Men And Boys Killed By Police
1. Christopher Whitfield, 311 of 66
2. Anthony Hill, 262 of 66
3. De'Von Bailey, 193 of 66
4. Eric Logan, 544 of 66
5. Jamarion Robinson, 265 of 66
6. Gregory Hill Jr., 306 of 66
7. JaQuavion Slaton, 207 of 66
8. Ryan Twyman, 248 of 66
9. Brandon Webber, 209 of 66
10. Jimmy Atchison, 2110 of 66
11. Willie McCoy, 2011 of 66
12. Emantic "EJ" Fitzgerald Bradford Jr., 2112 of 66
13. D’ettrick Griffin, 1813 of 66
14. Jemel Roberson, 26Source:false 14 of 66
15. DeAndre Ballard, 23Source:false 15 of 66
16. Botham Shem Jean, 26Source:false 16 of 66
17. Robert Lawrence White, 41Source:false 17 of 66
18. Anthony Lamar Smith, 24Source:Getty 18 of 66
19. Ramarley Graham, 18Source:Getty 19 of 66
20. Manuel Loggins Jr., 31Source:Getty 20 of 66
21. Trayvon Martin, 17Source:Getty 21 of 66
22. Wendell Allen, 20Source:Getty 22 of 66
23. Kendrec McDade, 19Source:Getty 23 of 66
24. Larry Jackson Jr., 32Source:Getty 24 of 66
25. Jonathan Ferrell, 24Source:Getty 25 of 66
26. Jordan Baker, 26Source:Getty 26 of 66
27. Victor White lll, 22Source:Getty 27 of 66
28. Dontre Hamilton, 31Source:Getty 28 of 66
29. Eric Garner, 43Source:Getty 29 of 66
30. John Crawford lll, 22Source:Getty 30 of 66
31. Michael Brown, 18Source:Getty 31 of 66
32. Ezell Ford, 25Source:Getty 32 of 66
33. Dante Parker, 36Source:Getty 33 of 66
34. Kajieme Powell, 25Source:Getty 34 of 66
35. Laquan McDonald, 17Source:Getty 35 of 66
36. Akai Gurley, 28Source:Getty 36 of 66
37. Tamir Rice, 12Source:Getty 37 of 66
38. Rumain Brisbon, 34Source:Getty 38 of 66
39. Jerame Reid, 36Source:Getty 39 of 66
40. Charly Keunang, 43Source:Getty 40 of 66
41. Tony Robinson, 19Source:Getty 41 of 66
42. Walter Scott, 50Source:Getty 42 of 66
43. Freddie Gray, 25Source:Getty 43 of 66
44. Brendon Glenn, 29Source:Getty 44 of 66
45. Samuel DuBose, 43Source:Getty 45 of 66
46. Christian Taylor, 19Source:Getty 46 of 66
47. Jamar Clark, 24Source:Getty 47 of 66
48. Mario Woods, 26Source:Getty 48 of 66
49. Quintonio LeGrier, 19Source:Getty 49 of 66
50. Gregory Gunn, 58Source:Getty 50 of 66
51. Akiel Denkins, 24Source:Getty 51 of 66
52. Alton Sterling, 37Source:Getty 52 of 66
53. Philando Castile, 32Source:Getty 53 of 66
54. Terrence Sterling, 31Source:Getty 54 of 66
55. Terence Crutcher, 40Source:Getty 55 of 66
56. Keith Lamont Scott, 43Source:Getty 56 of 66
57. Alfred Olango, 38Source:Getty 57 of 66
58. Jordan Edwards, 15Source:Getty 58 of 66
59. Stephon Clark, 22Source:false 59 of 66
60. Danny Ray Thomas, 34Source:false 60 of 66
61. DeJuan Guillory, 27Source:false 61 of 66
62. Patrick Harmon, 5062 of 66
63. Jonathan Hart, 2163 of 66
64. Maurice Granton, 2464 of 66
65. Julius Johnson, 2365 of 66
Public Executions Of Black People Are Showing No Signs Of Ending was originally published on newsone.com