Just one week after the grand jury decided that there will be no indictment in the murder of Michael Brown, there has been 2 more cases of killings of unarmed black people by police who will not be indicted. The cops who killed Aiyana Jones & Eric Garner will go free.
Since last Monday, protests have struck up all over the country, including protests off Black Friday. There have been die-ins staged that have shut down buildings, trains, & malls. And yet, in the midst of all of that, here we have even more failures in justice.
We wrote about Eric Garner months ago, shortly after the video was released of him being held in a chokehold & taken down by police. He died because of this. Even though his death was ruled as a homicide, today the news came with the official statement that there would be no indictment.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, just 2 days ago a judge dropped the case against the police officer who shot & killed 7-year-old Aiyana Jones. For those unfamiliar with her story, police raided a home looking for a homicide suspect. The cop bursted in & began firing his semi-automatic weapon. Aiyana, who was asleep on the couch, was shot & killed. The whole thing was filmed for A&E’s First 48. In spite of this, the cop will not be indicted for her murder. He will face minor charges for discharging his weapon. This is our “justice” system.
Having met with representatives from Ferguson, President Obama has announced that he will be putting forward a bill to change police training & put body cameras on cops. Many people believe that this will not help. Eric Garner’s killing was filmed & yet there will still be no indictment, even though it is against NYPD policy to use a chokehold.
The problem isn’t the need for cameras. That could help, but not if the police are still going to be able to tell their story & have it declared the absolute truth. Time & again it is being declared that it is not a crime for these police officers to take black lives. All they have to do is make excuses & criminalize the victim. The change needs to come with policies. The policies for deadly force need to be changed & so does the process for indictment. The police should not be treated any better than any other person on trial for murder. In most cases they should be treated more severely.
We must stop criminalizing black people & allowing these people who are supposed to be protecting & serving to find excuses to take black lives. Black lives matter. The issue here isn’t trust between police & the community. The issue is police using deadly force at whim & not being punished because the black person on the other side of the gun or the chokehold is always convicted of their own murder. It is not a crime to be black & alive, but it should certainly be a crime to take black lives. These are highly trained professionals with weapons. If they are scared, what are we supposed to be?
Much prayer & love goes out to the families of Eric Garner & Aiyana Jones. We must continue to push for justice. Salute to all out in the streets getting it done. Don’t stop until the deaths do.