These statistics were mentioned yesterday by a Facebook friend. I decided to look them up to make sure the facts are square–and they are. 102 instances of police brutality against black people within 4 years’ time. That’s 25 beat-downs for two years, 26 for two nastier years. 2 beatings per month. Bi-weekly; get your paycheck, catch a beating. Finally, Freddy Gray’s spine is near-severed, he’s not given medical attention at the scene, he’s beaten and made comatose while in police custody, and he’s not buckled into the backseat, as he begins dying, handcuffed–because he sold weed.
It seems like those so affected, yet so far away, from the rioting would rather see black communities continuously deal with beatings for petty crime than cultivate change. Hey, when I was 14-17, I stole LOTS of little things. It’s what us dumb kids do. I’ll bet if you think back, you did some dumb stuff, too. You should have gotten beaten within an inch of your life for it by somebody who isn’t even the owner of the stolen object. I should have, too. If this is the precedent, then it’s for all of us–or none of us.
Once Baltimore P.D. took a life, the game changed–again. This is either a new dawn, or the beginning of a very long night. So what do you do, if you’re black and trying to live in the United States? Play by every little rule and hope you’re not profiled? Or do you live in fear that your son or daughter might be dumb enough to steal, and get altered for life by somebody who isn’t even the owner of the stolen object? Hope that a dog isn’t used to maul you to death? Or just pray that they don’t barge into your home, falsely thinking its a drug dealers hideout, and murder your sleeping children. Or worse still, getting plain-ol-shot for taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
Targeting is happening. Profiling is happening. Racism is happening. And, as we continue to see, murder is happening. Where do you stand?