Look at his eyes. Really look at them.
Now look at the officer’s left knee, and how he’s kneeling on the man’s head. Look at the officer’s right thigh by the man’s mouth, as if to silence any speech. What would’ve happened if he’d uttered the words “I can’t breathe?”
I know a lot of people are talking about the other photo with the regally silent and strong black woman standing before several police officers:
But that’s not the one that spoke to me, personally. It’s the one with the black man’s eyes showing a myriad of emotions (to me).
The battle for equality continues. Because we’re shown that there is inequity, not just with our system of law enforcement and courts, but in other areas as well. And far too often, the victim is put on trial, as if they are responsible for their own murder.
It doesn’t help matters when the presumptive Republican nominee for president, Donald Trump, can get away with tweeting flat our bogus graphics with made up statistics like this one:
Now hear this: The Crime Statistics Bureau of San Francisco DOES NOT EXIST
Everything old is new again:
For the purpose of this post, I’m using the phrase “Black Lives Matter” and “All Lives Matter”
A recent example that contradicts “All Lives Matter,” occurred after the fatal shooting of Diamond Reynold’s fianceé Philando Castile. This is what Reynolds and her child went through (items in bold are my doing):
“According to Reynolds, “nobody checked his pulse” in the immediate aftermath of the shooting. Instead, Reynolds said, she was placed in the back of a police car as other officers “soothed” the officer who fired on Castile. “They pulled him over to the side and they began to calm him down and tell him that it was OK and he would get through this,” Reynolds said.
In the video streamed on Facebook Wednesday night, Reynolds could be seen in the back of a police car, saying she has been handcuffed.
“They took me to jail,” Reynolds said Thursday. “They didn’t feed us. They didn’t give us water. They took everything from me. They put me in a room and separated me from my child. … They treated me like a prisoner. They treated me like I did this to me, and I didn’t, they did this to us.”
Reynolds said she was not informed that Castile had died until 3 a.m. and was not brought home until two hours after that.”
This is how a woman and her four year old daughter, who’d just seen their loved one shot were treated. And as Philando Castile’s life was slipping away, the tape shows the officer still at the driver’s side window with his gun drawn and trained on the occupants of the car. Occupants that consist of a dying man, and a woman and a child.
Perhaps the trial will show how the other officer on the passenger side of the car radioed for an ambulance, and how a valiant fight was waged to save Philando’s life.
Because what I saw on the video was a need to immediately arrest Diamond and to separate her from her child. I don’t know how long it took for someone to perform CPR on Philando Castile. Hopefully, how a grieving woman and her child were treated in the aftermath of the shooting will be reviewed, and changes will be made.
This isn’t the only recent encounter where a lack of empathy was shown as a black man lay dying. Remember the businessman turned volunteer reserve deputy 73 year old Robert Bates, who was carrying a taser and a loaded gun, but instead of using his taser he pulled out his gun and shot the suspect? Look at how his deed was initially played down, even after the dying man, Eric Courtney Harris, screamed that he’d been shot.
‘Oh! I shot him! I’m sorry!” Bates said, per the video of the shooting.
What was the response by other officer at the scene?
“Harris, who is bleeding, calls out, too. He’s losing his breath, he says. An officer yells back at him.
“You f**king ran! Shut the f**k up!” he yells. “F**k your breath,” he said.”
Here’s a transcript:
He is running, he is running, stop. Stop right here. Stop right here. Stop right here. Stop, stop, stop, stop, stop. (police officer in car, jumps out, gives chase)
Stop right here. Stop right here. (police officer)
All right… (Eric Harris)
I need you to roll on your stomach… (police officer)
Stop fighting… (female police officer)
Oh, I shot him. I’m sorry.… (Robert Bates)
Oh shit. Oh shit maybe stop it.
He is running I’m sorry stop….
Stop fighting… (female police officer)
What the fucking breath….fucker… (police officer)
Oh, he shot me! He shot me! He shot me! (Eric Harris)
You guys going to fucking hear me? (unknown officer)
You fucking ran. Shut the fuck up. (unknown police officer)
Oh God! (Eric Harris)
Oh, he shot me. I didn’t do shit. He shot me man. Oh, my god. (Eric Harris)
You didn’t do shit. You didn’t do shit – you hear me? (unknown police officer)
I’m losing my breath. (Eric Harris)
Fuck your breath. (unknown police officer)
Put his hands back. (unknown police officer)
Once Reserve officer Bates shot Eric Harris, here’s what another deputy testified to. Notice how fearful they were of also getting shot by Bates:
‘I almost got killed,’ deputy says
“I almost got killed,” Vaca said, his voice cracking. “It makes me emotional. Inches to my right and I would have been killed.” Vaca and another deputy testified they observed Bates in his patrol vehicle nodding off a few minutes before the takedown order was given.
Deputy Michael Heisten said Bates gave a statement to investigators and claimed to have been in situations like this before. He meant to use nonlethal force as he had in the past, the statement said, according to Heisten.
“Based on his record how often had Bates been in a situation involving a fleeing felon?” Gray asked.
“Never.” Heisten replied.
An internal inquiry by the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office in 2009 concluded that Bates was shown special treatment and that training policies were violated regarding his role with the agency.
Fifty year old Walter Scott was shot at 8 times and felled by 5 bullets as he ran from police officer Michael T. Slager. After Scott was down on the ground, Slager handcuffs him, and no medical aid is rendered by either officer. Notice how Scott’s head looks like its face down in the grass.
In his defense, Officer Slater used the “I felt threatened” defense, which has been used by several shooters as a get out of jail free card (not just police officers) like George Zimmerman, the man who shot and killed Trayvon Martin. And Michael Dunn, the Florida man who shot and killed teenager Jordan Davis over loud music. There’s also Theodore Wafer, the homeowner who shot Renisha McBride to death as she knocked on his front door and stood on his porch in the early hours of November 2014. Darren Wilson, the officer who killed Michael Brown also stated he felt threatened. In May of this year, Slager was charged with obstruction of justice.
“The obstruction of justice charge stems from Mr. Slager’s telling state investigators that Mr. Scott was moving toward him when he fired.
Mr. Slager knowingly misled investigators “by falsely stating that he fired his weapon at Scott while Scott was coming forward at him with a Taser,” the indictment said, when in fact, as the officer “then well knew, he repeatedly fired his weapon at Scott when Scott was running away from him.”
Eric Garner’s last words
“I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe,” he said, as officers restrained him.
Garner said it 8 times as he was being restrained on the ground.
“This was not a chance meeting on the street. It was a product of a police strategy to crack down on the sort of disorder that, to the police, Mr. Garner represented. Handcuffed and motionless on the ground, he did not receive immediate aid, and the apparent lapses in protocol prompted a state inquiry. The first official police report on his death failed to note the key detail that vaulted the fatal arrest into the national consciousness: that a police officer had wrapped his arm around Mr. Garner’s neck.
“. . .Without video of his final struggle, Mr. Garner’s death may have attracted little notice or uproar. Without seeing it, the world would not have known exactly how he died.
The video images were cited in the final autopsy report as one of the factors that led the city medical examiner to conclude that the chokehold and chest compression by the police caused Mr. Garner’s death. Absent the video, many in the Police Department would have gone on believing his death to have been solely caused by his health problems: obesity, asthma and hypertensive cardiovascular disease. The autopsy report, which is confidential, was provided by a person close to Mr. Garner’s family.
“We didn’t know anything about a chokehold or hands to the neck until the video came out,” said a former senior police official with direct knowledge of the investigation, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to protect his access to confidential department information. “We found out when everyone else did.”
Donald Trump has just proclaimed himself “The law and order candidate.”
Which is in line with his “Make America Great Again” motto, or what some, including myself reads as, “Make America Hate Again.”
I’ve already mentioned his bogus tweet with fictitious crime stats that was not only offensive but dead wrong. Couple that with his divisive rhetoric on Muslims and Mexicans (note to Trump, some families consist of both black and Hispanic, or even black, white and Hispanic, like mine. Trying to get elected by pointing at a racial or ethnic group as the cause of what ails America won’t cut it). Oh, and Trump’s observations on women are cringeworthy. So I’m sorry, I can’t get on board with Donald Trump. He’s taking too many cues from the past, and his “law and order” proclamation is playing into the republican fear factor card. It’s something that was used during years gone by, and especially during segregation.
As CNN political analyst David Gergen pointed out, Barry Goldwater used “law and order” in the 60s. Richard Nixon used it, and so did Ronald Reagan.
Now Donald Trump, the man who had good things to say about Saddam Hussein, Putin and even North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-un, vows he’ll be tough on crime. All I know is, that’s a real motley crew Donald’s put together as his role models.
But, I digress . . . going back to Black Lives Matter vs. All Lives Matter, there’s a sharp contrast between how a man who’d murdered nine people was apprehended, and the way a domestic violence call goes horribly wrong:
Cops bought Dylann Roof Burger King after his calm arrest: report
“After about 16 hours on the run, the admitted mass murderer complained to cops arresting him in Shelby, N.C., that he was hungry, so police got him food from the nearby fast food joint, according to an account of his arrest in The Charlotte Observer.”
“At least five Shelby police officers, guns drawn, surrounded the black Hyundai sedan that had pulled off the highway on Thursday morning.
The skinny, blonddriver, though, lowered his window and calmly handed over his driver’s license.
“I’m Dylann Roof,” he said.
The 21-year-old had been on the run through the Carolinas for about 16 hours – ever since authorities say he slaughtered nine members of a prayer group inside a historic black church in Charleston.
Shelby police Chief Jeff Ledford told the Observer on Friday that authorities found a .45-caliber handgun in Roof’s car.”
Stewart was equipped with a police body camera, which caught the whole interaction on tape. The released video, which is nearly 14 minutes long, shows until the point that Smith pulls his gun on the officer.
Smith, hands deep in the pockets of his winter coat, replies, “No, sir, I’m just cold.”
Taking Smith at his word, Stewart quizzes him about the spat with his girlfriend, a three-minute segment of the video shows.
. . . after hearing Smith’s side of the story, Stewart asks, “You mind if I just pat down your pockets real quick? You don’t have anything in here?”
Smith says, “No, this is my smokes,” as Stewart runs his hand over the left pocket.
When the unsuspecting officer moves toward the right pocket, Smith whips out a .22-caliber revolver and takes aim at Stewart.
The video shows Stewart raising his hands in a desperate attempt to shield himself, but then cuts out.
Smith unloaded on the doomed cop at point-blank range, striking him with five rounds as a sixth sailed into the house behind him, according to the Arizona Republic.
He then fired a fatal shot into his own head using Stewart’s service pistol.
I’m still working on this post . . .