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.
67 Black Men And Boys Killed By Police
1. De’von Bailey, 191 of 67
2. Christopher Whitfield, 312 of 67
3. Anthony Hill, 263 of 67
4. De'Von Bailey, 194 of 67
5. Eric Logan, 545 of 67
6. Jamarion Robinson, 266 of 67
7. Gregory Hill Jr., 307 of 67
8. JaQuavion Slaton, 208 of 67
9. Ryan Twyman, 249 of 67
10. Brandon Webber, 2010 of 67
11. Jimmy Atchison, 2111 of 67
12. Willie McCoy, 2012 of 67
13. Emantic "EJ" Fitzgerald Bradford Jr., 2113 of 67
14. D’ettrick Griffin, 1814 of 67
15. Jemel Roberson, 26Source:false 15 of 67
16. DeAndre Ballard, 23Source:false 16 of 67
17. Botham Shem Jean, 26Source:false 17 of 67
18. Robert Lawrence White, 41Source:false 18 of 67
19. Anthony Lamar Smith, 24Source:Getty 19 of 67
20. Ramarley Graham, 18Source:Getty 20 of 67
21. Manuel Loggins Jr., 31Source:Getty 21 of 67
22. Trayvon Martin, 17Source:Getty 22 of 67
23. Wendell Allen, 20Source:Getty 23 of 67
24. Kendrec McDade, 19Source:Getty 24 of 67
25. Larry Jackson Jr., 32Source:Getty 25 of 67
26. Jonathan Ferrell, 24Source:Getty 26 of 67
27. Jordan Baker, 26Source:Getty 27 of 67
28. Victor White lll, 22Source:Getty 28 of 67
29. Dontre Hamilton, 31Source:Getty 29 of 67
30. Eric Garner, 43Source:Getty 30 of 67
31. John Crawford lll, 22Source:Getty 31 of 67
32. Michael Brown, 18Source:Getty 32 of 67
33. Ezell Ford, 25Source:Getty 33 of 67
34. Dante Parker, 36Source:Getty 34 of 67
35. Kajieme Powell, 25Source:Getty 35 of 67
36. Laquan McDonald, 17Source:Getty 36 of 67
37. Akai Gurley, 28Source:Getty 37 of 67
38. Tamir Rice, 12Source:Getty 38 of 67
39. Rumain Brisbon, 34Source:Getty 39 of 67
40. Jerame Reid, 36Source:Getty 40 of 67
41. Charly Keunang, 43Source:Getty 41 of 67
42. Tony Robinson, 19Source:Getty 42 of 67
43. Walter Scott, 50Source:Getty 43 of 67
44. Freddie Gray, 25Source:Getty 44 of 67
45. Brendon Glenn, 29Source:Getty 45 of 67
46. Samuel DuBose, 43Source:Getty 46 of 67
47. Christian Taylor, 19Source:Getty 47 of 67
48. Jamar Clark, 24Source:Getty 48 of 67
49. Mario Woods, 26Source:Getty 49 of 67
50. Quintonio LeGrier, 19Source:Getty 50 of 67
51. Gregory Gunn, 58Source:Getty 51 of 67
52. Akiel Denkins, 24Source:Getty 52 of 67
53. Alton Sterling, 37Source:Getty 53 of 67
54. Philando Castile, 32Source:Getty 54 of 67
55. Terrence Sterling, 31Source:Getty 55 of 67
56. Terence Crutcher, 40Source:Getty 56 of 67
57. Keith Lamont Scott, 43Source:Getty 57 of 67
58. Alfred Olango, 38Source:Getty 58 of 67
59. Jordan Edwards, 15Source:Getty 59 of 67
60. Stephon Clark, 22Source:false 60 of 67
61. Danny Ray Thomas, 34Source:false 61 of 67
62. DeJuan Guillory, 27Source:false 62 of 67
63. Patrick Harmon, 5063 of 67
64. Jonathan Hart, 2164 of 67
65. Maurice Granton, 2465 of 67
66. Julius Johnson, 2366 of 67
Public Executions Of Black People Are Showing No Signs Of Ending was originally published on newsone.com