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.
80 Black Men And Boys Killed By Police
1. Yassin Mohamed1 of 80
2. Finan H. Berhe2 of 80
3. Sean ReedSource:Twitter 3 of 80
4. Steven Demarco TaylorSource:S. Lee Merritt 4 of 80
5. Ariane McCreeSource:The Herald/YouTube 5 of 80
6. Terrance Franklin6 of 80
7. Miles HallSource:KRON4 7 of 80
8. Darius TarverSource:S. Lee Merritt 8 of 80
9. William Green9 of 80
10. Samuel David Mallard, 1910 of 80
11. Kwame "KK" Jones, 17Source:facebook 11 of 80
12. De’von Bailey, 1912 of 80
13. Christopher Whitfield, 3113 of 80
14. Anthony Hill, 2614 of 80
15. De'Von Bailey, 1915 of 80
16. Eric Logan, 5416 of 80
17. Jamarion Robinson, 2617 of 80
18. Gregory Hill Jr., 3018 of 80
19. JaQuavion Slaton, 2019 of 80
20. Ryan Twyman, 2420 of 80
21. Brandon Webber, 2021 of 80
22. Jimmy Atchison, 2122 of 80
23. Willie McCoy, 2023 of 80
24. Emantic "EJ" Fitzgerald Bradford Jr., 2124 of 80
25. D’ettrick Griffin, 1825 of 80
26. Jemel Roberson, 26Source:false 26 of 80
27. DeAndre Ballard, 23Source:false 27 of 80
28. Botham Shem Jean, 26Source:false 28 of 80
29. Robert Lawrence White, 41Source:false 29 of 80
30. Anthony Lamar Smith, 24Source:Getty 30 of 80
31. Ramarley Graham, 18Source:Getty 31 of 80
32. Manuel Loggins Jr., 31Source:Getty 32 of 80
33. Trayvon Martin, 17Source:Getty 33 of 80
34. Wendell Allen, 20Source:Getty 34 of 80
35. Kendrec McDade, 19Source:Getty 35 of 80
36. Larry Jackson Jr., 32Source:Getty 36 of 80
37. Jonathan Ferrell, 24Source:Getty 37 of 80
38. Jordan Baker, 26Source:Getty 38 of 80
39. Victor White lll, 22Source:Getty 39 of 80
40. Dontre Hamilton, 31Source:Getty 40 of 80
41. Eric Garner, 43Source:Getty 41 of 80
42. John Crawford lll, 22Source:Getty 42 of 80
43. Michael Brown, 18Source:Getty 43 of 80
44. Ezell Ford, 25Source:Getty 44 of 80
45. Dante Parker, 36Source:Getty 45 of 80
46. Kajieme Powell, 25Source:Getty 46 of 80
47. Laquan McDonald, 17Source:Getty 47 of 80
48. Akai Gurley, 28Source:Getty 48 of 80
49. Tamir Rice, 12Source:Getty 49 of 80
50. Rumain Brisbon, 34Source:Getty 50 of 80
51. Jerame Reid, 36Source:Getty 51 of 80
52. Charly Keunang, 43Source:Getty 52 of 80
53. Tony Robinson, 19Source:Getty 53 of 80
54. Walter Scott, 50Source:Getty 54 of 80
55. Freddie Gray, 25Source:Getty 55 of 80
56. Brendon Glenn, 29Source:Getty 56 of 80
57. Samuel DuBose, 43Source:Getty 57 of 80
58. Christian Taylor, 19Source:Getty 58 of 80
59. Jamar Clark, 24Source:Getty 59 of 80
60. Mario Woods, 26Source:Getty 60 of 80
61. Quintonio LeGrier, 19Source:Getty 61 of 80
62. Gregory Gunn, 58Source:Getty 62 of 80
63. Akiel Denkins, 24Source:Getty 63 of 80
64. Alton Sterling, 37Source:Getty 64 of 80
65. Philando Castile, 32Source:Getty 65 of 80
66. Terrence Sterling, 31Source:Getty 66 of 80
67. Terence Crutcher, 40Source:Getty 67 of 80
68. Keith Lamont Scott, 43Source:Getty 68 of 80
69. Alfred Olango, 38Source:Getty 69 of 80
70. Jordan Edwards, 15Source:Getty 70 of 80
71. Stephon Clark, 22Source:false 71 of 80
72. Danny Ray Thomas, 34Source:false 72 of 80
73. DeJuan Guillory, 27Source:false 73 of 80
74. Patrick Harmon, 5074 of 80
75. Jonathan Hart, 2175 of 80
76. Maurice Granton, 2476 of 80
77. Julius Johnson, 2377 of 80
78. Jamee Johnson, 22Source:S. Lee Merritt 78 of 80
79. Michael Dean, 28Source:S. Lee Merritt 79 of 80
Public Executions Of Black People Are Showing No Signs Of Ending was originally published on newsone.com