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.
81 Black Men And Boys Killed By Police
1. George Floyd1 of 81
2. Yassin Mohamed2 of 81
3. Finan H. Berhe3 of 81
4. Sean ReedSource:Twitter 4 of 81
5. Steven Demarco TaylorSource:S. Lee Merritt 5 of 81
6. Ariane McCreeSource:The Herald/YouTube 6 of 81
7. Terrance Franklin7 of 81
8. Miles HallSource:KRON4 8 of 81
9. Darius TarverSource:S. Lee Merritt 9 of 81
10. William Green10 of 81
11. Samuel David Mallard, 1911 of 81
12. Kwame "KK" Jones, 17Source:facebook 12 of 81
13. De’von Bailey, 1913 of 81
14. Christopher Whitfield, 3114 of 81
15. Anthony Hill, 2615 of 81
16. De'Von Bailey, 1916 of 81
17. Eric Logan, 5417 of 81
18. Jamarion Robinson, 2618 of 81
19. Gregory Hill Jr., 3019 of 81
20. JaQuavion Slaton, 2020 of 81
21. Ryan Twyman, 2421 of 81
22. Brandon Webber, 2022 of 81
23. Jimmy Atchison, 2123 of 81
24. Willie McCoy, 2024 of 81
25. Emantic "EJ" Fitzgerald Bradford Jr., 2125 of 81
26. D’ettrick Griffin, 1826 of 81
27. Jemel Roberson, 26Source:false 27 of 81
28. DeAndre Ballard, 23Source:false 28 of 81
29. Botham Shem Jean, 26Source:false 29 of 81
30. Robert Lawrence White, 41Source:false 30 of 81
31. Anthony Lamar Smith, 24Source:Getty 31 of 81
32. Ramarley Graham, 18Source:Getty 32 of 81
33. Manuel Loggins Jr., 31Source:Getty 33 of 81
34. Trayvon Martin, 17Source:Getty 34 of 81
35. Wendell Allen, 20Source:Getty 35 of 81
36. Kendrec McDade, 19Source:Getty 36 of 81
37. Larry Jackson Jr., 32Source:Getty 37 of 81
38. Jonathan Ferrell, 24Source:Getty 38 of 81
39. Jordan Baker, 26Source:Getty 39 of 81
40. Victor White lll, 22Source:Getty 40 of 81
41. Dontre Hamilton, 31Source:Getty 41 of 81
42. Eric Garner, 43Source:Getty 42 of 81
43. John Crawford lll, 22Source:Getty 43 of 81
44. Michael Brown, 18Source:Getty 44 of 81
45. Ezell Ford, 25Source:Getty 45 of 81
46. Dante Parker, 36Source:Getty 46 of 81
47. Kajieme Powell, 25Source:Getty 47 of 81
48. Laquan McDonald, 17Source:Getty 48 of 81
49. Akai Gurley, 28Source:Getty 49 of 81
50. Tamir Rice, 12Source:Getty 50 of 81
51. Rumain Brisbon, 34Source:Getty 51 of 81
52. Jerame Reid, 36Source:Getty 52 of 81
53. Charly Keunang, 43Source:Getty 53 of 81
54. Tony Robinson, 19Source:Getty 54 of 81
55. Walter Scott, 50Source:Getty 55 of 81
56. Freddie Gray, 25Source:Getty 56 of 81
57. Brendon Glenn, 29Source:Getty 57 of 81
58. Samuel DuBose, 43Source:Getty 58 of 81
59. Christian Taylor, 19Source:Getty 59 of 81
60. Jamar Clark, 24Source:Getty 60 of 81
61. Mario Woods, 26Source:Getty 61 of 81
62. Quintonio LeGrier, 19Source:Getty 62 of 81
63. Gregory Gunn, 58Source:Getty 63 of 81
64. Akiel Denkins, 24Source:Getty 64 of 81
65. Alton Sterling, 37Source:Getty 65 of 81
66. Philando Castile, 32Source:Getty 66 of 81
67. Terrence Sterling, 31Source:Getty 67 of 81
68. Terence Crutcher, 40Source:Getty 68 of 81
69. Keith Lamont Scott, 43Source:Getty 69 of 81
70. Alfred Olango, 38Source:Getty 70 of 81
71. Jordan Edwards, 15Source:Getty 71 of 81
72. Stephon Clark, 22Source:false 72 of 81
73. Danny Ray Thomas, 34Source:false 73 of 81
74. DeJuan Guillory, 27Source:false 74 of 81
75. Patrick Harmon, 5075 of 81
76. Jonathan Hart, 2176 of 81
77. Maurice Granton, 2477 of 81
78. Julius Johnson, 2378 of 81
79. Jamee Johnson, 22Source:S. Lee Merritt 79 of 81
80. Michael Dean, 28Source:S. Lee Merritt 80 of 81
Public Executions Of Black People Are Showing No Signs Of Ending was originally published on newsone.com