July 07, 2016 - Issue 661: BC Extra - Two Black Men, #PhilandoCastile
and #AltonSterling, Killed in Back-to-Back Police Shootings: Is This
the New Form of Lynching? - Color of Law By David A. Love, JD, BC
July 07, 2016 - Issue 661
Two Black Men,
#PhilandoCastile and #AltonSterling,
Killed in Back-to-Back
Is This the New Form of Lynching?
"Apparently, it matters little even as Black people
do the right thing, stay calm and comply with the
authorities, when the police already have anticipated
and planned their killing. Complying with the police
will not necessarily keep you safe when the police are
complying with white supremacy and racial violence,
and see a criminal in the eyes of every Black man,
woman and child they encounter."
happens when you have two people, a Black man and a white police
officer — both nervous — and the one with the authority
is trigger-happy? This scenario has played itself out in back-to-back
cases of police violence.
Black man has been killed by police. This time a Minnesota man was
shot to death in his car while showing the police his ID, and the
victim’s girlfriend captured the entire aftermath on her
cellphone camera. This, as a Black man was killed by police outside a
convenience store in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Falcon Heights, Minnesota, outside of Minneapolis, Philando Castile —
a cafeteria supervisor at a St. Paul school — and his
girlfriend Diamond Reynolds were stopped by police for a broken
taillight. Castile, who was licensed to carry a firearm, was shot by
the officer as he reached for his license and registration. Reynolds
captured the entire aftermath of the shooting on her cellphone,
perhaps saving her own life in the process. She live-streamed the
incident on Facebook, with her 4-year-old daughter in the backseat.
Reynolds calmly and professionally engages with the officer, who is
had no previous run-ins with the law, according to CNN. Moreover,
Castile had complied with the officer when asked for his
identification, according to Reynolds, and told the officer ahead of
time that he had a firearm in his possession.
Castile, the mother of the victim, told CNN that she emphasized to
her children that they should respect law enforcement, in an effort
to keep them alive.
always told him, ‘Whatever you do, when you get stopped by the
police: Comply. Comply, comply, comply,’ ” she said.
“Comply — that’s the key thing in order to try to
survive being stopped by the police.”
had never thought my son would be killed by the person who was
supposed to take care of him,” she added.
latest episode only underscores the problem of trigger-happy police
officers, ingrained by society to have an innate fear and hatred of
Black men. And in their cowardice — armed with racial
hysteria, lack of proper training and a gun — their actions
have fatal consequences for Black people.
matters little even as Black people do the right thing, stay calm and
comply with the authorities, when the police already have anticipated
and planned their killing. Complying with the police will not
necessarily keep you safe when the police are complying with white
supremacy and racial violence, and see a criminal in the eyes of
every Black man, woman and child they encounter.
in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, a Black man was killed by police Tuesday
in a case that sounds eerily similar to the 2014 chokehold death of
Eric Garner in New York. Alton Sterling, 37, a father of five, was
tackled, tasered and shot by police multiple times in the chest and
back outside a convenience store. Two separate videos from bystanders
captured the shooting, including one captured by the store owner
Huffington Post reported,
Sterling had sold CDs in front of the store for years. Muflahi said
Sterling had recently carried a gun in the past few days, after a
friend who also sells CDs was robbed. Louisiana is an open-carry
individuals involved in his murder took away a man with children who
depended upon their daddy on a daily basis,” said Quinyetta
McMillon, the mother of Sterling’s 15-year-old son Cameron, at
a press conference, the boy standing beside her and crying
inconsolably. “As this video has been shared across the world,
you will see with your own eyes how he was handled unjustly and
killed without regard for
the lives that he helped raise,” she said.
Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Justice Department is conducting an
investigation into the killing of Alton Sterling. The U.S. attorney’s
office in Baton Rouge, the FBI and state police also will be involved
in the investigation, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said.
In the midst of Sterling’s death, some
are attempting to blame the victim and Black protesters. James Durdin,
the father-in-law of Blane Salamoni, one of the two officers involved
in Sterling’s death, has attempted to change the subject and point the
finger at #BlackLivesMatter activists. As was reported by The New York
Daily News, Durdin claimed Black protesters were “making an agenda” out
of police violence.
burns my you-know-what when it’s ― usually the black
people ― that try to make an agenda out of this,”
Durdin said. “What I’d like to see is them with no police
at all, so they can know what it’s like not to have them …
The majority of [cops] would never be abusive. Does anyone give a
you-know-what about that? We’ll have social chaos [without
CNN chose a mugshot of Sterling in reporting his death, rather than
using current Facebook photos of the slain man that were available.
As was the case with Michael Brown in Ferguson and other Black
men killed by police, the media have been criticized for using
mugshots of police shooting victims and attempting to criminalize
them by delving into their possible criminal histories.
death comes after the Louisiana legislature passed a “Blue
Lives Matter” law making it a hate crime to target police
officers. Signed into law by Edwards in May and taking effect in
August, the statute allows for an additional six months in prison and
a $500 fine for a misdemeanor offense, and up to an extra five
years in prison with hard labor and a $5,000 fine for a felony,