it comes to police officers who kill black people, the system has a
perverted sense of justice.
offending officers are acquitted, even when we all see the videotape
of the execution and then are asked whether we believe our lying
eyes. Then, as if to twist the knife in our back, the cops are
rewarded, receiving back pay, or more —
a cruel reward for killing a black body
some have ‘lost’ their jobs —
but what a slap in the face to the families that these officers even
have the opportunity and freedom to ‘lose’ a job in the
St. Anthony, Minnesota, Officer
the man who was acquitted last month in the fatal shooting
has left the department under a separation agreement, with $48,500 in
killing a dog would have cost Yanez some prison time. But when it
comes to killing a man over a tail light, with his fiancÚ and
baby girl in the back seat, not so much.
doesn’t stop there, for there are more cases that point to a
May, Officer Betty Shelby — the white Tulsa officer acquitted
for manslaughter in the shooting death of Terence Crutcher —
found out she would receive more
than $35,000 in back pay
since being on leave last September. Shelby was then placed on desk
duty. Weeks after the acquittal, a pro-law enforcement group held
a meet-and-greet to show their support
for Shelby, while the Crutcher estate filed
a civil suit against her.
Wilson, the officer who was killed Michael Brown in Ferguson but was
not charged, had to leave the force and now complains
he is unemployable.
His old department says he is too much of a risk, and prospective
departments conclude he is too great of a liability. That’s a
small price to pay for avoiding prison time, however.
in Charlotte had a hung jury in his trial for the 2013 killing of
Jonathan Ferrell. No longer a police officer, Kerrick received a
nearly $180,000 settlement that included nearly $113,000
in back pay
and another $16,000 going to his Social Security and retirement. That
is not a bad deal for getting away with murder.
none of the six officers indicted for the death of Freddie Gray went
to jail. Five of them did, however, sue Marilyn Mosby, the state’s
attorney, for malicious
And four officers received over $381,000
in back pay.
Blue Lives Matter.
of this makes one wonder what exactly the hell is going on. Police
officers continue to kill black people and claim they feared for
their lives, then win a big cash settlement as if they were somehow
harmed. A precious few cops are made to pay the price, and few
families of the victims find justice. Yet, these cops seem to come
culture of corruption and brutality thrives in some police
departments. Although there are officers who never should have been
given a badge and a gun, the system protects them. When there are no
proactive measures to rid the department of bad cops with a long
history of brutality, misconduct and racism, these officers have the
green light to continue their abuse, and whistle blowers are punished
is no wonder that African-American communities have lost faith in law
enforcement. After all, they live honest and decent lives, and are
told that those who commit crimes must expect to pay a price. As
taxpayers, the community wants and expects the police to protect and
serve rather than carry on like the slave patrols who monitored the
they see those who are charged with upholding the law breaking the
law and killing with reckless abandon. How do you build trust between
the police and the community when there is no justice, when an
officer kills a black man on video, gets off, and receives back pay,
or at worst a separation agreement with no more job, yet no prison?
commentary was originally published by The Grio