was difficult for Black people and our allies to celebrate Derek
Chauvin’s guilty verdict. The image of the white, smug-looking
cop with a knee on the neck of an unarmed Black man for nearly 10
minutes is emblazoned in our memories. It will haunt us for a very
other vivid scenes before, the scab will be snatched off the
festering wound with the sight of yet another act of police terror.
didn’t take long for that terror to strike again. On the same
day of the Chauvin verdict, a Columbus, Ohio police shot 16-year-old
Mathias Bryant dead in broad daylight. Andrew Brown, Jr. was fatally
shot by a North Carolina deputy the following day. And the beat goes
Black community is determined to make our lives matter and the court
system is equally determined to end them. The arrogance of Derek
Chauvin on May 25, 2020 plays out day after day, month after month,
year after year by police across the country. Their lawlessness has
been protected by a white supremacist system from white prosecutors
who often refuse to indict all the way down to white jurors who
refused to convict. When the conviction of a cop stops being the
exception to the rule is when Black folks may start believing there
is equal protection under the law.
we can stop wasting tax dollars on explicit bias training, on body
cams, or overtime to allegedly keep us safe. None of these
individually or collectively have curbed the slaughter of Black and
Brown people by police or their proxies.
all of the over-policed cities with bulging budgets, there’s
very little to show for it. Unprecedented homicide rates and hostile
police don’t equal public safety.
every unwarranted act of aggression against communities of color,
police departments helped to give credence to the rallying cry to
defund the police. The basic human needs of people are not being met
because most city budgets are outrageously bloated in favor of arrest
and incarceration. Rational citizens instead are asking for
affordable housing, safe neighborhoods, recreation centers, mental
health services, and jobs with livable wages. These are reasonable
before the verdict of Derek Chauvin, I saw a meme on social media
that basically said nothing had changed since the beating of Rodney
King except the quality of the video. The poignant reference was
about the flood of videos that have publicized the brutal assaults
and cold-blooded murders by police since 1991 but resulted in
virtually no justice for Black communities.
years later, the anticipated verdict came down but was hardly meet
with enthusiastic gratitude. The Fraternal Order of Police and other
police special interest groups are determined that blue, white lives
will prevail by any means necessary.
guilty verdict of Chauvin is an opportunity to bust through the walls
of silence and racist insensitivity. This calls for a sustained and
organized campaign to hold police accountable while defunding them.
will never be a love fest between the two groups. Black folks are
looking to avoid being one of the estimated 1000 victims of police
murder each year. We choose life.