ACTIVIST/ORGANIZER LUMUMBA AKINWOLE-BANDELE ON THE NEED TO CHALLENGE THE RIGHT OF POLICE TO TERRORIZE OUR COMMUNITIES
“We declare our right on this earth…to be a human being, to be respected as a human being, to be given the rights of a human being in this society, on this earth, in this day, which we intend to bring into existence by any means necessary.” – EL Hajj Malik Shabazz
By now, we have all seen the video of Eric Garner’s murder at the hands of the NYPD. As we are still trying to make sense of his killing, we receive the news of two more murders of unarmed Black men by law enforcement. Twenty-two-year old John Crawford, shot and killed in Walmart in Beavercreek, Ohio for holding in his hand a BB gun that was being sold in the store. Unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown, gunned down by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri.
I avoided watching the video of Garner’s death until I couldn’t any longer. I avoided it, because every encounter I’ve had with NYPD resulted in physical confrontation. For many people of color this isn’t a surprise. NYPD culture authorizes the police to escalate the encounter to secure physical control and dominance. This dominance comes in many forms but often includes being ‘roughed up’ by police. It isn’t uncommon for this roughing up to include the now-infamous chokehold. This deadly maneuver is not new and came under scrutiny in 1994 with the killing of Anthony Baez and before that with Arthur Miller.
Read the full article at Ebony.com