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systemic racism in the US

newyorker on august 11, 2014 reported: Michael Brown didn’t die in the dark. He was eighteen years old, walking down a street in Ferguson, Missouri, from his apartment to his grandmother’s, at 2:15 on a bright Saturday afternoon. He was, for a young man, exactly where he should be—among other things, days away from his first college classes. A policeman stopped him; it’s not clear why. People in the neighborhood have told reporters that they remember what happened next as a series of movements: the officer, it seemed to them, trying to put Brown into a car; Brown running with his hands in the air; the policeman shooting; Brown falling. The next morning, Jon Belmar, the police chief of St. Louis County, which covers Ferguson, was asked, at a press conference, how many times Brown had been shot. Belmar said that he wasn’t sure: “more than just a couple of times, but not much more.”

newyork times reported today that the autopsy revealed at least 6 shots. and the shot to his lowered head may have been the fatal one. belmar [the cop] said “not more than a couple of times”. read again the newyoker account above and the results of the autopsy and determimne whether 6 bullets were necessary. whether 6 bullets had to be fired, one to the head of Michael brown who ran off to avoid being arrested and being forced into the car.

of all the hollywood movies I’ve seen, i can safely say that ONE bullet to the leg somewhere will deter someone from running. last night i watched two guns where denzel washington shot mark wahlberg in the leg so he couldn’t run off, but not 6 bullets! 6 bullets to an unarmed young man and one to the head which was lowered smells of something rotten and dark.

the questions begs us to stare at police motivation in the face.

exactly how often do police shoot unarmed black men?

Today, it’s 18 yr old michael brown from missouri.
Yesterday, it was 43 yr old eric garner of staten island who died from a police chokehold.
and 22 yr old john crawford of ohio killed in a walmart because a toy gun he’d picked up was mistaken for a real gun.
and ezell ford, a 25 yr old unarmed man of LA shot by police.
and 17 yr old trayvon martin from florida shot and killed by a guard.
and 24 yr old jonatahn ferrel of north carolina who was tased and shot 10 times just after coming out of a car accident and banging on a nearby door for help.

and 2 decades ago it was me, only i didn’t die of gunshots, because i was already like the dead, and perhaps luckily for me. i was unconscious and wounded from having fallen asleep while driving and hitting a telephone pole. i was arrested for ‘drunken driving’ straight out of the emergency room at glen cove hospital NY even though i had no alcohol in my blood, as the doctor told the arresting police officer since he’d taken a blood test before giving me meds. but the white police officer’s words: “oh! she’s fucking drunk!’ resounded in my aching head as he wheelchaired me off in handcuffs with my head concussion, throbbing pain & shock and put me in jail for the night.

Racially charged arrests and killings can’t be dismissed as isolated incidents. There’s an intolerable pattern nationally of unarmed black men and women arrested and dying at the hands of police. Fair adjudication of each case is critical as is finding a way to avoid such senseless deaths & arrests by guns or chokeholds or tasers.

Must all colored people hold placards saying “don’t shoot me! I’m unarmed!” or “my name is khan and I’m not a terrorist!”



  1. SURIKHA RAO says:

    very sad and deplorabe. when will it ever end?

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