Protest marches continue as the public struggles for answers and solutions to the many shootings and killings of unarmed black men by police across the nation. This newest problem for citizens has left the public in a few different camps.
The first group sees it as law enforcement doing their job, a job they claim is very dangerous and requiring split second decisions. They believe that these killings are rare events and unfair to the police. The second group sees this as a coordinated attack manifested by the racial views of the police and profiling of innocent black men. The third group believes that even if the victims were committing a crime, it would he a misdemeanor and not worthy of a street justice style death penalty.
Here is a look at just a few of the killings.
Ezell Ford, twenty-five years old. August 2014, Los Angeles California. The autopsy report was released yesterday. It showed that Mr. Ford was shot three times, once in the back. His family has claimed that he had mental health issues, was unarmed and not committing any crime. One of the police officers involved in the shooting claims that Mr. Ford sized his service pistol and he had to draw a second weapon and fire the fatal shots.
John Crawford, twenty-two years old. August 2014, Beavercreek Ohio. Mr. Crawford was shot in a Wal-Mart. He was holding a rifle in his hand – a B.B. rifle that he was going to purchase.
Michael Brown, Eighteen years old. August 2014, Ferguson Missouri. Mr. Brown was shot to death by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. Wilson fired a total of twelve rounds. Mr. Brown was a suspect in a shoplifting incident earlier that day. Mr. Wilson quit the police force. A Grand jury failed to indict.
Eric Garner, Forty-Three years old. July 2014, Staten Island New York. Mr. Garner allegedly was selling loose cigarettes on a city street. After several police officers held him down he repeated “I can’t breathe”, eleven times. After Mr. Garner lost conciseness the police rolled him onto his side and called for an ambulance. No one administer CPR. A Grand jury failed to indict.
Wayne Jones, Fifty years old. March 2013, Martinsburg, West Virginia. Mr. Jones was shot to death by five Martinsburg City police officers after being stopped for walking on the side of a city street. After being hit twice with a taser and beat to the ground he was shot several times, once under his arm and many times in his back. A Grand jury failed to indict.
On the other side of this issue two New York City police officers, Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, were ambushed and shot to death while sitting in their patrol car. Police said Ismaaiyl Brinsley killed both officers before taking his own life in a nearby subway. Brinsley declared his intentions on social media before carrying out his threat. He stated it was for the recent deaths of black men at the hands of the police.
This has polarized the issue with the police moving to a “us against them” mentality and many citizens agreeing with law enforcement. Others continue to ask, and in some cases demand, changes in the police departments. They see their local police becoming more militarized with hardware from the war being deploy as assets for events that have never happened in their community.
These are just a few of the situations that have brought police actions and policies into daily media coverage and sparked much protest across the United States. It is also a threat that tears at our very core. One thing is certain, the Norman Rockwell police officer is a thing of the past.