The Slow Disbanding of Justice

The community and the nation all feel that there is now where to turn.

The community and the nation all feel that there is         nowhere to turn.                                                      Photographer – Stephanie Strickland

*What type of a world do we live in?

The world we live in today is becoming cruel, inhumane and downright incorrigible. We sit back and allow these hate crimes to continue and they continue because it’s a known fact that there is no penalty.

In the last ten days I have been knocked off my feet with the blatant injustice shown towards my people in the black community. The failure to indict in the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases escape any rational thought in my mind. The concept of excusing a police officer that uses excessive force and shoots an unarmed man six times is unimaginable. The concept of not pressing charges against an officer who had so much hate and rage inside him that he actually use physical force – his bare hands- to choke an unarmed man to death and yet the state grand juries in Missouri and in New York come to the decisions that there was no probable cause to charge either of these officers for these killings.

My heart aches for these families, water wells up in my eyes for the pain they must feel. The shrill in their voices as they make statements to the media while attempting to present a brave face simply cut me to the core.

Eric Garner’s murder is the most troubling to me.

Do you realize how long it takes to kill someone with your bare hands? Do you realize how void of humanity you have to be to stand one foot away from someone who is yelling “I CAN’T BREATHE!” 11 times and you do nothing? This was not a taking of someone’s life in an instant with a gun, as in the case of Michael Brown. There were multiple opportunities for that officer to release Eric Garner’s neck and he would still be alive today.

Another troubling factor in both of these cases is the fact that both Garner and Brown (by witness and video account) were conceding. For centuries the universal sign for surrender has been to put both hands in the air. Although witness accounts state that both Eric Garner and Michael Brown both exhibited this old world conceding gesture – the officers either were oblivious to its meaning or blatantly ignored it.

As I reflect on what this world is becoming (has become) it is disheartening.  I find myself asking:

*Are police being trained to protect us and our communities or are they being trained to inflicted pain on us?

There was a time when the police officers in our communities were a part of the communities that they worked.  They were respected as someone who was invested in maintaining a safe place for their own themselves and their families and hence yours.

*Where did those conviction go?

Unfortunately the general consensus in today’s society seems to be summed up by a statement made by former NY mayor Rudy Giuliani on Meet the Press with Michael Eric Dyson November 23, 2014. Giuliani suggested that “white police officers wouldn’t be there if you [blacks] weren’t killing each other.”

This is an egregious statement that only fuels the narrow minded and allows officers to feel that they can in fact get away with murder.

Although it appears that justice is not on our side we have to continue to stand up for the rights of our fallen brothers.  We have to demand justice for everyone who has been treated unjustly by those that have been given the responsibility to protect us. Justice is disbanding specifically in the black community and currently we are being systematically annihilated – let’s not grow weary of the struggle – our legacy is on the line.

Stay Strong in Peace, and Love and in the Struggle!

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