As I am guilty of making assumptions, jumping to conclusions, and not wanting to believe the worst, I paused after each name in this video so I could google each incident and learn the story of each death. Some I knew already; many I did not.
Nearly all of them involved some kind of resist of arrest, intoxication, or other criminal activity, but none called for the violence imposed by law enforcement.
I’ve heard the argument that “they shouldn’t have gotten killed, but it’s not like they were angels either.”
That argument holds no water.
Sure, one is not entitled to drive drunk, possess drugs, resist arrest, sell illegal CDs, etc. without consequence. But that consequence can’t be being shot in the back, in the head, in the chest, held down, choke-held, or beaten to death. Somewhere between restraint and arrest of a criminal and murder. That is the line we’re looking for.
And it’s not just a coincidence that those who were killed were black people. Black people are targeted, profiled, antagonized, and never given the benefit of the doubt. I promise that if I reached into my pocket on a traffic stop, no one would ever think I was reaching for a gun.
We have to stop making excuses for the killing of black people by law enforcement. There is no explanation worthy of mitigating or excusing these murders.
Stop killing black people. They’re not expendable. Their lives matter.