They Came For Us But You Were Silent
Now what will you think? I came across this article from Christina Harb. This has been written by Shaun King who is a writer from NY Daily News. He goes over how an Australian National, Justine Damond who was weeks away from being married, was fatally shot after officers responded to a 911 call about a possible assault, which came from her! Yes she came out of the car in her pajamas. It must have been a very intimidating, suspicious-cut of fabric because she was shot after coming to the driver’s seat window. In my mind I imagine a middle aged woman with her arms crossed walking in her long pajamas because it was midnight and it’s a bit chilly in Minneapolis. The police will not release audio or visual documentation of the occurrence happening. This may be due to legal protocol, however it’s really suspicious.
After looking into this further, I found out who the officer supposedly is. Wait for it, it shouldn’t matter. This is a group issue not the issues of a few, because regardless of their race, financial history, culture, religion, or backgrounds, there have been numerous accounts of people being brutalized by the police. Yes we can argue that some of this is sometimes warranted, but the numbers are daunting. According to Shaun King, 660 people have been officially documented as killed by U.S. police officers. It’s still July!
King makes a really good point when he shares a story of what happened to him. “A few weeks ago, a buddy of mine told me "Shaun — I don't think this country is ever really going to give a damn about police brutality until they see it destroying the lives of white families." I think he's right. That's the American way. It's what we're basically seeing with the opioid crisis in our country right now. As our nation seems to be coming to grips with the alarming crisis of drug addiction affecting and destroying families from coast to coast, we're beginning to see emergency solutions bust right on through the war on drugs. The level of humanity and compassion being shown to those affected by the opioid crisis is right. I support it.” Police brutality has not been much of an issue to middle class white families. Come to think of it, my neighbors called the police on my family for noise complaints predominantly on the weekends around 2pm. I’ll let you guess what their background is.
Earlier this week a woman was killed in front of her home, for a call she made, about someone else. She probably felt safe enough to approach the deputy’s vehicle because hey why not, she made the call right? She thought wrong. She shouldn’t have approached the driver window. She should have announced what she was doing. Why didn’t she greet the officers calmly? This argument is getting kind of redundant and doesn’t really apply to this situation huh? Oh, but she’s Australian. She’s an immigrant who acted out of turn right? Eh. I don’t know about that one. All of these previous arguments for why a suspect (how is it possible that she can even be called that right now?) was shot by the police don’t make sense now. Well it hasn’t been making sense for some time. It has taken a few stories to pop up here and there that have had victims from families from a demographic that historically hasn’t been brutalized to open the eyes of others. If this isn’t eye opening then I don’t know what is.
Shaun goes on to say “But I'll be honest with you, I think a lot of well-meaning white people have looked at the most well-known cases of police brutality, and have seen a black problem that is simply unlikely to visit them like it is now visiting the family of Justine Damond.” This has been the case from the opposing side of the argument. Yes there are figures that show that black on black crime happens. Yes there is an overwhelming majority of crimes committed from non-whites. However, we cannot say that when there is police brutality, it is justified because of these statistics.
Now let’s discuss the officer for everyone who is curious to blame the individual and not the organization responsible. Shaun King left his name out because the officer shouldn’t really matter. It’s the event that is under investigation. When I read the name of the officer, honestly it made me frown. The name reads as Mohamed Noor. Why did frown? Instead of making this a case of police brutality, some may make it about a terrorist, minority, or immigrant who wasn’t capable of handling a firearm, which would push proponents of Trumpism to say yes the police force needs to be restructured, but with proper Americans. Who knows what that means? Yes I may be overreacting, but you can’t deny that this thought may have crossed people’s minds after reading Noor’s name. Yes he did make a mistake. He killed an unarmed, middle-aged woman and it was horrible. We can’t deny that.
Let’s put it in business terms. Let’s say an employee who worked for a very reputable organization that was in charge of a country’s defense system for a company by the name of apple security. Then, said employee unintentionally created a flaw in the programming. Now from this flaw a virus is breaking out and damaging and releasing the personal financial information of their clients.
None of said employee's associates or bosses would be impressed with this. It is causing people’s lives to be ruined. Who would have to take responsibility for the consequences of this? The answer is the employee, but the company would lose clients and most likely their reputation. They would have to do some serious public relations management and have an entirely different approach on their business plan. Using this analogy, shouldn’t the police department have a different plan on hiring, training, and taking responsibility for the actions of a few bad officers?
What should be done? Should we focus on solely punishing the officer, or should we try to restructure the department regarding hiring, training, and reprimanding unbecoming behavior? My thoughts go out to the family who is motherless, a father who will not be married to the woman he loves, and the children who now have a single parent household. Again this seems like a stereotype, but I’m not talking about a black family. Look at the faces of the community affected in this memorial picture. This affects all of us.
Article from Shaun King can be found at http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/king-police-brutality-jumped-racial-fence-minn-shooting-article-1.3332799