Archive for unarmed citizens

Imitation Of Life

Posted in political commentary, politics, social commentary with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 14, 2008 by blackstarr

gary-d-01I love TV crime dramas, but, I usually stop watching them after some time, as they become so “formulaic”, so to speak.  One such show is CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, on CBS.  Like most of the other dramas that I watch/watched, I like the interaction of the characters more than anything else.  One of my favorite characters from the show was Warrick Brown, played by Gary Dourdan (check his official site).  Art truly does, at times, imitate life.  Ironically, one episode was actually entitled “Art Imitates Life”.  To further illustrate the fact, in the end, the character Warrick Brown imitated the recent life of actor Gary Dourdan, plagued by drug use.  His real-life antics got him canned from the show.  I had stopped watching the show for quite some time before Mr. Dourdan left the show, but, I made a hasty retreat when I read of his arrest in the news, and waited with bated breath for his last appearance on the show.  It ended as expected, but, there was such finality to the episode:  his character can never return as a regular.

There is a more prominent, more important aspect of art imitating life, and that was made evident with a more recent episode entitled “Say Uncle”.  Another character on the show, Nick Stokes (played by George Eads), was tracking down a lead and he and another CSI entered the home of an elderly Korean woman.  The woman got hysterical and began spewing the Korean language at the top of her lungs.  She eventually pulled out a gun and began pointing it at Stokes.  Stokes turned to look at her and asked in his most calming voice “Now, why you wanna do that?  Put that thing away.” Another CSI is anxious that the woman is going to shoot Stokes, but, Stokes calmly talks the woman into dropping the gun and they all live happily ever after.

That’s one prime example of art imitating life.  So many times, real-life officers are faced with immenent danger, i.e. the perp in question is weilding a gun, or a bat, or a knife.  The officers will speak in a nice, soothing voice, appealing to the “inner”, good person and, in the end, they all live happily ever after.  That is to say as long as the perp is not African-American.

Across the nation, so many African-Americans have been gunned down by the police.  Like other criminals throughout the nation, many had weapons and alledgedly posed a threat to officers and others.  Many times the weapons in question were guns.  However, more times than not, the weapons in question were baseball bats, and knives, and in a large number of cases, the human fist.  Can a gun-carrying officer really feel THAT threatened that they feel the need to fire a bullet into a suspect to subdue him/her?  In so many cases, the suspect dies.  A cold-blooded death.  Murder.

Why can’t African-Americans be “talked down”?  Where is our happy ending?  When will it stop?

copyright  ©  2008  freedom

freerealm@gmail.com

Check out BIKO by Peter Gabriel

Photo taken from rottentomatoes.com

The Usual Suspect: an unarmed person of color

Posted in political commentary, politics, racial discrimination, social commentary with tags , , , , , on August 24, 2008 by blackstarr

Although I normally don’t mind playing the angry Black man, I have to say that at this point, it’s gettin’ old.  I have fought tooth and nail to simply read the comics, do my cryptogram and crossword, and call it a day.  Inevitably, a story moves into eyesight and I can’t help but read it out.  There is such an inequity in the way that suspects are treated by the police and the subsequent actions taken by said police when it comes down to the differences in the way incidents are handled.  That seems to depend upon whether the suspect is Caucasian or is a person of color.

In January of this year in Ohio, Tarika Wilson and her child were shot by police who came to her home to arrest her boyfriend.  Ms Wilson was killed, the child shot in the shoulder and will survive.  Ms Wilson was Black.  She was unarmed.  Earlier this month, and all-white jury dismissed all charges against the police officer.

In July of this year, twenty-seven (27) year old Mack Woodfox was shot in the back and killed by an officer who said that he thought the suspect was reaching for a gun.  The suspect was being chased by police for driving under the influence.  At the time that he was shot  (three times in the back) he was posing no threat.  He was unarmed.  He was Black.  Seven (7) months earlier, the police officer, Hector Jimenez, shot and killed another suspect.

There are other stories that I decided not to add to this blog, but, one need only go back a few months at a time to find very similar stories of unarmed Black people being shot and killed by the police.  Diallo was murdered a few years ago.  Bell was murdered recently.  Both were unarmed, posed no threat, and were shot multiple times by the police.  The list goes on and on.  Each time, one reads that the suspects were unarmed and posed no serious threat to officers or others.  Yet, these Black people are dead.  Killed.  Murdered.  What’s the worst part of it all?  The officers have gotten off in almost every case.

The real pity, the part that angers me most, is that when it comes to Caucasian suspects, police seem to find a way to “talk them down” or to use minor force to subdue the Caucasian suspects.  I have read stories of Caucasian suspects with guns, knives, bats, and numerous other items usable as weapons.  In each case, the police saw fit to persuade them to surrender.  In the case of the suspects who were people of color, they have all been unarmed and posed less of a threat than any of the Caucasian suspects who were persuaded to surrender.

Black tribes in Africa, back in the day were mighty warriors.  They conquered nations without so much as a twitch of an eye.  They were feared as the most powerful beings to ever walk the face of the earth.  Apparently, the usual suspects must be killed as opposed to being brought in.  Evidently, the usual suspects are ominous enough without a weapon.  Clearly, the usual suspects must be dealt with in a manner in which they will never become a threat to anyone.

The usual suspects are unarmed people of color.

The usual suspects are unarmed people of color.

The usual suspects are unarmed people of color.

And the usual suspects . . . are dead.

copyright  ©  2008  freedom

freerealm@gmail.com