“Police-related deaths follow certain patterns. A 2012 study found that about half of those killed by the police each year are mentally ill, a problem that the Supreme Court will consider 2015. Young black men are also 21 times more likely to be killed by cops than young white men, according to one ProPublica analysis of the data we have. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also compiled data which shows that people of color are most likely to be killed by cops overall. In short, people who belong to marginalized communities are at a higher risk of being shot than those who are not.
I swear to the Lord
I still can’t see
Why Democracy means
Everybody but me.
~Langston Hughes, The Black Man Speaks
“…How many more young people are going to be killed for walking in the street, failing to signal a lane shift, looking a police officer in the eye, or playing with a toy gun? How many more names of Black men, women and young people will join the list of those whose deaths have sparked widespread protests: Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner (at left), Tamir Rice, Freddie Gray, Renisha McBride, Aiyana Jones and Sakia Gunn, among many others – and now, Sandra Bland. “
Sandra Bland’s family and friends believe that foul play was involved in her death, and rightly so. Their belief is bolstered by the fact that the head sheriff of Waller County, Glenn Smith, who made the first public comments about Bland’s in-custody death, was suspended for documented cases of racism when he was chief of police inHempstead, Texas, in 2007. After serving his suspension, more complaints of racism came in, and Smith was actually fired as chief of police in Hempstead.”Bland’s death over a routine traffic stop is beyond monstrous. It is indicative of a country where extreme violence is the norm – a society fed by the legacy of slavery, Jim Crow, the incarceration state, the drug wars and the increasing militarization of everything, including the war on Black youth. There is more at stake here than the fact that, as federal statistics indicate, the police are “31 percent more likely to pull over a Black driver than a white driver
“It demands great spiritual resilience not to hate the hater whose foot is on your neck, and an even greater miracle of perception and charity not to teach your child to hate.”
― James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time
101 unarmed people killed by police in 2014.
Below is a list of people (most people of color, many unarmed and some mentally ill) who were killed by cops in 2014.
Some cases are more clear-cut than others, but all of them raise questions about the use of force — like shooting to kill — in policing. They also prompt scrutiny of how cops confront people…