You Are Under Arrest

For this post I wanted to talk about the recent incident in Charleston, North Carolina,that involved a shooting at the historical Emanuel African Episcopal Methodist church resulting in the loss of 9 lives. Now I know what you’re thinking, “but what does this have to do with police brutality?” Well, on the surface, nothing. The assailant in this case is, 21 year-old, Dylann Roof, not a member of the local police department however they believe he acted out of hate and racism. Dylann’s actions are being investigated as either a hate crime or an act of domestic terrorism. He is facing 30 year to life in prison, maybe even the death penalty.

Again, why does this have anything to do with police brutality. Well, many have complained of the way Roof’s arrest was handled in comparison to African American suspects, who’s attempted arrest have been known to sometimes end in death or serious injury.Screen-Shot-2015-06-20-at-11.56.33-AM

Most have closely compared Roof’s arrest to that of 43 year-old Eric Garner, who was tackled to the ground in a headlock by an officer of the NYPD. He was heard gasping the words,”I can’t breath,” before his body went limp. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

In Eric Stong’s article, The Calmest Arrest You Could Ever Expect f A Mass Murderer, he displays the image of Lee Boyd Malvo, the DC sniper, in which he can be seen handcuffed in the same exact manner as Roof, putting to rest all the White Privilege assumptions.roof2

However, Eric goes on to address the fact that during Dylann Roof’s arrest no one was heard yelling or screaming, “GET YOUR HANDS UP,”or “GET ON THE GROUND NOW,” and all guns were tucked away safely in their holsters.

White Privilege or coincidence?

Happy Belated Fathers Day!

First off, I want to wish a  Happy Belated Father’s Day to all the fathers out there making a difference! I’ve never had the pleasure of knowing my father, but I celebrated the day with my mom, sister and her husband, and their four daughters, my two great aunts, and my cousin, and uncle. We had an awesome dinner cooked by the matriarchs (not me, though, because I cannot cook!) followed by a movie. As I flipped through the movie channels in search of the perfect movie, I scrolled past the movie Fruitvale Station. Now, if you haven’t heard of Fruitvale Station, it is a movie based on true events that occurred in Oakland, California. You can read more about it here. Like the rest of my family present, I had never seen this movie, but I had heard about it. As I sat with my family and watched as they killed this innocent man who was simply trying to get home safely to his daughter, I reflected on all the current events that are going on today revolving around the same issue of unnecessary force and violence by law enforcement. I actually cried when the movie ended, not just because of what happened to Oscar Grant, but because this is still happening today. Oscar was not the first and he will not be the last. What hurt the most, I suppose, was that even with eye witnesses and video proving what took place, the police officer got away with serving less than a year in prison. That was all Oscar Grant III’s life was worth… 11 months in prison. But what about his family? What about the community? What about us? What now? How do we go on? How can we ensure that another innocent life will not be taken due to police brutality?

fruitvale station“I told him to take the train. I told him to catch the BART. I didn’t know they were gonna hurt my baby. I should’ve just let him drive. I should’ve let him drive, but I wanted to keep him safe.” Wanda Grant(from the movie Fruitvale Station)