Looking for Justice…Still

I grieve over what has happened to the nearly 300 Nigerian girls who have been kidnapped and possibly sold. That such a heinous act could happen today is sickening.

But so is the fact that a 93-year-old woman was allegedly shot and killed by a young, white police officer in Hearne, Texas. http://nydn.us/1npJbvX

Nobody is talking about it.

It is as though the Nigerian girls’ plight is almost an excuse NOT to talk about the heinous things that go on in this nation …still.

Pearlie Golden is dead. She had a gun and she was wielding it, relatives said. She was apparently mad because she wanted the keys to the car and nobody would give them to her.

So, they called police on her, and the police, of course, came. They told her to put her gun down, three times. When she didn’t, they shot her. She died a short time later at the hospital. (http://www.cnn.com/2014/05/07/us/texas-police-shoot-elderly-woman-93/index.html?iref=allsearch)

Neighbors and family called her “Ms. Sully,” and they said she was nice…

Nice or maybe not-so-nice, she is dead, allegedly shot by a young, white cop, who is now on paid administrative leave while the police department “investigates.”

Over and over, we hear these stories, and so few of them get the attention they deserve. Yes, it’s horrendous that the elderly man in Georgia was murdered and decapitated and nobody can find his wife. That is horrible.

And yes, it’s horrible that those Nigerian girls are gone and it took what seems forever for the American press to cover it.

It is horrible that the brand of rabid racism of Donald Sterling still exists.

But it is equally as horrible that police can still kill people,  some unarmed, some not, but too often in questionable circumstances, and the media ignores it or denigrates its significance in this nation.

As the Gordon G. Cosby Fellow for the SpiritHouse Project in Atlanta, GA, I have listened to and studied stories about people shot and killed by police. The families are left to grapple with their pain at the loss of their loved one and their anger that so often, there is no justice to be had.

In the case of Jack Lamar Roberson, shot and killed in Georgia, relatives called EMS for help because he was apparently out of control. He reportedly had a knife in his hand, a table or case knife, they said. He supposedly had taken an overdose of diabetic medicine. His mother didn’t want police; she said that specifically on the 911 call, and neither did his girlfriend. They wanted help. They wanted someone to take him to the hospital …or something.

EMS didn’t come. Police did. They rolled right on up to his house and entered. Within second (literally; I heard the tape), police opened fire on Roberson. A number of shots were fired; in the crime scene photos, I counted five shots in his back. There were also shots in his wrists; it looked like, from the way his wrists were injured, that he had his hands up in a defensive position. And oh yes …there was a shot in his head.

The news reports indicated that he was so out of control that a refrigerator had been knocked over …but again, I saw the photos of the crime scene. The refrigerator was upright, contents intact.

So, what? Why aren’t these stories getting media attention, and why can’t the families of these victims get help in order to get justice?

The family of “Ms. Sully” joins the group of families who have been assaulted by police officers…If history bears out, they will not get justice …meaning the officer who is accused of shooting her will probably be cleared. It’ll be said that the shooting, the killing, was “justifiable.”

That just blows me away…

It happens way too often, and we just won’t deal with it…

A candid observation …

 

 

Ms. Sully Didn’t Have to Die

So, let me understand this.

Police in Hearne, Texas, were called to a residence where a 93-year-old woman was supposedly wielding a gun.

Her name was Pearlie Golden…and she had lived in Hearne for mpst of her life.

And oh yes…she was a black woman, shot by a white police officer.

Police got to her residence and told her “at least three times” to put down her firearm. Apparently, she didn’t, and so police opened fire on her, hitting her multiple times. (http://www.cnn.com/2014/05/07/us/texas-police-shoot-elderly-woman-93/index.html?hpt=hp_t2).

She was transported to a local hospital, where she later died.

I am trying to understand, to make sense out of this, but for the life of me, I cannot.

Why in the world…would a police officer shoot to kill a 93-year-old woman?

“Miss Sully,” as her community and relatives called her, was angry supposedly because one of her relatives had taken car keys from her. She wanted to drive; her relative didn’t think it was wise, and so took the keys.

That happens a lot, I hear, as people age; they get angry as those who love them take away their independence bit by bit, for their own good. Ms. Sully wasn’t a criminal. She was an old woman who wanted to drive her car.

The officer who allegedly fired the fatal shots has been put on “administrative leave.” That’s normal police procedure …and far too often, “the facts” found out by police investigators rule that the homicide was “justifiable” and the officer is given back his/her gun and goes right back out to the streets.

Just this week, the country, no, the world, was outraged as the words of L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling were played over and over. His racist remarks were “shocking,” people said, but I doubt it.

What was shocking is that he was exposed publicly. He was an embarrassment. People all over the world are racist; they like their racism kept under wraps, though.

Would that police officers in this nation, who shoot first and ask questions later would be so exposed as was Mr. Sterling and be embarrassed or that police departments would get uncomfortable or embarrassed enough to do something. Would that the community called America would stand up and say, out loud, to police, that they have to stop these modern-day lynchings.

“Ms. Sully’s” death is an outrage, and the fact that police all over the country are allowed to keep murdering people at will is an outrage as well.

The bigger outrage, though, is the silence of the people, the refusal to do something to get someone to look at these murders and force change, some kind of way, in the way police in America do business.

Officer Stephen Stem, who hasn’t been on the police force all that long, is still getting paid, though he’s on administrative leave. He’s waiting for that investigation…which, if trends are followed, will probably find that what he did was okay, was correct policy and procedure.

I don’t believe in police investigations anymore. I stopped a long time ago. Police protect their own.

Ms. Sully didn’t have to die. I would bet someone could have talked that weapon out of her hand.

Yep, I’m mad.

This happens way too often …and nobody really seems to care.

A candid observation …