As an African-American, I find myself ever wishing and hoping for …justice for our people killed by law enforcement officers…but it almost never comes.
Yesterday, the officers who shot and killed John Crawford in a Wal-Mart store in Beavercreek, Ohio, were not indicted. In spite of the fact that Crawford was holding a toy gun in a store where it is OK to carry guns …he was gunned down and his killers will go free. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/24/john-crawford-iii_n_5876574.html)
The names of the officers are, by the way, Sgt. David Darkow and Officer Dean Williams.
There is always “something” that we the public “don’t get.” There’s always a “reason” why African-Americans are gunned down and killed by police, and the “reason’ is enough to clear the officers of any wrongdoing. The grand jury must have seen something, heard the “something” that we, the public, “don’t get.” They found that the officers’ actions were justified. No excessive force…
We in the African-American community have seen police work in our neighborhoods; we have seen and heard the harassment, the taunting and daring officers give in our communities. They do not protect us. They seem to feel we don’t deserve protection.
Instead, they goad our people, especially our young people …and then blame them for any altercation that might ensue or, ultimately, any shooting death that might occur.
When Rodney King was attacked by police officers years ago, I, for one, rejoiced because the beating was caught on tape. Now, I thought, the people will see how police treat African-Americans. They will be arrested, I again thought erroneously. They will lose their jobs. They will be held accountable.
But the justice I thought would be a no-brainer did not come. The officers were cleared of wrongdoing …and the African-American community in Los Angeles went up in flames.
I have been holding my breath as the grand jury in Ferguson has been out, considering the future of Darren Wilson. Officer Darren Wilson. There is nothing in me that believes he will be indicted.
But in the case of the officers who shot John Crawford, I thought, just like I thought when Rodney King was beaten, that surely these guys who shot Crawford would be made to answer for their actions. That would have been justice. But, as usual, it is justice …denied.
When Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam killed Emmett Till there was a trial …but it was a farce. An all-white jury found the two white assailants innocent…and took only minutes to come to their “verdict.” Later, they arrogantly confessed in an article which appeared in Look Magazine. They were arrogant, cocky, unrepentant…Mamie Till, Emmett’s mother, who insisted that the world see what these men had done to her son, never got justice. What agony she must have felt for the rest of her life.
I would imagine that the officers in Crawford’s death are likewise feeling on top of the world today. Arrogant, Cocky. Ready to get back to work, feeling like they can do whatever they want and get away with it.
People have said to African-Americans, “Wait. Don’t jump to conclusions before “the facts” are known. Let the system work.”
Thing is, we’ve been waiting for “the system” to work in our favor for some time. Mothers and fathers, wives and children, have been robbed of justice in the deaths of their loved ones which has come at the hands of “law enforcement” for literally decades in this nation. In addition to weeping over the loss of their loved one, they have wept and are continuing to weep over the fact that the assailants have been cleared of wronging and are free. I call that justice …denied.
“The law” in America is held up as sacrosanct. If one is truly American, one obeys “the law.” And if one doesn’t, one should expect to be punished.
But that proclamation seems only to hold for certain situations. White people in the South ignored “the law” when the federal government ordered schools to be integrated after Brown vs Board of Education. Some governors closed schools rather than integrate them. “The law” didn’t apply to them, they decided, …and they were none the worse for it.
Word: Whenever a person or a family has justice denied, there is deep pain, then deep frustration, followed by depression…and then anger. The anger amongst African-Americans is bubbling, America. Can’t you feel it?
A candid observation …