A few thoughts on the recent police shootings:
1. The police chief from the Charlotte Police Department gave a press conference about Keith Lamont Scott and the protests it sparked afterwards. He admitted that tear gas and rubber bullets were used to disperse the crowd. So if the police have tear gas and rubber bullets at their disposal, why didn’t they use them to de-escalate with Scott!? Even if we accept the garbage narrative that Scott WAS armed, there is still no excuse to kill him.
2. Whenever the police or folks in the media mention protests, the next word out of their mouth is usually an assessment as to whether it was “peaceful” or “violent”. This is absurd because protests are a reaction to a problem, not the problem itself. The dominant thought is that people should struggle only within the bounds that the people they are struggling against have laid down for them. They are fine with protests, as long as they do not disrupt business as usual.
3. The Mayor of Charlotte pointed out that the officer who killed Scott was “also black”. Okay … and? What matters more is that blue uniform – which represents anti-black theories and practices.
4. Betty Shelby – the officer who killed Terence Crutcher – has an attorney who is arguing she is a “drug recognition expert.” Really?! Multiple studies show that people of all races use and sell drugs at similar rates. If the police are “drug recognition experts,” why is it that the War on Drugs was fought primarily in poor black communities instead of the suburbs or college campuses? To be a “drug recognition expert” is to have a mastery of criminalizing black folks for drugs. Keep that in mind as the police jump through hoops to blame Crutcher for his own death. 5. In the aftermath of police shootings, the attempts to justify violence center on what the victims did/didn’t do, or what they had (i.e. “he didn’t comply”, “he had a gun” etc). However, anti-black violence is not contingent upon the behavior of black people – it is a direct result of their existence. To understand this, we need to suspend our normal understanding of cause and effect. Black people are killed because they are black. Black folks need not do or have anything that makes them a threat – their very presence is the threat.