In most cases there is some type of video evidence (such as cellphone footage, the officers own body cam, dashboard cam, or even security cameras from nearby homes or businesses) these videos often conflict rather than coincide with the police officers may have given, but the common denominator or even code in all of this when the story is told by law enforcement and the words,"I thought my life was in danger, I thought he was pulling a gun." The keyword in that last statement is "thought," by injecting the word "thought" anything factual does not matter.
The element of what is perceived as "danger" by the police department is all that matters in a split second to determine whether you live through that experience with them or die.
On July 26, 2016, there was a disturbing video, that was shot by a traumatized girlfriend as she sat in the car next to her boyfriend as the police shot him multiple times while reaching for his I.D.
In this engagement the victim Filando Castile did have a firearm, but he informed the officer that he had a gun and he also had a permit to carry a firearm and somewhere throughout there line of communication he stated that he was reaching for his I.D. or permit and somewhere though here the entire situation had gone bad, by way of a homicide being committed.
On New Year's Day 2009, 22 year old Oscar Grant was shot and killed in an Oakland, California B.A.R.T. station while handcuffed and laying on his stomach by B.A.R.T. officer Johannes Mehserle.
On March 18, 2018, Stephon Clark was killed in Sacramento, California by 2 Sacramento police officers, when officers showed up at his grandparents house after answering a 9-1-1 call about someone in a hooded sweatshirt breaking windows out of vehicles in their neighborhood.
The person that called the police never identified Mr. Clark as the person that was vandalizing these vehicles.
As the video shows a chase ensued on foot where the officers "thought" Mr. Clark pointed a gun at them while running away from them and ended up firing an estimated 20 rounds at him, subsequently killing him.
No gun was ever recovered Mr. Clark was shot in the back so there was no way he could have pointed anything at them and the only thing he had in his possession was an cellphone.
Upon observation of the officers body cam video that shows up to the moments of the shooting, there was the use of another code word that means just as much as, "Ready! Aim! Fire!" and that word is "Gun!"
Should a young Black man ever be fleeing the police and hear the word, "Gun!" that might be the last word they ever hear, before the discharge of police issued service weapons.
This is a national conversation regarding the lives and deaths of our young Black men.
There is a conversation that we as Black parents have with our sons when they become old enough to be out at night or even when they go off into the day on their own doing whatever it is that they do, whether that be going to school or simply talking to some friends in front of their home on the sidewalk and that conversation is, "As young Black men, how do you engage the police in a conflicting situation?"
In Black families this conversation is bigger than the talk about sex.
This conversation also reverts back to when the young Black men were taught how to engage white people and slave catchers during and after the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade and how they should be addressed in order to keep the young Black man from possibly being hung or beatin' to death.
I already know other people are killed at the hands of the police across this nation, besides Black people, but not at the alarming rate the unarmed young Black men are killed.
Considering that the Black community is still going through several levels of mental illness due to Post Slave Era Trauma, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, A government inflicted crack epidemic, Willie Lynch Syndrome, and a host of other genocidal,fratricidal, systemic means of oppression and we also have to worry about being gunned down by the police no matter where we are in the U.S., because of nothing more than being Black and born male.
The purpose of Digital BlackGround is not to amplify problems, but to seek solutions and seeking solutions means to start the conversation so we as a community have the opportunity are able to blend and mix our input and ideas in order to make the output the answers of hope that are needed to stop this violence from being inflicted on what is soon to be the endangered species of Black men.
If it were up to me to begin the conversation of how our young Black men should engage the police if confronted, I would say to simply cooperate because any other way could be fatal.
I would tell my son to put your hands up and to keep them in plain sight, not to do something like run, because running might take you into a secluded space, where there are no witnesses, that could put you in a position for anything to happen and if anything can happen you may not make it out of that situation alive.
Never forget we live in this time when everybody has cellphones and everything is being recorded.
It is best that the police are aware of the fact they are being recorded and there are plenty of witnesses to any encounter you have with law enforcement, because the more aware of being watched (more than likely) a lot less rights violations will take place.
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