Ok, while the streets of Charlotte are still a mess, today’s Huffington Post says on its front page today that an unarmed Black man was killed by police in San Diego. Further on down the page, an unarmed motorcycle driver is killed by police and chaos starting there. All of this makes police look bad, increases the divisiveness in America, and frankly makes you less safe and your jobs harder to do. Besides all of that, the narrative of “Black person dies in conflict with the police” has long since passed absurd and the idea that your authority is legitimate is already severely compromised. The time is approaching when many Americans will want to fire all of you and start again with new police who can prove they are safe.
Here’s my suggestion: regardless of the level of fear, anger or immanent threat, don’t use a gun on any Black person today. Let America have a day of rest from death. Tomorrow do it again. The day after that, do it again. To all my White (and otherwise colored-skinned) friends whose head has probably exploded from reading this, I am not saying don’t arrest, pull over, even taze if you absolutely must. I’m not saying Black criminals should be given a free pass. I’m just saying don’t kill any of them.
Given that this is America and you work for us — all of us — Honestly, it ought not be that hard to do. I get that it’s dangerous out there. I get that many of you are traumatized doing your job. The problem is that what you’re doing now is dysfunctional. It doesn’t work. It’s only making things worse. Surely, there must be another way to do your job. Leave the gun in its holster under all circumstances for now. Just leave it there.
America needs to de-escalate this madness, and you must to do your part. The Black community and the urban community in general have been told that they need to do their part over and over. They can’t always be responsible when these things take place — even statistically. You are the other side of the equation, so we’re calling on you now.