“Cops give a damn about a negro? Pull a trigger kill a N*&%a, he’s a hero” – Tupac
Said Tupac in his song Changes which has lyrics still relevant 17 years since it was released. Even though the police officer is not and would not be a hero as it used to be, the death of black people at the hands of white police officers still remains. Has there been “changes” in the way black people are treated and seen by the police of the world, particularly of America? Some have vehemently argued against the notion, at good reason too. Will things change? “… not in the near future!” they would argue.
“A black man is always a suspect!” Authorities around the world prove this statement true in many instances and the line between seeing someone as the suspect or the culprit should not be blurred because it can cause very bad outcomes. Outcomes such as human rights violations, prejudice, police brutality, wrongful arrests and most devastating; death in the form of fatal shooting as in many cases where hard evidence was captured on video. The rise of police violence recorded and captured either on mobile phones and CCTV cameras has sparked an outcry by people around the world particularly those in America.
One who has not had the privilege to watch any of the footage might wonder if the police officers caught on tape have been provoked or threatened somehow. Were they really left with the sole option of firing their guns? No they were not, in many instances. There’s a case of a one -Tamir Rice-, a 12 year old minor who had a toy gun and was playing on a park swing. White police officers shot the minor dead just seconds of arriving on the scene. Another instance is of a one -Oscar Grant- who was shot like an animal with a single shot in his back while handcuffed and lying on his face. He was later pronounced dead the next morning at Highland Hospital in Oakland California. Another was of a one -Micheal Brown- who was shot dead while clearly unarmed by a white police officer.
Should police officers not protect us? Should we not feel safe when they cross-by our blocks, parks, our neighborhoods? Should we call on them? There are many instances where police are needed and we are not in the privilege of going without them. No one is! We respect them even when we fear them. But we are also part of the society, we need to know they are also here to serve and protect us. They can’t fully do their job to the best of their abilities without us and we can’t safely walk on streets and through parks at night without their presence. Most of all we should know it is usually a very few who spoil what is good in a people. Maybe not all white police officers think ill of black people, particularly of black males. We hope they also see us as humans and that we can help each other make this a safe and friendly place.
“I heard of cops be shootin’ N*&*s. I swear to God, wish I could bullet proof my N*&*s” – J. Cole Breakdown.
Writer: Monde Loni