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  • Writer's pictureH.D. Campbell

Justice...Just What Is It Anyway?

If you think it's been a bad couple of days in Minneapolis and Atlanta, just think how bad it is for us in the Black Community when we hear stories about our fellow black men and women being hunted down and murdered systematically as if we were big game.

From Emmett Till to Rodney King to George Floyd, we get more weary by day by day story by story about our men and women getting hung because we approach a white woman the wrong way or we just happened to be jogging in the wrong neighborhood. For example, the killers of Ahmad Arbery in Georgia felt justified because they believed him to be a suspect in a series of burglaries in their neighborhood. Despite conflicting reports, it was clear Mr. Arbery wasn't breaking into homes.

From there we go to Kentucky where EMT Breonna Taylor was murdered in a "botched" raid in supposedly the wrong home, police blindly shot at Ms. Taylor and her boyfriend. Though the boyfriend fired a warning shot, he thought people were breaking in. The house was dark and the police never identified themselves clearly enough. Remember, Ms. Taylor and her boyfriend were sleeping. For one warning shot, police returned fire with more than 20 shots supposedly blindly fired in the house. Well, if a drunk police officer (Amber Guyger) can stumble into the wrong apartment and shoot a black man eating ice cream, this makes plenty of sense, right?

Fast forward to Monday, May 25th when George Floyd was allegedly murdered by four police officers in Minneapolis. I use the word "allegedly" for legal reasons and I use the terms very loosely. So far, one officer, Derek Chauvin was arrested after nights of protests. He was the one seen in the video with his on Mr. Floyd's neck pressing down despite Mr. Floyd complaining he can't breathe. TMZ found another video in which all four officers had their knees on his neck. George Floyd's murder speaks ghosts of Eric Garner who too couldn't breathe. Ultimately (and locally for me) this speaks ghosts to the murder of Michael Brown who's only crime was being profiled while going to the store.

Like the murder of the past people I've mentioned Floyd's murder have sparked protests throughout the country. Ferguson, Baltimore and tonight all the way to Minneapolis. Tonight as I write this, George Floyd protests are stretched from Minneapolis to St. Louis, Dallas, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and other cities. Minneapolis are currently ignoring the curfew because people are angry.

I can sit here and write facts and statistics all day but that's not the purpose for this blog. We are tired of the same narrative where one of us is killed. You pacify us by arresting those responsible just to give them slaps on the wrists. Don't get me wrong, destroying things and committing acts of vandalism is wrong but it seems to be the only thing that gets America's attention. It's like the louder I just sit there and scream, you don't hear me, so let me escalate.

I grew up respecting the police and because I know too many good ones personally, I have respect for them but you ignorant ones I don't understand why you all get up and put on a uniform in the first place. I'm hearing rumblings about Floyd having "counterfeit" money on him or something which I don't believe. I don't give a care what the crime was, he wasn't a hardened criminal; he didn't kill anyone. He wasn't even resisting. In fact, none of the victims they murdered were resisting.

To top it all off, we have a president who doesn't care. I'm sorry that a police station got burned down and the CNN building got vandalized in addition to other damage throughout the country but it's time to make the police accountable. When you have a nightstick, a taser, and trained in hand to hand combat, a weapon and excessive force should always be your last resort. Excessive force should be only used if I'm exhibiting the same amount of force on you.

To also let it be clear, this is not the case of just "angry blacks"! Yes we're angry! Let some murder your family members and see how angry you get. How many more deaths will it take? Justice...what's that? We're still waiting for it.

Say their names.

This isn't everyone we lost nor are they more important than those we've lost. These are just a handful that comes to mind. Just remember the last words of two of these men. "I can't breathe". Talk to your sons and daughters about what these words mean.

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