I open this week’s message feeling the outrage and frustration that another African American male has been killed by another law enforcement officer. These officers take an oath and are sworn to protect and serve the citizen population. They go through formal training on how to handle conflicts, confrontations and resolutions. However, the use of deadly force by these officers should be their last resort. Yet as of the recent killing of Mr. Walter Scott it appears that it was one of the first options used even while the individual was running away from the police officer who shot him 8 times in the back. This continuous shooting of unarmed black men lead me to research the number of incidents. I found this website gawker.com with the title Unarmed People of Color killed by Police from 1999-2014.
I invite you to take a look at the number of unarmed individuals of color who died during the period of 1999-2014 at the hands of law enforcement officers. This is truly an alarming static, even more troubling are the number of officers who were charged, indicted and sentenced for the action done. Decent people cannot just stand by and watch these outrageous acts continue.
I believe if this officer along with many others knew that their actions were being recorded, just maybe they would pause and think twice before using deadly force. Maybe if the consequence of such actions were condemned by the justice system, some serious restraint would be used instead. The taken of a life especially an unarmed person is final. There is no coming back, and “sorry” falls well short to the loves ones that are suffering the lost.
I believe a movement by all who feel something needs to be done throughout this country for law enforcement agencies to have cam recorders recording every time a routine stop is made by an officer toward any citizen. I am aware the implementation of such polices have political opposition, but anything that will help protect our citizens from being killed (murdered) must be pursued. This may take time going through the process, so what can be done right now?
Many of us possess some sort of smart phone. Many of these phones have the capacity to record. If you have not done so, learn to effectively use your video portion of the phone. Then, as we travel around, be not afraid when an action appears to be wrong, or unjust, then video the action.
As citizens in this country we have the protected right to do this. As long as you do not interfere with the police action, we can stand off and record. I believe this officer in the Walter Scott incident was not aware that his actions were being recorded. I believe if he did, the resulting action may not have happen. Thank God, there was a brave individual who saw something wrong and recorded it. I also believe if there was no video, this action may not have come to the forth front as it has.
My meditative message for this week is “Do You Believe the Report?”