An Ongoing Parade of Police Violence
The country of late has been front-and-center witness to an ongoing parade of police violence, particularly against young black men. Since the August 2014 shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, to Freddie Grey’s death in a Baltimore police van in April of this year, there has been a steady stream of fatal incidents involving the police and black men, for the most part, young men. And these are just the incidents that have made national headlines.
At the center of these violent endings to black lives lies the violation of a trust that we, the American public, have long chosen to place in the men and women that are charged with enforcing our laws. That trust entails only enforcing the law, does not include the power of judge, jury, and executioner as a small number of officers seem to think. It goes without saying that the job of police officers is a highly dangerous one, sometimes requiring split-second life or death decisions. Yet, almost all of the recent headline grabbing killings have resulted from circumstances in which there was no split second decision, there was an opportunity for a choice.