How to Get Away With Murder in America? Killing Blacks Can No Longer Be the Answer
America is at a crossroads, and Black people find themselves smack dab in the middle of it.
This is not the first time that Blacks have been murdered like this in the United States of America without any accountability. There were the barbaric acts of slavery and lynching, whereby thousands of Black people were killed, and very few, if any, individuals were held accountable for their dastardly deeds. Although there were laws in place on paper to address these crimes, there were practically zero convictions and the killers remained free to kill again and again.
Fast forward to modern times, and we are seeing the same thing being played out before our very eyes. Black people are being killed with absolutely zero accountability.
Let’s take a look at some high-profile incidents that have just happened in 2017 alone, to better understand the concern that many African Americans have in this country; that America may be swiftly returning to a dark time where Black people are targeted and left for dead without anyone being held accountable, particularly many members of law enforcement.
This past Friday, July 16th, a Minnesota jury acquitted police officer Jeronimo Yanez of every single charge surrounding the murder of 32-year old educator Philando Castile, who was shot in cold-blood on July 6, 2016, with the entire murder being caught on video.
Leading up to the murder, Yanez can be heard on the audio recording of police scanner traffic saying he was “going to check IDs,” and that he had “reason to pull it over” because the two people in the vehicle – Castile and his friend Diamond Reynolds – looked like “people that were involved in a robbery.” Going even further, Yanez said, “The driver looks more like one of our suspects, just ‘cause of the wide-set nose.” Reynolds, who was in the car with Castile at the time of the shooting, recorded the incident on Facebook Live and the video went viral. She said the officer told them they had been pulled over for a broken taillight, which turned out to be a complete fabrication. Reynolds also stated that Castile informed Yanez that he had a gun and was licensed to carry. Castile was shot and killed anyway, and his family was left seeking justice; justice never came, leaving Castile’s family with an even deeper wound.
“My son loved this city, and this city killed my son,” said Castile’s mother, Valerie, outside of the courthouse after the verdict. “And a murderer gets away. Are you kidding me right now? The system in this country continues to fail Black people and will continue to fail us.”
Castile’s mother is not the first African American to utter those words and sadly may not be the last based on the unflattering trend that we continue to see with America’s justice system.
Famed African American sociologist and civil rights activist W.E.B. Du Bois once stated:
“A system cannot fail those it was never meant to protect.”
America must ask itself whether Du Bois and Castile’s mother, Valerie, are right. Is the justice system in America purposefully designed in such a way that it denies equal justice to Blacks?
Another recent high-profile incident that speaks to this disturbing trend involved Officer Betty Shelby, a white Oklahoma police officer, who was acquitted on May 17th, for the senseless killing of 40-year-old Terence Crutcher, who was unarmed, as the entire incident was caught on camera.
The video footage shows Crutcher walking back to his stalled SUV with both of his hands raised in the air, while Officer Shelby and Officer Tyler Turnbough follow closely behind him with their weapons drawn. As Crutcher approaches his vehicle, still with his hands in the air, Officer Turnbough deploys his Taser and Officer Shelby unloads a single shot fatally killing him. No crime had been reported, and no crime had been committed involving Crutcher, yet he became an immediate target by members of law enforcement, and subsequently became the subject of a system of racial profiling based off of some set of criteria that no one has provided an explanation for to date.
Black people have been getting racially profiled and targeted since America was founded, and although substantial gains have been made, Black people continue to be racially profiled today.
Countless African Americans in this country have been targeted because of the color of their skin, and have sadly ended up dead as a result – people like Trayvon Martin, Emmett Till, Sandra Bland, Rekia Boyd, Amadou Diallo, Mike Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Jordan Baker, John Crawford III, Sean Bell, Alton Sterling, and countless others.
There is an old popular French saying, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”
As it relates to what we are witnessing in America right now; that saying is spot on.
Fast forward from the founding of this country and we see that the ill-treatment of Blacks is in full effect today. As has happened before, America needs more Whites and non-Blacks to consider it their personal responsibility to speak out against vile actions and unjust systems in place today, which disparately impact Blacks more than any other group in America.
In order to deal with the issue of the sanctioned and legalized murders of Black people in this country, it can’t just be Black people talking about it. It takes everybody to see this as an issue and address it.
Blacks have been consistent in their complaints and clear in their communication, and have been saying the same things to the powers that be in America about racism in this country for decades. Blacks are often labeled angry and over-the-top when it comes to addressing the issues that negatively impact them, such as police brutality, mostly by non-Black people.
During the days of slavery, Reconstruction, the rise of the Ku Klux Klan and the Jim Crow era, Blacks did not have the benefit of having smart phones to record their abuse or social media to tell the world about it. Black people had to rely on communicating among themselves and working with non-Blacks who could help them make a real difference in society.
Even with solid legislation and advocacy, there were still racist individuals in positions of power who harmed Blacks in unthinkable ways.
Black people are getting extremely tired of having to revisit their dark past of being targeted, racially profiled and wondering whether they, or one of their loved ones, will be the next unsuspecting victim of someone who has targeted them, simply because they are Black in America, or even worse, to die at the hands of these individuals who will face no accountability for their actions.
So if you want to know How to Get Away With Murder in America…Killing Blacks Can No Longer Be the Answer!!!
Jeffrey L. Boney serves as Associate Editor and is an award-winning journalist for the Houston Forward Times newspaper. Jeffrey has been a frequent contributor on the Nancy Grace Show and Primetime Justice with Ashleigh Banfield. Jeffrey has a national daily radio talk show called Real Talk with Jeffrey L. Boney, and is a dynamic, international speaker, experienced entrepreneur, business development strategist and Founder/CEO of the Texas Business Alliance. If you would like to request Jeffrey as a speaker, you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.