I realize that many factors play a role in the examples I cite above, including the judicial system itself; official versus real life police attitudes, not to mention the law and recent questionable policing techniques implemented in New York City and elsewhere.
Why are white cops shooting unarmed black men? On one level the story is simple: racism. Too many police officers fear people of color in the neighb...
Instead of pitting the deaths of Liu and Ramos against Garner and Brown; we can join them together, understanding them as martyrs whose live inspire us on both sides of the blue line to work for a more just, safe and united America.
The failure of the U.S. criminal justice system to protect nonwhite people is at an all-time high. To begin any serious national discussion on radically transforming our criminal justice system, we must first confront our deepest beliefs about what truly makes each of us human.
To change our punishment economy to one that provides care, the state must move funding toward support. Funding that goes toward the militarization of police and prisons and jails should instead be reallocated to community-based programs, job training, education, health care and restorative justice initiatives.
May they flourish into strategic organizing and sustained movement-building for physical security, economic and social equality, democratic rights and government accountability vis-à-vis Blacks and other people of color.
In this catalytic moment driven by cataclysmic circumstances, what we have witnessed across America since the non-indictments of officers in the killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner may be new to a generation, but it is not new to a nation.
Lack of values, justice and fairness between police and black Americans is the decades-long backdrop leading up to Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice and so many others that are part of the "Ferguson Effect" in our country.
The imagery of the giant, brutish, King-Kong-like black man threatening our cities is far from new. Currently it seems to be intersecting dangerously with another popular rhetorical image: the obese person who is responsible for his own frail, unworthy body. This intersection was especially on display in Eric Garner's case.
Police brutality is real and wrong. But what we as the American public should consider are the profound pressures applied to law enforcement officers in high-crime areas and how said pressures often inform the distance between the officers and the communities they are obliged to protect.
We waited. Trayvon Martin. Mike Brown. Eric Garner. Nothing.
Already, the evidence is pouring in that police body cameras are helpful for police and civilians. When police officers are accountable to a video camera monitoring them, it appears to make a big change in their behavior.
Violence and abuse of power by the police is not confined only to Greece or the U.S. It's a global phenomenon.
Saturday, December 13: This day we wrote a new page in history. This day we were marching together side by side in the name of unity, solidarity and justice. This day we were raising our voices against police brutality, inequality and oppression.
One observation may be subjective -- often it's not completely -- but when millions speak, it's a greater truth, one no one can reasonably deny. No one wants to be treated poorly. We are all Americans. And more importantly, we are all human beings.
Ferguson. Staten Island. Cleveland. Won't anyone stand up for those poor cops? Maybe this guy...