On a Saturday last April, a group of pastors and other faith leaders brought together a broad cross-section of the downtown community to talk about a rash of officer-involved shootings in Los Angeles and the rest of the country.
The summer I was 13, Kerry Flanagan and I took turns sleeping over at each other's houses. We stayed up all night playing Rummy 500 and listening to Rock101, the local rock station. It was the late-1980s, the high holy days of hair metal, dudes in spandex, and girls in music videos.
One-hundred-seventy-six civilians were killed by police in January and February, according to news clippings collected by killedbypolice.net. Of course, the greatest outrage of all is that no one really knows how many people are killed by police annually.
It's possible the police were justified in shooting the man known to locals as "Africa." But considering how the Times equivocated about what's visible in the video, it seems Smith and Beck have so far doled out more propaganda than credible information.
Every time I walk in the door of this free afterschool program, I get happy. It's a bright, joyful classroom filled with children laughing. Do you have any idea how rich a child's laugh can sound when it comes from a child with no place to call home?
In reality, you can put a filter on an image, you can add 100 layers to make the perfect picture. But for some, through the lens the naked truth lies in the eyes, the poverty, the struggle, the hunger and the truth that is recorded.