Part of what I see when I look at that video is that we consistently think that it is reasonable for armed officers to be afraid of ordinary unarmed citizens who happen to be in black bodies, but we don’t seem to think it’s reasonable for unarmed ordinary black citizens to be afraid of police officers who are armed.
— 

Melissa Harris-Perry, on the video showing the murder of Samuel DeBose.

The common police refrain - “I feared for my safety” (from an UNarmed black person) - is always claimed whenever the police unnecessarily use excessive force or draw their weapons on completely unarmed black people.

We keep seeing it over and over and over: from Sandra Bland, to Eric Garner, to Mike Brown, to John Crawford, to Mariam Carey, to LeVar Jones, to Walter Scott, to 12-year-old Tamir Rice…even unarmed black children playing at a pool party are not safe from being instantly dehumanized (within seconds) and quite literally targeted as “threats” by police responding to some trivial “infraction.”

Believe me, black people have far more to fear from the police than they have to fear from us.

Visiting the National Historical Site for the Brown vs. Board of Education. It was great to see the progress that was made in that case commemorated, but (especially having been to the Michael Brown memorial yesterday) also was a reminder of how far we have to come in combatting racism: minorities are still discriminated against in education and the workforce, paid less, and are frequently targeted by police officers. Police brutality against black people is especially bad, with Mike Brown, John Crawford Jr., Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice, Yvette Smith, and Sandra Bland only being a few of the countless unarmed people killed. And, there are still people flying the confederate flag, and people who make public death threats to black people when said flag is taken down. So yeah, we have a long way to go. But this landmark was a reminder that it is possible to make change happen. (en Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site)

10

Victims of police brutality… Art by Ashley A. Woods.

This is my submission for the APB - Artists Against Police Brutality book - with John Jennings and Bill Campbell. Please take the time to read about the victims in the subsequent posts.

10

While there is a lot of appropriate rage about Ferguson right now, the killing of John Crawford, III is getting less attention than it deserves. I put Shaun King’s tweets and history lesson on the matter in chronological order for easier consumption.

Links:

Autopsy and video show John Crawford shot from behind in Wal-Mart

Witness in murder of John Crawford changes story

You really should be following Shaun King on Twitter.

8

After police shot and killed 22-year-old John Crawford in August for picking up a legal BB gun in a Walmart store in Beavercreek, Ohio, police detective Rodney Curd interrogated Crawford’s girlfriend Tasha Thomas for 90 minutes, suggesting she may have helped him take a gun into the store, even though Crawford had no gun. Detective Curd didn’t tell Thomas that her boyfriend Crawford was dead until the end of the interrogation, the Guardian reported. A grand jury decided in September not to indict the officers who killed Crawford.

5

No. 168 “The Unarmed" 

Rest In Peace…

to Michael Brown, John Crawford, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Renisha McBride, Oscar Grant, Sean Bell And the countless other lives that have been taken away from this world due to prejudice.

And an honor to the many people in Ferguson standing up, fighting, hoping that some kind of justice can be had in the midst of chaos.

Nelson Mandela was once a “terrorist”. Martin Luther King was once a “criminal”. Malcolm X was once a “Radical”. Now, protesters are “looters” or “thugs”. Seems to me like they can say all they want to today: the truth will still come out tomorrow.

9

Oakland Community Demands Justice for John Crawford III at East-Side Walmart | AmericaWakieWakie

January 18th, 2015

Pictured: John Crawford, 22, was shot and killed Aug. 5th by police in the Dayton suburb of Beavercreek, Ohio, while holding a toy rifle in a Walmart. He was remembered today as protesters shutdown an East Oakland Walmart and placed stickers on products reading “WARNING: Persons of color picking up this object may be subject serious injury or death at the hands of Walmart and police”. It has been 163 days since Crawford was gunned down by two police officers, neither of which were indicted.

This action, like several others across the Bay Area this weekend, took place in response to the Anti-Police Terror Project’s call for a weekend of reclaiming MLK’s militant legacy of direct action, a call which came initially from Ferguson Action. The Anti-Police Terror Project is a multi-racial, multi-generational coalition of concerned and committed institutions, organizations and individuals committed to ending state sanctioned murder of Black, Brown & Poor People. 

(Photo Credit: Twitter)