Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Police getting trigger happy on Black Men

So, today while having coffee with my Mother, I see a news article about the Oakland police and the unarmed Black Man they shot last night. With only these facts, I can't help but think about the Mehserle verdict that was just given a few says ago.

Now here's a little about the incident last night. The police were dispatched for a domestic violence case at the Clean Scene Laundry (5800 block of Bancroft) and when they responded, the suspect (37 year old Derek Jones) ran from the scene. There were shots fired at the scene and Jones was shot then pronounced dead a block away on the 5800 block of Trask.

The police officers are placed on PAID administrative leave. The Alameda County District Attorney Office is going to investigate the incident. No further details have been released until after the conference that took place.

{These facts were found using the ABC news site and SFGate}

Now, although I understand this was a domestic violence call and the police went to the scene with this knowledge, I don't understand why especially after the very recent Oscar Grant ~vs~ Johannes Mehserle situation that the OPD would automatically fire leathal weapons. Since the tasers are obviously being used by law enforcement why wouldn't the first shot be the actual taser? It seems that the law enforcement aren't satisfied with the rate at which Black people are killing themselves, they feel the need to try and help the situation along because imprisonment has failed them.

I see way too many incidents where peoples lives are being taken and there is no real repercussion for it in the Bay Area, specifically Oakland. Now, I'm not attacking every single police officer on the force, I am saying that there still may be some similar to the Oakland Riders in 2004.

The similarities in the circumstances surrounding Oscar Grant make last nights shooting even more offensive. There is now a message to the community that the police department is targeting Black men and that they better be careful because death is the likely outcome. Both victims were unarmed, but In Grants case he was also subdued. With the Grant case, the use of the taser (in my opinion) was excessive force because he was already face down on the ground and handcuffed. Those of you who have follwed my other blogs know this. In the recent Jones case, he was found to be unarmed and being that the police were knowledgeable of the situation, should have resorted to deadly fire only after the taser had been used. So now we have 2 more Black men added to the list of those murdered by the police for unjust reasons.

I'm very curious to see the outcome of this situation and will be uploading a video blog in response to the decisions that will be made. I wonder if the officers in this situation will be treated a leniently as Mehserle has been. While thinking this, I also cannot help but wonder if the races were reversed would the outcomes been different.



  1. I'm trying to lay low on this one, being, you know, a white girl. I am following your thoughts though and hope the outcome is brighter than we think.

  2. I'm interested in everyones opinion regardless of race, although I do understand hesitancy because this is a race sensitive topic. Is it wrong of me to feel as if harsher punishments = a brighter outcome? Or am I justified in that belief considering the circumstances?

  3. first to answer your comment, I don't think it's "wrong" morally but I'm not sure it's correct. Harsh punishments won't change anything - centuries have taught us that. We need to root out the cause and address it.

    which leads me to my next point

    please don't kill me, but in my opinion until a large portion of the population stops buying into and perpetuating those stereotypes the rest of us/you will never be able to effectively combat them. If a young man goes to great pains to portray himself as a "thug," and when that young man is surrounded by MANY who do the same, it's hard for the world at large not to (totally unfairly) generalize that. That's human nature, I think; we like categories and pigeonholes. I'm not saying what happened was right, and I'm not even saying the men slain fell into that category. Mostly I'm saying they fell victim to a confluence of events, all of which SHOULD be addressed and most likely won't be *gloom*