The following is a partial list of people Killed by the police, or died in their custody,
August 2020: Jacob Blake, Kenosha, WI
March 2020: Breonna Taylor Louisville, KY
May 2020: George Floyd, Minneapolis, MN
July 2014: Eric Garner, New York, NY
August 2014: Michael Brown, Ferguson, Missouri
November 2014: Tamir Rice, Cleveland, OH
July 2016: Alton Sterling, Baton Rouge, LA
July 2016: Philando Castile St Paul, Minnesota
Data from the Statista research department reports a total of 661 police shootings, 123 of whom were Black, as of August 30, 2020. Despite being only 13 percent of the population, African Americans are 28 percent of those killed by police this year. Another new study written by lead author Michael Siegel, M.D., a professor at Boston University, School of Medicine, describes a fact that is commonly known in Black communities. He writes, “Our research suggests that what is needed is training that changes the way police interact with Black neighborhoods. Ultimately, countering structural racism itself, particularly in the form of racial segregation, is critical.” Still another underwhelming fact mentioned is that ‘states with a greater degree of residential segregation have higher racial disparities in fatal police shootings of unarmed victims.’
I support the ‘Blue.’ I do not believe that abolishing police departments is the answer. However, rooting out the systemic racism/racist within their ranks is sorely needed and long overdue.
The injustices of economic inequality are equally crushing. Consequences are reflected in: lingering poverty, soaring crime rates, and mass incarceration; inadequate health care afforded the poor; disease and premature deaths; lower educational achievements; as well as disparities in political representation. Justice delayed is justice denied. Empathic chatter isn’t enough. People of authority, i.e., politicians, corporate and business leaders, and others, must exert their influence to create social and economic change in the systemic racism that hinders all.