Here are the facts:
Both The Guardian and the Washington Post are both keeping in-depth track of people killed by police this year, mostly because even the FBI has failed to do so thus far (they’re planning to start in 2017). The average is over 88 people per month. That’s multiple people being killed each day by the people who are supposed to protect them.
The counter increases by one as I write this article.
More white people have been killed than any other race. However, white people make up ~77% of the U.S. population, and only account for 49.9% or 48.6% of fatal police encounters, according to the Guardian and Post, respectively.
Looking at their own data has lead The Guardian to prove that black Americans who were killed by the police were twice as likely to be unarmed as white people.
Many names do not make police records’ death counts because of controversial evidence. 12-year-old Tamir Rice’s death has not lead to any indictments. The officer shot Tamir, who was playing with an airsoft gun, within two seconds of opening his car door.
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Not all of these deaths have been unprovoked. There were many cases in which officers felt their own lives were in danger. It seems like it would have been a basic principle of American democracy and judicial process, though, to have potentially dangerous individuals temporarily disabled/retained rather than killed. Where does a single police officer get the authority to take a life? Are they not trained to stop a violent offender without completely stripping him of his right to live?
The are a number of articles, blog posts, TED talks, and books that talk about the fear that parents of black children have every day. Toddlers that need to be taught what to do in case they approach a white man of authority. 8 year olds are told the way to respond to a man who stops them in the street for no apparent reason.
Imagine having that fear, constantly. Is your child safe?
Listen below to see one form of this fear culminated in a powerful song, or check out the video here.