Over the past few months (years, really), we’ve learned of several incidences of unarmed Black Americans being killed by police officers. They were shot, choked, slammed to the ground, etc. In some cases, the police have been indicted with charges related to their deaths, others have not. Some have gone to trial, some have not. Have any been found guilty? My having to ask that speaks to how rare it is for a police officer to be held accountable for killing an unarmed Black person in America.
Officers Wilson, Pantaleo, and Weekley recently evaded justice by either escaping indictment or having charges against them dropped.
The families of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and Aiyana Stanley-Jones will have no resolution, no justice for the loss of the lives of the people they loved the most.
It took a second grand jury to indict Officer Kendrick, who took the life of Jonathan Ferrell. It took almost two years to indict Officer Servin for destroying Rekia Boyd’s family. The families of Miriam Carey and Ramarley Graham are just… hopeless, left wondering “Why?”
I recently participated in two protests in NYC following the news that a Staten Island Grand Jury decided against indicting Officer Pantaleo, who was seen on camera choking Eric Garner to death.
Today, I had a conversation with my son explaining what mommy was doing and why he had to spend those evenings with his daddy. I told him it wasn’t safe for him to be out there and we talked about my friends who were arrested, what it means to protest, and why it’s important. We talked about Aiyana and Eric.
The following is a recording of the latter part of our conversation. I decided to record it because I could hear my 8 year-old son growing more passionate and angry and I thought it would be worth it to document.
You see, it isn’t that my son represents how all children think about police brutality. It is more about the need to have these kinds of conversations with our children. We need to open up and create safe spaces for children to ask questions and to also learn age-appropriate truths about the world around them. You have to know your kid and I know mine is very much interested in the well-being of others.