While the election of a Black president was perhaps America’s best watershed moment of the new millennium, it has been an ruthlessly cruel period for African-American men killed at the hands of White men, be they police officers or regular citizens.
Most recently, 17-year-old unarmed Trayvon Martin (pictured below)was ruthlessly shot dead by George Zimmerman, a so-called neighborhood safety captain, in his gated community in Sanford, Fla. For now, Zimmerman is a free man because he has been neither charged nor arrested for the killing.
Unfortunately, this incident isn’t rarity.
There are many other stories of White-on-Black murder. For example, the New York Times ran a story about seven Black men killed by Miami Police within an eight-month time span in 2011.
The Federal Bureau Of Investigation (FBI) investigated 385 cases in 2009, in which law enforcement officials were accused of abusing their authority.
NewsOne has complied a list of video stories of Black men who have died at the hands of cops or men pretending to be them. It is rare for a police officer to be convicted of killing an innocent victim, and sadly enough, these victims are almost always Black or Latino men.
Warning: Some of the videos show the actually killing of Black men.
1) Trayvon Martin was killed by George Zimmerman several weeks ago for apparently no real reason. (we are still trying to determine Zimmerman’s ethnicity)
2) Aaron Campbell was shot dead by police in January of 2010. Mother Jones magazine has more:
The Oregonian reports that police say Campbell ignored their orders to put his hands up. At which point one officer fired six bean bag shots at his back. Witnesses say they saw Campbell reach his arm around his back, where the beanbag struck him. Officer Ronald Frashour says he saw Campbell reach both hands around his waistband to get a gun, and so he shot Campbell in the back with an assault rifle. “We feel that his death resulted from flawed police policies, incomplete or inappropriate training, incomplete communication and other issues with the police effort,” a jury wrote after charging the police officer with no criminal wrongdoing.
3) Victor Steen was tazed and killed by a Pensacola police officer in October of 2009. Below is the video of the officer tazing and running over Steen with his car.
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4) Los Angeles police shoot and kill 27-year-old Steven Eugene Washington in March of 2010. Family members say he is autistic, and it was confirmed that the young man was unarmed.
5) Oscar Grant was shot to death by a Bay Area Rapid Transit officer on January 1st of 2009. Mother Jones has more:
On New Years morning, three Bay Area Rapid Transit officers pull 22-year-old Oscar Grant and four other black men off a train in Oakland. You can view what happened afterwards in this Youtube video. In it, now former-transit officer Johannes Mehserle can be seen shooting Grant in the back. During the trial, Mehserle argued that he thought Grant was reaching for a gun near his waistband. To stop this from happening, Mehserle said he intended to Tase him, but shot him with a pistol instead. He sentenced to two years of prison for the killing. Below is the actual video of the killing.
6) In January of 2012, Monterey Park, Calif., police shoot to death a man walking out of Carl J’s restaurant with a pipe. First, they taze him, but when that doesn’t work, they shoot him repeatedly, killing him instantly. Had this gentleman been a White man in a “well-to-do community,” would the officers have even drawn their weapons? Below is video of the killing.
7) On June 26th of 2011, James Craig Anderson is run over by white teenagers in Mississippi for no reason. CNN has more on the story:
On a recent Sunday morning just before dawn, two carloads of white teenagers drove to Jackson, Mississippi, on what the county district attorney says was a mission of hate: to find and hurt a black person. In a parking lot on the western side of town they found their victim. James Craig Anderson, a 49-year-old auto plant worker, was standing in a parking lot, near his car. The teens allegedly beat Anderson repeatedly, yelled racial epithets, including “White Power!” according to witnesses. Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith says a group of the teens then climbed into their large Ford F250 green pickup truck, floored the gas, and drove the truck right over Anderson, killing him instantly.
Below is video of the murder.
Of course, black-on-black violence is also unacceptable. But the problem with so many black men dying at the hands of police officers and white men is that it gives the impression that black life has no value. It is as if the police officers and white people who carry out these violent acts against black people feel they are living in Jim Crow-era Alabama, a time when whites felt free to enforce their own system of “justice.”
NewsOne is committed to bringing this senseless to the limelight. We are currently researching statistics and instances of black men being unjustly handled by law enforcement and by white men who feel their skintone is, in fact, the law.
Please stay tuned!