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Saturday, July 25, 2015

Excessive Force

http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/23/us/sandra-bland-arrest-death-main/



Confession: Hearing the police officer's tone of voice when he commands Sandra Bland to "Get out of the car!" like she's a disobedient beast makes me sick to my stomach for many reasons. First, because it triggers visceral memories of my every encounter with a male authority figure who became enraged at not receiving immediate, unquestioning obeisance. Fortunately for me, none of my experiences were with legitimate law enforcement officers.

Mine have been more similar in tone and attitude to Trayvon Martin's encounter with his killer where some self-appointed gatekeeper who passes judgment based purely on skin color and narrow-minded beliefs about what black people are and where our place is. Or like Jordan Davis's with his killer, who used a gun to punish a car full of young black men for having the audacity to defy him. (I'm not anti-gun; I'm anti-lunatics-with-guns whether the crazies have badges or not.)

Watching this video makes me feel sad and furious and mystified as to why, in the 21st c., black and brown people--disproportionately from the non-black/brown population--keep ending up violently restrained, then dead after committing very minor misdemeanor infractions of the law.

Sandra Bland
Eric Garner
too many others to list