February. Ahmaud Arbery. March. Breonna Taylor. May. George Floyd. June. Rayshard Brooks… WHO ELSE???
As a person of color, we leave in this numbness of our reality within United States society: our lives are at stake on a daily basis, doing the simplest things that our white counterparts and other races easily receive a ‘pass’ for. How these people lost their lives….Ahmaud: jogging in a neighborhood; Breonna: sleeping in her own apartment that was intruded for a person who was already in custody; George: grocery shopping and being speculated for giving a counterfeit bill; and Rayshard: accidentally falling asleep in a Wendy’s drive-thru as he was under the influence of alcohol.
Let’s reiterate how these people have passed on that sparked national and global outrage: RUNNING, SLEEPING, SHOPPING,….& SLEEPING.
Of course there is some light at the tunnel in awareness…..but why at the cost of another BLACK body??
George ‘GENTLE GIANT’ Floyd. This man, my heart still cries out for him. For his family/siblings, for his supportive friends and celebrities he knew that continue to fight for him, for his children he left behind, but most importantly for his late mother he cried out for numerous times as he was gasping for his final breaths. I tear up as I type this, because not only was I a witness to something I didn’t want to watch after it was broadcasted continuously over the news, but the WORLD witnessed a live lynching at the hands of the police. People who are in a career and paid to ‘protect & serve‘ the communities that they interact with on a daily basis.
Majority, and when I say the majority who were able to watch and analyze that video from around the world, about 85-90 percent, saw the George Floyd murder as absolutely wrong. Remember that remaining 10-15 percent who tried to validate the murder or cite Floyd’s past, etc…. United States is still a country that focuses on white supremacy and institutional racism despite touting themselves as a ‘free world.’
We in the black community consider George Floyd a hero, as his daughter Gianna would say, “My daddy CHANGED the world!“. However we also have an unsung hero to this story that brought global attention to this daily battle we deal with in the United states: the 17-year old, Darnella Frazier who mustered the courage to film over 8 minutes and 46 seconds of execution that took this innocent man’s life. Without this video, this murder would have easily been overlooked, and Chauvin along with his 3 compatriots would still be policing on the streets of Minneapolis today. Through his death, protests have been ongoing for 20+ days all over the world, all 50 states engaged in protests on the outrage of this murder (never heard of in history), the city of Minneapolis taking the initiative in vowing to dismantle their police, outlawing chokeholds in several cities in police protocol, and countless other milestones and counting. This is just the beginning and push to the momentum that we needed. You have people from all backgrounds, colors, and creeds out on the streets peacefully protesting, while others fall victim to violent riots and protests at the hands of the police. Let me repeat this, PEOPLE of ALL COLORS, CREEDS, and BACKGROUNDS all fighting for the common cause and putting up the good fight. This is a BEAUTIFUL thing and something I’ve never witnessed in my 31 years of life and even our most eldest citizen have witnessed in their own lifetime. May we not allow his death along with others who have lost their lives to police brutality and senseless violence by our fellow citizens not go in VAIN. Amen. The fight is not over, it took over two weeks to get all four officers involved arrested, and I believe one of the officers was released on $750k+ bail that he raised through donations. That’s right Gianna, YOUR DAD IS CHANGING THE WORLD!
Just as we were trying to heal from the George Floyd murder, laying him peacefully to rest while actively protesting, on Friday, June 12, 2020, in an Atlanta Wendy’s drive-thru, we are informed of the senseless killing of Rayshard Brooks who fell asleep in his car, was confronted by police, cooperated with all demands and protocols until he realized he was being arrested. Out of fear of returning to prison because he was on probation, he wrestled and tussled with police, ran to be shot 3 times in the back by officer Garret Rolfe. Rayshard Brooks’ 8-year old daughter’s birthday was the following day on a Saturday. These officers involved in this murder have turned themselves in and are currently in custody, while the officer who actually shot Brooks is facing 11 charges, including felony murder with a possibility of facing the death penalty, even though prosecutors stated they will not seek capital punishment.
Let’s not forget the hanging deaths of two California black men within days of each other that is currently under FBI scrutiny: Malcolm Harsch and Robert Fuller for then Fuller’s half-brother, Terron Jammal Boone to die in a shootout with sheriffs two days before Juneteenth. We just can’t get a break.
Where do we go from here in seeking justice for these killings that gradually brought outrage?
Many of the justices go unheard. Why? Because there is no formal prosecution. On Ahmaud Arbery, both the white supremacist father & son, McMichaels & the friend who video recorded, William Bryan are currently on trial in the state of Georgia. On the initial hearing, new information was released that Ahmaud was hit with the truck and one of the McMichaels stood over him and called him a “
fucking nigger” after Ahmaud was shot 3 times with a shotgun and bleeding to death while gasping for air. If convicted, all three can face life in prison without parole, with the possibility of the death penalty. What of Breonna Taylor? It has been 90+ days since Breonna was murdered and those police officers are STILL police officers. I believe one officer got fired yesterday and the city of Louisville passed ‘Breonna’s Law’ on June 11th unanimously to ban no-knock warrants. BUT WHY IS THIS LAW PASSED WITHOUT NO ARRESTS NOR CONVICTIONS? This makes this law useless. Do me a favor, ARREST ALL OFFICERS INVOLVED, then this law recently passed will hold some weight. We still have work to do. What of Tony McDade? A trans-male in Tallahassee who was shot down by police after being speculated of being involved in a fatal stabbing on nearby Saxon street. The officer involved in this shooting has been placed on administrative leave. THAT’s it.
Let’s not forget the people who have lost their lives at the cost of these protests with incompetent police and fellow citizens in the wake of the George Floyd murder. In loving memory…
There have been thousands of arrests in the United States revolved around peaceful and violent protesting before even officers were actually reprimanded for their actions. Unfortunately, some innocently lost their lives at the hands of police. As of June 18th, according to USA Today & Forbes, there have been 19 deaths directly or indirectly associated with protesting. May these people rest in POWER.
- Calvin L. Horton Jr., 43, Minnesota
- Javar Harrell, 21, Michigan
- Dave Patrick Underwood, 53, California
- James Scurlock, 22, Nebraska
- Barry Perkins, 29, Missouri
- Chris Beaty, 38, Indiana
- Dorian Murrell, 18, Indiana
- Italia Kelly, 22, Iowa
- Marquis M. Tousant, 23, Iowa
- Marvin Francois, 50, Missouri
- John Tiggs, 32, Illinois
- David McAtee, 53, Kentucky
- Jose Gutierrez, 28, Illinois
- Victor Cazares Jr., 27, Illinois
- Jorge Gomez, 25, Las Vegas
- David Dorn, 77, Missouri
- Robert Forbes, 55, California
- Two unidentified males died in Philadelphia on the night of June 2
What you can do to continue the movement
The fight continues. The Undefeated did an excellent article on how you can continue to advocate for seeking justice following the death of Ahmaud Arbery. The full article can be found here. They go on to say, “we can’t just tweet about it–we need to BE about it.” 3 easy steps as summarized:
Support organizations with boots on the ground
Funds to support the publicized deaths that sparked outrage:
If you want to donate or support the victims stated within this post, here are some links provided. The Cut does an excellent article on additional links and information regarding everyone affected by these senseless murders and where to donate, you can find additional ways to donate here.
Ahmaud Arbery: https://www.gofundme.com/f/i-run-with-maud
Breonna Taylor: https://www.gofundme.com/f/9v4q2-justice-for-breonna-taylor?
George Floyd: https://www.gofundme.com/f/georgefloyd
George Floyd’s daughter Gianna: https://www.gofundme.com/f/gianna-floyd-daughter-of-george-floyd-fund
Darnella Frazier (lady who filmed George Floyd murder for peace and healing): https://www.gofundme.com/f/peace-and-healing-for-darnella
When this is all said and done, HOW MANY MORE BLACK BODIES???