At Some Point…
He was a “thug.”
He has a criminal record.
He should have just done what the kind officer told him to do.
She shouldn’t have mouthed off at him.
They shouldn’t have run away.
The toy gun really looked real.
He shouldn’t have fought back against the unidentified neighborhood watchman.
There are pictures of him on the internet smoking marijuana.
Police have the right to protect themselves from threats… real or imagined.
He reached for his ID too fast, after the officer asked him for his ID.
At some point, we must stop shifting blame. At some point, we must run out of justifications for these tragic crimes. At some point, there must be consequences for murdering black people and hiding behind a badge. At some point, we must admit that there is a problem… and the problem is not the people being killed. At some point, we must come to grips with the fact that there are many policemen who are better suited for office duty than field duty in our neighborhoods. At some point, we must realize that these people are men. Not thugs. Not criminals. Certainly not animals deserving of massacre in the streets.
Even if you don’t agree with me. Even if you don’t like how I’m dressed. Even if I have a checkered past. Even if you are afraid of me. I AM A MAN.