(Above cartoon by Mikhaela Reid.)
This quote from the Chicago Tribune says it all:
“If I see three or four young black men walking down the street, I have to stop them and check their names,” said [Homer, Louisiana Police Chief Russell] Mills, who is white. “I want them to be afraid every time they see the police that they might get arrested. We’re not out there trying to abuse and harass people—we’re trying to protect the law-abiding citizens locked behind their doors in fear.”
As Resist Racism notes, it’s sickeningly clear who Mills doesn’t consider “people.”
The article is about a black grandfather, Bernard Monroe, gunned down in his own yard during a cookout. Multiple witnesses say that after Monroe had been shot, the cops moved a gun to the ground near his hand.
The article’s writer, Howard Witt, points out that Monroe’s violent killing is part of a pattern:
In the mostly white Houston suburb of Bellaire, a 23-year-old black man sitting in his own SUV in the driveway of his parents’ home was shot and wounded on New Year’s Eve by police who mistakenly believed he had stolen the vehicle. The case is under investigation.
In Oakland, a transit police officer has been charged with murder for allegedly shooting an unarmed black man in the back while he was restrained and lying face down on a train platform on New Year’s Day.
In New Orleans, nine police officers are under investigation in the New Year’s Day death of a 22-year-old black man who was struck by 14 bullets after an undercover team stopped his car. The police say the man raised a gun and fired at them, but the man’s family disputes that. [...]
The evidence is not merely anecdotal. The most recent national analysis from the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics shows that blacks and Hispanics were nearly three times as likely as whites to be searched by police—and blacks were almost four times as likely as whites to be subjected to the use of force.
It isn’t bad apples. It’s a cultural problem. And until it’s addressed that way, it will not stop.