Politicker: Police brutality taunts black citizens
Keith Scott’s death has sparked outrage and several protests in Charlotte, the capital of North Carolina. Death due to police brutality is becoming a painfully familiar story at this point, a story that should not have to be told in the first place since these situations should not exist. Unarmed black men being killed by police in confrontations is unacceptable.
The paranoia that exists among the nation’s police officers trumps any kind of intuition or proper handling that is mandated during life or death situations. The only end result to this lack of preparedness is another name added to the long list of those dead due to police violence.
Protests erupted in Charlotte, followed by Gov. Pat McCrory declaring a state of emergency on Sept. 22. McCrory called the National Guard into the capital as crowd control to try to diffuse and de-escalate the situation. Escalations quickly flared as the police went from bicycle patrols to being clad in full-blown riot gear. The situation could not have been anything less than chaotic. In the madness, one civilian was shot and put in critical condition. He was identified as Justin Carr, a bystander who ended up dying at the hospital. Charlotte local police later identified a possible suspect for the shooting.
The days following the protest were a blur of political backtracking and press conferences, with everyone attempting to provide a narrative regarding the details of the deaths of both Scott and Carr. Carr’s death was initially attributed to a police officer from crowd control.
The primary focus of the protests was on the videotape of Scott’s death, which explained the occurrence in full detail. The police only agreed to show the video to the family. Public media viewing, however, was restricted until Sept. 25.
To come to their own defense, the police claimed that the officers in question thought Scott was smoking marijuana and subsequently held up a gun. This led the two policemen to initiate immediate action against what they thought was a potentially dangerous scenario.
That interaction led to Scott's death at the hands of police officers—a death that one local attorney, according to The Guardian, said occurred for no justifiable reason. This idea is worth reiterating because it is something that goes over people's heads on occasion. There was absolutely no reason for Scott’s death.
A direct police confrontation should not have to end in the death of the person who is being confronted. More importantly, this kind of event should not occur so frequently. There is no wonder why people often joke about living in a heavily policed state. It is absolutely unsurprising that the average citizen may think the end of democracy in the United States is coming.
When protesters are met by police in military outfits, when a tiny misinterpretation can lead to a person’s death or when all of this repeats itself over again, it instills fear and distrust in the public. This kind of occurrence also strains the relationship between the protectors and the protected.
More importantly, whenever a solution to this growing problem is remotely discussed, there is so much interference that it becomes easy to simply give up hope. It is far easier to stymie discussion on body cameras as well as institutionalized racism or the relationship between the police and the public than to actually have a meaningful dialogue that could see positive results.
It is becoming sickening to see the same press conference delivered from the police departments that are once more at fault. These recurring and unnecessary scenarios make one wonder whether it is possible to cut the sound from one and layer it over another, just to see if there is any real difference in what is said.
The questions the public asks are the ones that need to be considered, yet they never seem to be the personal concerns of the police. The family of the deceased would like to know why their loved one had to die. The communities affected by the fear of police want to know if they might be next. Affected communities have the right to learn more information.
Moreover, the greater public has the absolute right to know when all of this will stop. For a country whose citizens are guaranteed lives without fear from an all-powerful state, transgressions on that promise are being made far too frequently. The fight is a slow one, frustrating as that may be, but it is one that needs to be fought until every citizen can feel safe around those sworn to protect them.